Sex Unknown

Topics: Gender, Gender identity, David Reimer Pages: 3 (1043 words) Published: May 3, 2009
Film Critical Analysis of “Sex: Unknown”

The consequences of gender change can be disastrous for a human being. That’s what happened to Bruce Reimer. He was born a completely normal boy. But after a circumcision, he had his genitalia completely destroyed. His mother was desperate and didn’t know what to do until she met “John Money, who was a psychologist and sexologist well-known for his specialized research in sexual identity. Money was a professor of pediatrics and medical psychology at Johns Hopkins University, from 1951 until his death.” (Duffy, J. 1999) He was a psychologist not a surgeon. He convinced Bruce’s parents to change him into a girl through surgery. John Money, a sex researcher wanted to do an experiment and used this family to pursue it. The procedure was done and Bruce Reimer had his name changed for Brenda, which made possible to start the experiment. For many years, John Money alleged that Brenda turned out to be a real girl with a female gender identity. Money used this case to support his approach to intersex. “Intersex is a general term used for a variety of conditions in which a person is born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t seem to fit the typical definitions of female or male.”( Money’s researches about sex gender, has been used in the US and other countries. Money assumed that gender identity can be changed by nurturing.

As it turns out, Money was not saying the truth. Money knew Brenda was never happy as a girl, but never revealed it. Brenda was angry, she started to have male instinct, Brenda felt like a

boy in a dress. Brenda had problems in school, had no friends and after she found out what happened, she reassumed the social identity of a boy. Despite criticism from the media and psychologists about the Reimer case, Money refused to revise his gender identity theories. "I don't mind being wrong a few times because I'm right most of the time," Money said. Later on...

Bibliography: Duffy, J. (Winter 1999).Sexual Healing, Hopkins Medical News. (Transcripts) (Who was David Reimer) (John Colapinto) (“Sex: Unknown”) PBS Airdate: October 30, 2001.
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