As Nature Made Him : The Boy Who Was Raised as A Girl
As Nature Made Him The Boy Who Was Raised as A Girl Author:John Colapinto In 1967, after a baby boy suffered a botched circumcision, his family agreed to a radical treatment. On the advice of a renowned expert in gender identity and sexual reassignment at Johns Hopkins Hospital, the boy was surgically altered to live as a girl. This landmark case, initially reported to be a complete success, seemed all the more remark... more »able since the child had been born an identical twin: his uninjured brother, raised as a boy, provided to the experiment the perfect matched control.
The so-called twins case would become one of the most famous in modern medicine and the social sciences; cited repeatedly over the past thirty years as living proof that our sense of being male or female is not inborn but primarily the result of how we are raised. A touchstone for the feminist movement, the case also set the precedent for sex reassignment as standard treatment for thousands of newborns with similarly injured, or irregular, genitals.
But the case was a failure from the outset. From the start the famous twin had, in fact, struggled against his imposed girlhood. Since age fourteen, when finally informed of his medical history, he made the decision to live as a male. John Colapinto tells this extraordinary story for the first time in As Nature Made Him. Writing with uncommon intelligence, insight, and compassion, he also sets the historical and medical context for the case, exposing the thirty-year-long scientific feud between Dr. John Money and his fellow sex researcher, Dr. Milton Diamond--a rivalry over the nature/nurture debate whose very bitterness finally brought the truth to light. A macabre tale of medical arrogance, As Nature Made Him is first and foremost a human drama of one man's-and one family's--amazing survival in the face of terrible odds. The human intimacy of the story is all the greater for the subject's courageous decision to step out from behind the pseudonym that has shrouded his identity for the past thirty years.« less
This was an interesting book. It was well written by the author who did a good job researching the subject and trying to be objective about the various physicians, procedures and even the person the book was written about. It amazes me that physicians could get away with so much with their "god complexes" and it makes me understand why there is such a strong swing of the pendulum towards informed consent etc. It always makes me wonder how many other treatments and theories we practice today that we will look back on and wonder who could of that it was a good idea.
I picked this book up on a whim at a local used bookstore. I'd never heard about the case of David Reimer before, but thought it sounded interesting. I've always been interested in psychology, but I think anyone would find this book to be a quick easy read. The book is really well written, and even though you are reading medical transcripts through out, the book flows like a story opposed to a factual account of something that happened (which sometimes can be tedious). The book is around 300 pages and can easily be read in 1-2 days at a leisurely pace. I was interested in finding out more about the Reimer case after reading this book and found a TLC special that came out a few years ago (on youtube) about what happened. I highly recommend reading the book opposed to just watching the documentary. Although well made, I found the documentary to seem disjointed because the book went into so much more detail. Overall, this is a great story and a well written book. Two thumbs up!
A great read for anyone interested in the psychology of gender and/or the politics of mental health treatment. Also thought-provoking if you are a parent or contemplating being one. An excellent read, written by a journalist who investigated a case where psychologists convinced parents to raise their boy (an identical twin) as a girl, after a botched circumcision.
Debbie G. reviewed As Nature Made Him : The Boy Who Was Raised as A Girl on
Helpful Score: 9
This book is a page turner. It is hard to believe that this actually happened and treatment was being performed at a prominet hospital in the US. It is so sad what emotional turmoil that this family and this young man had endured. It's amazing what parents will do thinking it's the best thing for their child. Highly recommend this book.
I saw a documentary on this, so was very interested to read the book. Very well-written, especially considering that there is almost no embellishment to the narrative to make it more readable. The book concerns the case of David Reimer, who lost his penis during infancy due to a botched circumcision, after which he was raised as a girl. Even more interesting is the fact that he had an identical twin brother. It was an experiment that failed miserably and caused David to have a horrible life. Though it ends on a somewhat optimistic note, the fact is that David committed suicide after the publication of this book.
I loved reading about this family and what had happened to them.When I had first saw the book I was extremely curious and fascinated and wanted to know could something like this could ever happen.It was courageous of the family to come forward and to tell the whole story.