As nature made him, John Colapinto
As Nature Made Him tells the heartbreaking story of David Reimer. At the age of eight months David suffered from a botched circumcision, to say the least, where he had his penis practically burned off by an electric cauterizing machine. This left David’s genitals badly damaged. In a desperate attempt to give there child a normal life David’s parents sought the help of “sex” specialist John Money. Money suggested that they reassign David as a girl. Money suggested that if David’s parents raise him as a girl that David would believe he was a girl. So after many consultations David’s testicles were removed and a vulva was created.
In follow-up reports it was suggested that David had successfully adopted the female gender role, over time however, it became clear that something was wrong. She was acting out in school and even at home. When her problems escalated, it was decided to tell David, then 14 years old, that she had been born male. In response, she reverted back to the male sex at once, taking masculinizing hormone shots and undergoing mastectomy.
Now, 20 years later, David lives as a man, happily married to a woman with three children from a previous relationship.
This book describes more than David's tragedy and resilience; it is also about the scientific debate and controversy that has surrounded this case. So I believe that this is a wonderful book for anyone interested in the idea of sex reassignment, or just the psychology of gender role.
I found the book fascinating because of its latest segment of the longtime nature/nurture controversy. The book is such a great example of how nature is so very much stronger than nurture and that there is indeed a biological difference between boys and girls. Also, it is so bothersome and somewhat scary that the doctor, John Money, lied about the outcome of this boy's situation to further his own personal thoughts, and his reports were published and taught in the medical community and in universities.
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