About 1 in every 25,000 people suffers from achondroplasia, which is the most common type of dwarfism (Dwarfism, par. 1). Dwarfism causes a person to have short stature, and they suffer the inconveniences of being shorter than average. Those with dwarfism are often unfairly thought of as less than people without the disorder. The public’s view of dwarfism tends to be skewed because of Hollywood’s inaccurate depiction and its belief in historically unfair stereotypes. This view needs to change because people with dwarfism are created equally, and with support and minor accommodations they are able to live happy and successful lives.
According to Brandon Brown, an editor of Salem Health Magill’s Medical Guide, an official definition of dwarfism is “underdevelopment of the body, most often caused by a variety of genetic or endocrinological dysfunctions” (891). What this means is that the growth hormones in the bodies of those with dwarfism are unable to function correctly, and the body cannot grow and develop very well. Dwarfism prevents a person from growing to be the size of an average person, and causes them to be shorter than most adults. The US National Library of Medicine states that dwarfism in itself is not a disease or disorder because simply being short is not considered either of these (Par. 2). However, because of the underdevelopment of the body, people with dwarfism have a much greater chance of other health problems.
Of course there are plenty of people in the world who are considered short but are not technically dwarves. The maximum height for a person to have and still be officially considered a dwarf is sixty inches for a male, and fifty-eight for a female (Brown 891). For males this would be about ten inches shorter than the average male in the United States, while women would be around six inches shorter than the average female height in the United States.
According to the Mayo Clinic Staff, “more than 200 different conditions cause dwarfism” (2). Most conditions related to dwarfism are genetic disorders that occur because of a random, odd genetic mutation (Mayo Clinic Staff 2). A person with dwarfism does not do anything that causes them to have the condition. It is simply a genetic mutation. Sometimes, one receives dwarfism because of a skeletal abnormality, or an error with their bones and skeleton (Brown 891). There are numerous conditions that result in a person having dwarfism.
Interestingly, many dwarfs are not born to dwarf parents. In fact, according to Mayo Clinic Staff, around eighty percent of people with Achondroplasia have parents with average heights (3). This statistic states that average-sized people can have babies with dwarfism, and that is more common than dwarves having babies with dwarfism. Also, it is common that parents with dwarfism have children with average height. There is no way to know for sure if a person will or won’t have children with dwarfism.