Evaluation of Money's 1975 ~ Sexual Reassignment Study

Evaluation of Money's 1975 ~ Sexual Reassignment Study


  • Consent was given by David Reimers parents at the time as he was under 18.
  • Dr Money was seen as a competent professional and so he was seen as a trustworthy figure to take on this experiment/study.
  • The experiment is valid in some aspects as up to his teenage years David acted with female stereotypical roles.
  • A longitudinal study is an advantage of the study as we can see the effects over a long period of time.
  • Interviews and observations are natural. We know that in real life we are always being observed in public.


  • David Reimer was never given the right to withdraw especially after his surgical procedures.
  • The study is not generlisable as only males who had been reassigned as female were used in the study, also case studies are extremely unique and can never be matched with another person.
  • The experiment later on was not valid, David led his life as a male and developed male stereotypical behavior this is backed up with the study by Diamond and Sigmundson in 1997.
  • Using matched pairs means it is hard to find another exact 45 patients who are also matched pairs, it is therefore not reliable and not easy to replicate.
  • Dr Money used interviews and observations which can lead to leading questions and therefore demand characteristics to/ Qualitative data is also subjective and open to biasis.


Overall Dr Money's experiment is extremely unethical. Reassigning a persons gender is unethical due to many complications. Gender is already determined before we are even born, in the uterus. When the sperm and egg fuse, we either receive an ** chromosome or a XY chromosome the y chromosome is a SRY gene which codes for the testes determining factor; for males only. Once born hormones play a role in gender, oestrogen and testosterone play a big role as when biologically born males receive a rush of testosterone they develop even more male features such as facial hair and muscle tone.Therefore nature plays more of a effect in our gender than nurture.


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