As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who Was Raised as a Girl As Nature Made Him discussion


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as nature made him

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message 1: by Paul (new)

Paul Schulman Courageous though he may be, this man has since committed suicide


Amanda I had no idea! I wonder if there is some sort of postscript in new editions of the book that mentions that. The edition that I read ended on a sort of upbeat note-- he was living as a man and was married.... It just makes the tragedy of his situation and the deeply ingrained nature of gender more clear.


Leslie That's really sad! I didn't know either. When I read about him going to the family wedding as a boy instead of a girl, I thought that was one of the bravest things I had ever read about someone doing. How could these so-called experts think what they did was right? And it hurt the whole family, not just the boy!


Amanda I guess it's just a case of someone believing so strongly in their theory-- and so desperate to see their name in academic lights for generations to come-- that they are blind to the actual people they have in front of them. I wonder if Dr. Money was some sort of sociopath-- they always talk about socio/psycopathic killers seeing their victims as objects rather than as actual human beings with feelings. Is it possible that Money's view of his young "patients" was similar? What is he doing now? Is he alive? Does he have to live in hiding?


Leslie That's a good question. And a good point. The doctor didn't treat them like human beings, did he? He was playing God. I feel so sad when I think of the boy in the book killing himself. And it happens to lots of people. Not for the same reasons, but there are many people born with ambigious gender, even with dna testing. And they are almost all raised as one gender or the other and a lot of times it just isn't true. Newsweek did a real interesting cover story about it a few years ago. It really stuck in my mind. If a person doesn't fit comfortably in the "boy box" or the "girl box" that person is going to have a very hard life.


Amanda My dad, who is a psych professor, told me that Money became very well known early in his career for a study where female monkeys were injected with male hormones and then developed markedly male characteristics. If that is the case, it makes his involvement in this case even more incomprehensible. It seems to go completely against his emphasis on "socializing" that poor boy into womanhood.


message 7: by Rebecca (new) - added it

Rebecca Johns Both of the brothers have since passed away. Brian died from an overdose of anti-depressants and David took his own life. Very Tragic.


Karen The whole family seems to have suffered from major depression (small wonder, given what happened to them). And yes, I would agree that Dr. Money seemed to have had sociopathic tendencies--seeing his patients as experiments rather than people. This has to be one of the saddest (though most interesting) books I've ever read. I applaud the family's bravery in sharing their painful story and John Colapinto for doing such a good job researching and writing it. Certainly my views on gender/sexual identity changed after reading this book.

On a side note: the scariest thing about sociopathy to me is that 4% of the population is thought to have antisocial personality disorder. So, one in 25 people you meet is a sociopath. If you're interested in reading more about it, Martha Stout wrote a great book called The Sociopath Next Door


Elaine Very sad to hear of this man's suicide.


message 10: by Deb (new) - rated it 4 stars

Deb CBC did a 60 minutes with the family providing readers with statuses of the family. Very good documentary.


Elaine I will try to find that documentary.


Shannon  Duran wasn't there some information about how the doctor continued to practice for a long time?


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