It is now taken as self-evident that something called “gender” exists, and that it is distinct from biological sex, and that the former (and perhaps even the latter, they tell us now) is an artificial social construct. But these ideas were not always self-evident. In fact, they weren’t evident at all for the entire history of the human race up until about a century ago. Thousands of generations lived and died, engaging in art and science and philosophy and everything else that comprises human civilization, all while assuming that there were only males and females, and rarely finding any need for other categories.
In the 20th century, that all changed. Considering the magnitude of suddenness of this shift in our understanding of human nature, we should probably take the time to acquaint ourselves with the people responsible for it. And when it comes to the concept of “gender” and “gender constructs,” there is no better place to start than Dr. John Money. A prominent psychologist and sexologist, Money was one of the early pioneers of the gender theories that are currently taught in grade schools and universities. Among the first to take the word “gender” out of the realm of grammar and apply it to people, he coined the terms “gender role,” “gender identity,” and “sexual orientation.” A professor at York University recently published a book labeling John Money “the man who invented gender.” Suffice it to say, he was an extremely influential man, and anyone who propagates left-wing gender theory today is parroting at least some of the ideas of John Money, whether they know it or not.
That fact ought to trouble gender theory proponents because John Money was, among other things, a fraud and an abuser. Along with more conventionally degenerate views — his advocacy of open marriages and group sex, for example — Money was also, as a not very critical article in Salon puts it, “ambivalently supportive” of pedophilia. Drawing a distinction between what he called sadistic pedophilia and affectional pedophilia, Money held that a relationship between a grown man and a child who really love each other should not be considered disordered.
Speaking to a Dutch pro-pedophilia publication, Money explained, “If I were to see the case of a boy aged 10 or 12 who’s intensely attracted toward a man in his 20s or 30s, if the relationship is totally mutual, and the bonding is genuinely totally mutual, then I would not call it pathological in any way.” His tolerance for child rape may help explain some of the events that transpire later in the story.
Jumping ahead, now, to 1965 and the birth of twins Bruce and Brian Reimer. The boys are born healthy except for a condition called phimosis, which affects the foreskin. It was decided (incorrectly, it turns out) that the best way to treat the condition was circumcision. But Bruce’s procedure went horribly wrong and his penis was essentially burned off. After several months of grasping for answers, Bruce’s parents eventually decided to take him to John Hopkins in Baltimore to see the renowned Dr. John Money. The good doctor, eager to prove the legitimacy of his theory that gender is a product of environment and culture, recommended that Bruce undergo sex reassignment surgery. Before the boy turned 2, the deed had been done. His testicles were removed, some crude approximation of female genitalia were formed, and Money instructed the parents to raise him as a girl from that day forward, and never to tell him about his real identity.
The Reimer parents tried to follow Money’s advice, but they found that Bruce was still Bruce, even if they called him Brenda and did everything in their power to preserve his fragile and false female identity. Gender is a construct, they were told. Why should a boy raised as a girl still have boyish tendencies? But his boyishness came through, in spite of Money’s theories. The boys also attended regular therapy sessions with Money. For “therapy” Money sometimes instructed the boys to disrobe and inspect each other’s genitals. Sometimes they were made to simulate sex acts on each other. Money explained that this was meant to be healthy sexual exploration. On at least one occasion, nude photographs of the boys were taken. Ultimately, Money was convinced that his project had been a smashing success, and he bragged of his triumphs in many published works.
It was not a success.
The female identity never took hold for Bruce. He was confused and miserable and on the verge of suicide, until, as a teen, his mother finally told him the truth. Bruce chose immediately to transition back to a boy, taking the name of David. He underwent another reassignment surgery, this time to try and reclaim his true self. He felt better for a time, but neither he nor his brother lived happily everafter. Their experience as John Money’s lab rats and playthings had damaged them both irrevocably. David would go on to speak out against Money, at first anonymously and then publicly. Eventually he even got married. But all was not well.
The first twin whose life ended tragically early was Brian. In 2002, at the age of 36, the brother who was used as a control group in Money’s human experiment took what proved to be a lethal dose of antidepressants. Two years later, David drove to a grocery store parking lot with a sawed-off shotgun and shot himself in the head. Their deaths will go down in history as suicides, but, in my opinion, they were both effectively murdered by John Money, the father of modern gender theory.
I wish that this was all just a bit of tragic and disturbing historical trivia. Unfortunately, though John Money’s experiment was a catastrophic failure, and his theories were dramatically disconfirmed, he still achieved a victory on the cultural battlefield. Today, ideas first proposed by a man who thought child rape could be “loving,” and who performed a years-long sexually abusive experiment on two unwilling children who later went on to kill themselves, are taken as gospel truth and to question them is heresy.
The Reimer twins were the first victims of Money’s quackery, but certainly not the last. In recent years, there has been an explosive rise in gender confusion among children. Kids are given drugs and sometimes physically mutilated, all inspired by a theory that was proven fatally flawed by the guy who came up with it. Money’s modern disciples are just as dishonest as Money was himself, so they push “sex reassignment” while claiming that the science proves the efficacy of these measures. The most extensive and legitimate research done on the subject has found that transgenders still have sky-high suicide rates even decades after their surgeries.
This is no surprise. As David Reimer’s parents discovered, you cannot “reassign” someone’s genetically and biologically hardwired sex. You can dress them in different clothes and conduct irreversible surgeries, but none of that can change their DNA. You can alter a person’s looks. You cannot alter their biological nature.
John Money’s experiment failed. The experiment that our society has been carrying out on our children ever since has also failed. In its infancy, gender theory wrought only confusion, despair, and death. As it grows, the results have not changed. They have only become more widespread. Yet we continue down along this path, pretending not to notice the carnage.
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The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.