Horror drama from the Pandora’s box of genderideology

Sources:  http://lesoupirailetlesvitraux.hautefort.com , 14-09-2011 and Wikipedia.

Understanding “Gender”

To better understand the complex ideological-academic phenomenon “Gender”, let’s get to know one of the founders of gender ideology, dr. John Money (1921-2006), who is hereafter praised by his colleague Robert Porto:

Money, professor of medical psychology and pediatrics, is one of the best-known sexological researchers and a pioneer in the study of sexuality and gender identity. He was one of the founders of the Johns Hopkins Gender Clinic, the first hospital in the United States to perform sex change surgery. He devoted much of his research to children born with genital ambiguity. He taught us how the concept of gender went beyond the simple difference between man and woman and emphasized the existence of an “intermediate state.” We owe him the concepts and terminology of “gender identity” (our own categorization into male, female, or ambivalent status due to the intimate experience of our own mental processes and behaviors), “gender role” (what we say and do that allows others to identify us as male, female, or ambivalent), and “lovemap” (1). Described by some as a genius (G.K. Lehne), he was criticized by others, after his stance in favor of early sex change surgery (before three years) for children with ambivalent sexual anatomy. […] In addition, John Money’s position that “clingy” pedophilia (without any coercion and mutually desired) cannot be considered pathological, was another subject of disagreement with the medical community. (2)

A Wikipedia article describes the tragic trajectory of a Canadian patient of Dr. John Money (3):

David Reimer, named Bruce when he was born in August 1965, came into the world as a healthy boy with an identical twin brother, Brian. When they were six months old, concerns were raised about the two boys having difficulty urinating and phimosis was diagnosed. Therefore, it was decided to have them circumcised at the age of eight months. Bruce’s penis was irreparably damaged (burned by an electrocautery needle – ed.). It was then chosen not to circumcise Brian, who otherwise healed very well without additional treatment. Bruce’s parents took him to Johns Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore to present his case to John Money, a psychologist who enjoyed a pioneering reputation in the field of sexual development and gender identity, based on his work with intersex patients. Money was a proponent of the theory that gender identity is relatively plastic during early childhood and essentially develops as a result of the social learning that follows; some academics in the late 1960s believed that all psychological and behavioral differences between boys and girls are the result of a learning process. Along with other doctors who worked with small children born with abnormal genitals, he believed that if a penis cannot be replaced, a functional vagina can be obtained through surgery and that Bruce would achieve his functional sexual fulfillment better as a girl than as a boy. 

On his website TRANSIDENTITE, Tom Reucher, a “transsexual FtM (Female to Male) and psychologist” specifies: Money believed that it was possible to assign a gender to intersex children regardless of biological sex and that gender identity is “modelable” up to 2 years. Consequently, the genitals of intersex children who are considered deformed are operated on. For some it’s good, for others it’s going to be a disaster. They are “transsexualized”. As adults, they begin a sex change because the anatomical sex they have been given does not match their psychological sex. His parents were convinced that a sex change would be most beneficial to Bruce, and at the age of 22 months, his testicles were surgically removed, as it was easier for doctors to give him a female sex than to make him a new penis. The parents are advised to raise the child as a girl, to call her Brenda, to remove all traces of her past as a boy (the first 8 months of her life) and to move to facilitate this sex change. No one should know or have doubts.

The psychological support after her surgical sex change was entrusted to Money, who continued to see Brenda for several years, both for her treatment and for writing a study. This gender reassignment was considered a particularly interesting case to test the concept of socially learned gender identity, for two reasons. First, Bruce/Brenda had a twin brother, which provided ideal control, as the two children not only shared their genes and the family environment but had also had the same intrauterine environment. It was also boasted that this was the first sex change via a reconstruction performed on a baby boy who showed no abnormalities in his prenatal or neonatal sexual differentiation. For several years, Dr. Money published reports on Brenda’s evolution which he called “the John/Joan case”, describing her seemingly successful female development, and he used this example to argue that sex reassignment with surgical reconstruction was perfectly feasible even in cases where there was no intersex. This gender transformation was reported as a success and evidence that children are not naturally female or male, but socialized by the upbringing to become girls or boys.

Brian, David’s twin brother, offered the researchers a control opportunity. Throughout their childhood and until David refused to continue meeting him, the children (Brian the boy and David [Brenda] the “girl”) were followed by Money. (During these examinations, they had to undress completely and inspect each other’s genitals, or look at pornographic images. The purpose of this was to find out to what extent Brenda had developed female sexual feelings. Ed.). Brenda was given estrogens when she reached adolescence to develop breasts. However, Brenda felt the visits to Baltimore as a trauma rather than a therapy, but Money avoided publishing anything about the case that might suggest that the sex change had not been successful.

What David Reimer wrote two decades later, in collaboration with John Colapinto, shows how Brenda, contrary to what Money claimed, did not feel like a girl. She was the victim of exclusion and bullying of other children, and neither the pretty dresses nor the female hormones made her feel feminine. At the age of 13, Brenda went through a phase of suicidal depression and told her parents that she would kill herself if they continued to force her to see John Money. In 1980, Brenda’s parents told her the truth about her sex change, on the advice of Brenda’s endocrinologist and psychiatrist. When she turned 15, Brenda decided to take back the male identity and called herself David (4). After learning to develop a new relationship with his ex-sister, Brian began to experience a series of mental disorders that later developed into schizophrenia. Starting in 1997, David underwent treatment to reverse his gender change, with testosterone injections, a double mastectomy and two phalloplasty surgeries.

He then entrusted his story to John Colapinto in Rolling Stone Magazine and to the sexologist Milton Diamond, who tried to discourage doctors from treating even more babies the same way. In 2000, Colapinto wrote  As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who Was Raised as a Girl, in which David testified  publicly for the first  time: because he wanted to save other children from a similar fate, he thus ended up in a violent mediastorm. He then fell into depression after losing his job and because of the divorce  with  the woman whose children he had adopted. While having serious problems with his parents, in 2002 he faced the death of his twin brother, victim of a toxic combination of alcohol and antidepressants (his mother suspects  it  was a  drug overdose, which Brian needed to treat his schizophrenia). In May 2004, David Reimer committed suicide.

This drama has bolstered the arguments of those who, contrary to Money’s theories,  believe  that prenatal and early childhood hormones exert a strong influence on brain differentiation. This case has caused significant damage to Money’s reputation. Not only did his theory about the plasticity of sexual gender take a heavy blow, but in his book, David Reimer talked about the strange and unbearable therapy sessions he had undergone as a child and showed that the psychologist had not seen or wanted to see anything, while it became increasingly clear that Brenda’s sex change was a failure. […] The Johns Hopkins Centre’s reputation as a pioneering institution for transgender situations  was also severely damaged. Finally, the falsity and danger of the theories of the malleability and cultural construction of gender identity, which had fallen into decline among scientists as early as the 1990s, were tragically revealed.

(1) Money defined this as “a mental blueprint or map that largely determines your future sex, relationship, and love life.” (Source:  Wikipedia).

(2) John Money’s theories of sexuality were apparently fed by his personal psychological attitude and concrete life.

In http://transidentite.free.fr/textes/articles/the_true_story_of_John-Joan-uk.htm  we read about him the following:

His later decision to narrow his studies to the psychology of sex had a similarly personal basis. Having lost his religious faith in his early 20s, Money increasingly reacted against what he saw as the repressive religious strictures of his upbringing and, in particular, the anti-masturbatory, anti-sexual fervor that went with them. The academic study of sexuality, which removed even the most outlandish practices from moral considerations and placed them in the “pure” realm of scientific inquiry, was for Money an emancipation. From now on, he would be a fierce proselytizer for sexual exploration. According to journalist John Heidenry, a personal confidant of Money and author of the recent book What Wild Ecstacy, which traces Money’s role as a major behind-the-scenes leader of the sexual revolution of the 1960s and ’70s, the psychologist’s sexual explorations were not confined to the lab, lecture hall or library. An acknowledged but discreet bisexual, Money engaged in affairs with several men and women – “some briefly,” Heidenry writes, “others over a longer duration”. Indeed, by the mid-1970s, with the sexual revolution in full rampage, Money would step out publicly as a champion of open marriage, nudism, and the dissemination of explicit pornography. His promotion of the culture’s sexual unbuttoning seemed boundless. “There is plenty of evidence that bisexual group sex can be as personally satisfying as a paired partnership, provided each partner is ‘tuned in’ on the same wavelength,” he wrote in his 1975 pop-psych book, Sexual Signatures.

(3) A more detailed and extensive report of the dramatic life history of these twins can be read, among others, at:  http://transidentite.free.fr/textes/articles/the_true_story_of_John-Joan-uk.htm

(4) From that moment on (15 years) his name will be David Reimer and he will go through life as a man. He chose the name David because of the comparison with David and Goliath, because he felt that he too had fought against a “giant”, namely the people who wanted him to live as a woman. (Source: Wikipedia).

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