Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Pioneer In Gender Reassignment Dies

The renowned and sometimes controversial doctor who coined the terms "gender identity" and "gender role" died from complications of Parkinson’s Disease last Friday. He was 84.
Dr. John Money conducted research at John Hopkins Hospital for almost 50 years, where he was a professor of Medical Psychology. He was a pioneer in work with gender reassignment and gender dysphoria.

The controversy surrounding him came from his work with parents of intersexed children (sometimes referred to as hermaphrodites). He often suggested parents raise their child as one sex or another. The most notable case was of David Reimer, who Dr Money suggested be raised as a girl after a botched circumcision. At age 15 Reimer discovered his true identity and rejected any further treatment and lived the remainder of his life as a man. He died of suicide at age 38 after several failed investments.

As with all pioneers, there is good with the bad, but for the field of gender studies, Dr. Money opened many doors on a previously hidden aspect of human sexuality.

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