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September 18 2q06.docx

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOCIOL 2Q06
Professor
Dr.Lina Samuel
Semester
Fall

Description
September 18, 2013 BBC Documentary: Dr. Money and the Boy without a Penis  He was told that he was a girl, but he didn’t like acting or dressing like a girl  The scientists’ reputation was very bad at the end of the experiment that went terribly wrong  May 4 2004 - David Rimer committed suicide  His death was a shocking close to science  Born a boy – was turned into a girl named Brenda  Later married and had a family  His suicide was a devastating blow to psychologist whose research on david had influenced psychology  Unflinching belief in theory led to David’s death  22 August, 1965 – mother was grated her wish to have twins  gave birth to two twin boys – bruce and ryan  circumcision – april 27 bruce operated on first  they first heard there was an accident – penis was burnt off from circumcision  electrical equipment malfunctioned – burnt off his entire penis  she and her husband were at a loss at what to do  7 months later saw something on TV: dr. Money – sex change  Dr. Money seemed highly intelligent – he had a transsexual woman with him  Janet wrote to Dr. Money about Bruce  He suggested that he turn the baby boy into a baby girl  He developed a radical theory about nature vs nurture  While genes important, a baby is neutral for first 2 years of life – nurturing determines whether they feel boy or girl  Developed this theory from work with hermaphrodites  Intersex kids are not the same as other children – receive different amounts of hormones in wombs  Dr. money – used twin boys as the perfect opportunity  July 3 1967 – castrated – created a vulva for him  Dr money suggested , they called bruce Brenda – treated him as a girl  They could not reveal the truth to their daughter – don’t let her think she was ever a boy  Brenda grew up to be a pretty girl – dressed, interested in feminine persuits, baking, makeup – all things that girls do  She wrote to money of the progress, visited him yearly  In the interview at age 7 – he confirmed his hypothesis- theory of gender neutrality  As far as gender identity was concerned – nurture is more important that nature  Reimer family – unaware that money was saying it was successful  Brenda was behaving in a masculine manner  She had barbies, dolls, sewing machine – but wanted to play with brothers toys  Clearly the case wasn’t working  Money only published the positive results – others disagreed  As early as 1970 before he published the case as a success – there could be some problems  According to his theory – she needed to believe that she was female  He tried to make her accept her new gender by telling her about her genitilia  The questions were sexual in nature – explicit  There is no doubt that Brenda found the questions distressing  At the time it was a scientifically correct method  Money showed Brenda an explicit book of women giving birth – made Brenda uncomfortable  He tried to persuade her to have a vagina constructed – she didn’t want surgery  She was terrified about the idea of an operation – thought it would change her for the worst  If she didn’t feel female – theory would fail – felt time was running out  Mo
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