J.Money 1975- Abliato Penis: Sex reassignment

Aims, Procedure, Results, Conclusion, Evaluation

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Ablatio Penis: Normal Male Infant Sex Reassignment as a Girl
J. Money- 1975
Aims: To use a surgical accident to investigate whether gender could be reassigned or whether it is
biologically determined at birth.
45 males were followed up after sex reassignment. One of particular interest, because he had a
natural control (an identical twin brother) .
Bruce and Brian were 2 normal twin boys. At age 7 moths it was decided they would have a
circumcision for health reasons. The operation for Bruce went wrong and his penis was accidently
burnt off. The damage was impossible to correct via surgery.
Dr Money a sex reassignment specialist believe the best course of action was to surgically change
Bruce's external genitalia to appear female and raise him as a girl. This decision was based on
previous successes with sex reassignment on those born with ambiguous genitalia.
Money suggested children were born gender neutral. At under 2 years of age Bruce was
castrated and received oestrogen treatment and was renamed Brenda.
Her family treated her like a girl, dressing her in feminine ways, letting her grow her hair long and
buying her dolls to play with.
She was seen at regular intervals with Dr Money. She also received further reconstructive
treatment and hormone treatment to successfully complete the transition from male to female.
Money reported that at age 9 Brenda had a female gender identity. He predicted that in adult life
she would have a normal female sex life.
Some tomboyish behaviour was seen, but this was explained by the imitation of the brother Brian.
The evidence reported suggested that it was possible to reassign physical appearance through
surgery, hormone therapy and rearing experiences to create a female gender identity. This
implies that gender identity is undifferentiated at birth, so in psychological terms, we are born
gender neutral.
Reality of Brenda sex assignment was very different to what Money had said. She rejected her
treatment as a girl and found it very difficult to cope with her feelings and childhood.
She was later told about her experience, and decided to undergo painful surgery to return to a
male, naming him David.
The evidence of the failure of the sex reassignment was recorded by Diamond and Sigmundson,
suggesting that Money was in correct and that in the case of unambiguous individual's gender
identity is biologically determined.
Strengths Weaknesses
The family gave consent for Bruce to take part in the The sex reassignment was eventually u successful.
gender reassignment. There are many ethical issues with this experiment.
It was high in validity as it studied the sex Money ignored Brenda unhappiness about the sex
reassignment in detail. reassignment. A lot of stress was put onto David and his
No bias in the interpretations. family because of the sex reassignment.
The study has high application in real life. This stress may have caused the twins' suicide.

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Money showed the twins sexual content at young age to try
and help form their appropriate gender identity, which is
dubious practice.…read more


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