Fascinated, disturbing, and utterly engrossing, this nonfiction account of a sex-reassignment surgery on a child in the late 60's and the ensuing phenomenon was gripping in every sense of the word. As someone not familiar with the concept of sex-reassignment surgeries for intersex or severely injured children, I found it both educational and disturbing. Colapinto does an excellent job painting a fair picture of both sides of the scientific argument that used and emerged from this case, and the gross hubris that drove it into popularity. If you want to learn anything about gender identity, gender psychology, or the role of nature vs. environment in gender identity and sexual preference, I highly HIGHLY recommend this book. Also, if you are fascinated by psychology.
David has not committed suicide, nor have his father or brother. Both David and his brother did make suicide attempts, and the heavy drinking his father did for a time can be viewed as a slow suicide. All three, and the mother, are now doing much better. / This was, indeed, a horrific story of the wrongs we can do with the best of intentions. It is also a demonstration that when intentions are truly good, evidence that the results don't match the intention will cause us to change what we're doing. The original intentions of the doctor who advised raising the boy as a girl (after his penis was completely destroyed in a botched electro-cauterization circumcision) seem to have been all about his own ego. He continues to insist that all sexual identity is the result of experience, in spite of all evidence to the contrary. The parents, who followed his advice, truly did want what was best for their child - because they did finally stop trying to make the effort work, told the child the truth, and helped him live as the boy he was born to be. / One irony of the story is that while Dr. Money advocates for sex-change surgery on the grounds that sexual identity is fully malleable, the demonstrated fact that sexual identity is biologically programmed into the brain before birth DOES testify to the validity of sex-change surgery. If a child is born identifying as a boy, with the physical characteristics of a girl. HE is a BOY, and surgery to achieve body-mind congruence is fully justified. Whereas, if any child can be raised as any sex, any incongruence of body and mind should be addressed by psychological therapy to bring the mind into alignment with the body. Therefore: If you truly believe that "you are the sex you are born to" you will support sex-change surgery to bring the body into alignment with the sex the child was born identifying with.
Thee most horrific story on planet earth. There's no equal. If memory serves, his brother, his father and he himself commit suicide. There are no words. I just sit here shaking my head. This is insanity defined.
Why? Why did no one stop to think that this was a really bad idea to raise a biomale as a female?????
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