John Money was born in New Zealand in 1921. Money later went to Victoria University, double majoring in philosophy and psychology.
Office of Psychohormonal Research. It is during his early years (the 1950s) at John's Hopkins that Money, through his fixation with the intersex, particularly "fixing" infants with ambiguous genitalia, that Money helped to develop the Gender of rearing model for infants intersex or presumed intersex.
- The basic idea was that each child’s potential for a “normal” gender identity should be maximized by making each child’s body, upbringing, and mind align as much as possible. Because of the belief that it was harder to surgically engineer a boy than a girl, most children with intersex were made as feminine as possible, utilizing surgery, endocrinology, and psychology. A “successful” patient was one judged to be stable and “normal” (i.e., heterosexual) in the assigned gender. (In an era of vice squads raiding gay bars, it is not surprising that homosexuality appeared to most of these professionals an untenable identity.)
- “From the sum total of hermaphroditic evidence,” he (John Money) wrote in 1955, “the conclusion that emerges is that sexual behavior and orientation as male or female does not have an innate, instinctive basis. In place of a theory of instinctive masculinity or femininity which is innate, the evidence of hermaphroditism lends support to a conception that, psychologically, sexuality is undifferentiated at birth and that it becomes differentiated as masculine or feminine in the course of the various experiences of growing up.” In short, Money was advancing a view that human beings form a sense of themselves as boy or girl according to whether they are dressed in blue or pink, given a masculine or feminine name, clothed in pants or dresses, given guns or Barbies to play with. Many years later, Money would describe how he arrived at some of his more radical theories about human sexual behavior. “I frequently find myself toying with concepts and working out potential hypotheses,” he mused. “It is like playing a game of science fiction.”
Meaning, if a baby was born male, but raised as a girl socially (think pink), the biological male would believe/function comfortably as a girl/woman, granted this mutable gender identity theory was born out of RARE intersex births ONLY.
John Money's other obsession developed after he became aware of the autogynephile/transsexual Christine Jorgensen, whose sex reassignment (in its early stage) was considered a success. Transsexuals peaked Money's interest, but like most (even today) studying transgenderism, Money never bothered with the follow up to realize Jorgensen's transition was a failure socially and medically, as he later died prematurely from multiple organ cancers.
John Money then went on a crusade:
- "...to establish Johns Hopkins as the first hospital in America to embrace transsexual surgeries, Money knew that he would first have to bring on board a respected medical man. (Money himself was a psychologist and did not possess a medical degree of any kind.) He turned first to Dr. Howard Jones, the Johns Hopkins gynecologist who had perfected the surgical techniques for sex assignment on Money’s infant intersexual subjects. “I can recall,” Jones says, “that for a number of months, maybe even years, John kept raising the question of whether we shouldn’t get into the transsexual situation.”
Because John Colapinto's book As Nature Made Him documents a thorough account of David Reimer's tragic story, for the purposes of this post I will supply simply the basics. In 1965 a set of male identical twins (Bruce and Brian) were born to Ron and Janet Reimer. Eight months after their birth they were to receive a routine circumcision, and instead the first twin operated on (Bruce) was horrible mutilated:
- " “It was blackened, and it was sort of like a little string. And it was right up to the base, up to his body.” To Ron the penis looked “like a piece of charcoal. I knew it wasn’t going to come back to life after that.”Nevertheless, Janet asked the urologist, “Will it still grow, and he’ll just have a little penis?” The doctor shook his head. “I don’t think so. That’s not the way it works.” Over the next few days, baby Bruce’s penis dried and broke away in pieces. It was not very long before all vestiges of the organ were gone completely."
Brenda, as Bruce was renamed to suit his/her NEW Gender Identity and was soon surgically butchered in order to get the toddler ready for later surgeries that would carve a hole in his body to function as a penis pleaser for his/her future husband:
- "My chief interest was the physical situation and the surgical potential,” Jones says. “Was the patient healthy and able to withstand the operation?—all that kind of stuff. The case was pretty well worked up before I ever got involved.” For Jones, the surgery on Brenda Reimer was like the routine castrations he had been performing on hermaphrodite babies over the previous twelve years—and apparently Johns Hopkins Hospital viewed the operation the same way. Officials of the hospital have declined all comment on the case, but a Johns Hopkins public relations person, JoAnne Rodgers, told me in the winter of 1998, “In all surgeries that were considered, in the sixties, to be experimental, there were protocols in place to have those approved by appropriate committees and boards.” Dr. Jones cannot recall that the hospital convened any special committee or board in the case of Bruce Reimer’s historic conversion to girlhood."
In lieu of the length of this post, I'm presenting it in two parts, stay tuned for part two later this week.