The detectives investigate the disappearance of a 17-year-old girl with Turner's Syndrome, a genetic disorder that contributed to her being teased and bullied at her prep school. Meanwhile, Stabler meets his new partner, former Warrant Officer, Detective Dani Beck.

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Olivia Benson (credit only)
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Dr. George Huang (as B.D. Wong)
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Nathan Speer
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Janey Speer
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Maia Graves
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Greg Hartley
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Attorney Van Allen
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The detectives investigate the disappearance of a 17-year-old girl with Turner's Syndrome, a genetic disorder that contributed to her being teased and bullied at her prep school. Meanwhile, Stabler meets his new partner, former Warrant Officer, Detective Dani Beck.

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26 September 2006 (USA)  »

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Quotes

Donald Cragen: [about Janey] This girl is being pulled apart by an overprotective father and an overly-permissive mother.
Dr. George Huang: I think Janey knows what she wants. I think we should listen to her.
Detective Elliot Stabler: Yeah, and let Greg Hartley have what he wants.
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A Serious Misinterpretation of Turner Syndrome!
10 April 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Full disclosure: I myself have mosaic Turner Syndrome. I was diagnosed at birth. Thus, when I heard through the proverbial grapevine that there was an episode of this show (which, for the record, I don't much care for in the first place) that mentions this rather obscure genetic disorder, I was intrigued and decided to give the show a chance. I absolutely regret that decision.

The episode's premise is this: a 17-year-old girl, Janey, has gone missing from a field trip to a museum. Because she looks much younger than her age (due to the aforementioned Turner Syndrome), the SVU detectives begin to worry that a pedophile has kidnapped her as a "legal" way of living out little-girl fantasies. They hyper-focus on her outward appearance, and when they find out that she has been remotely using her estranged mother's laptop as a means of looking up sexual-related websites (lingerie shops, position guides, etc.), they immediately assume that she has been coerced into all of it by someone as opposed to viewing it as human curiosity. They discover that she has been seeing a 30-year-old assistant of her father's, and they immediately treat him as a deviant for his interest in her. When they do find her and she's lying naked on a bed in pain, they assume the worst and arrest the man she's seeing. Even when she is well enough to speak to them and states that the entire thing was initiated by her, they do not take her seriously and proceed to go to court to prevent her from this supposedly "harmful" situation. In the end, chronology rules are applied (she is 17 and therefore is legally past the New York age of consent) and she makes the decision to move in with her boyfriend. The episode ends with a new detective nearly arresting the boyfriend for kissing Janey and Stabler stating, "The creep's legal. She's 17." After they walk away, Stabler laments, "Welcome to the world of gray."

I have a laundry list of issues with this episode, not only because I find it offensive as someone with Turner Syndrome (specifically mosaic Turner's, which Janey supposedly has), but because this show presents multiple incorrect facts. In order, they include, but are not limited to, the following:

1. Within the first ten minutes of the episode, one detective has already referred to women/girls with Turner Syndrome as "a pervert's walking fantasy". This insinuates that anyone who is remotely sexually interested in a Turner's Syndrome patient must clearly be a pedophile. This is only one incident in the episode where this insinuation is made; there are countless others (to the point where that seems to be the actual take-away message from the show!) and I will not waste time listing them all.

2. There are copious amounts of incorrect medical information. For instance, the person who is supposed to be a medical doctor states, "These girls often don't grow breasts, they rarely get their periods, and they usually don't grow to be taller than a ten-year- old." The truth is this: a huge number (nearly all) of girls who are diagnosed with Turner Syndrome early in their lives undergo some sort of of hormone replacement therapy before or during the ages where puberty would occur naturally. Breasts certainly do grow, and some women grow to be very nearly average height with the growth hormones. The message about periods is not 100% accurate either, though: some get them naturally, some don't; and with hormone replacement menstruation can be started medically (as happened with me).

3. Absolutely none of the "untested" drugs or medical studies that the show mentions are true. Not a single one of them.

4. The show suggests that women who have mosaic Turner Syndrome can possibly get pregnant naturally. While not 100% false, it is so rare in occurrence that it may as well be. Also, the show does not at all discuss the difference in classic Turner Syndrome and mosaic Turner Syndrome.

5. The detectives, though fully aware that Janey's intelligence is not at all affected by Turner Syndrome, still treat her like she is ten or twelve instead of the 17-year-old she is. They refuse to listen when she speaks, and they even state in court that they don't think she is capable of making her own decisions. (Janey's own grandfather said she required "constant supervision", which is another false suggestion.)

All in all, I found this episode offensive and alarming. If writers are going to mention a condition that very few people have heard about, it should be required that they research it first. Absolutely terrible portrayal.


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