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|Born||John William Money
8 July 1921
Morrinsville, New Zealand
|Died||7 July 2006
Towson, Maryland, U.S.
John William Money (8 July 1921 – 7 July 2006) was a psychologist, sexologist and author, specializing in research into sexual identity and biology of gender. He was heavily criticised for abusing his young patients. Money was one of the first scientists to study the psychology of sexual confusion and how the societal constructs of “gender” affect an individual. His work has been both celebrated for its innovation and criticized, particularly in regard to his involvement with the sex-reassignment of David Reimer and his eventual suicide. Money published around 2,000 articles, books, chapters and reviews. His writing has been translated into many languages. Money has received around 65 world-wide honors, awards, and degrees but also heavy criticism.
Born in Morrinsville, New Zealand, to a family of English and Welsh descent, Money initially studied psychology at Victoria University of Wellington, graduating with a double master's degree in psychology and education in 1944. Money was a junior member of the psychology faculty at the University of Otago in Dunedin, but in 1947, at the age of 26, he emigrated to the United States to study at the Psychiatric Institute of the University of Pittsburgh. He left Pittsburgh and earned his PhD from Harvard University in 1952. He was married briefly in the 1950s but had no children.
Money proposed and developed several theories and related terminology, including gender identity, gender role, gender-identity/role, and lovemap. He also changed the word "perversions" to "paraphilias", striving towards less judgemental descriptions, and the word "sexual preference" to "sexual orientation", arguing that our attractions are not necessarily matters of free will. Money was a professor of pediatrics and medical psychology at Johns Hopkins University from 1951 until his death. He also established the Johns Hopkins Gender Identity Clinic in 1965 along with Claude Migeon who was the head of plastic surgery at Johns Hopkins. The hospital began performing sexual reassignment surgery in 1966. At Johns Hopkins, Money was also involved with the Sexual Behaviors Unit, which ran studies on sex-reassignment surgery. He received the Magnus Hirschfeld Medal in 2002 from the German Society for Social-Scientific Sexuality Research.
Money was an early supporter of New Zealand's arts, both literary and visual. He was a noted friend and supporter of author Janet Frame. In 2002, as his Parkinson's disease worsened, Money donated a substantial portion of his art collection to the Eastern Southland Art Gallery in Gore, New Zealand. In 2003, the New Zealand Prime Minister, Helen Clark, opened the John Money wing at the Eastern Southland Gallery.
Sexual identity, gender identity and gender roles
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Money introduced numerous definitions related to gender in journal articles in the 1950s, many of them as a result of his studies of Hermaphroditism.
Money's definition of gender is based on his understanding of sex differences among human beings. According to Money, the fact that one sex produces ova and the other sex produces sperm is the irreducible criterion of sex difference. However, there are other sex-derivative differences that follow in the wake of this primary dichotomy.
These differences involve the way urine is expelled from the human body and other questions of sexual dimorphism. According to Money's theory, sex-adjunctive differences are typified by the smaller size of females and their problems in moving around while nursing infants. This then makes it more likely that the males do the roaming and hunting.
Sex-arbitrary differences are those that are purely conventional: for example, color selection (baby blue for boys, pink for girls). Some of the latter differences apply to life activities, such as career opportunities for men versus women.
Finally, Money created the now-common term gender role which he differentiated from the concept of the more traditional terminology sex role. This grew out of his studies of hermaphrodites. According to Money, the genitalia and erotic sexual roles were now, by his definition, to be included under the more general term "gender role" including all the non-genital and non-erotic activities that are defined by the conventions of society to apply to males or to females.
In his studies of hermaphrodites, Money found that there are six variables that define sex. While among the average person all six would line up unequivocally as either all "male" or "female", in hermaphrodites any one or more than one of these could be inconsistent with the others, leading to various kinds of anomalies. In his seminal 1955 paper he defined these factors as:
- assigned sex and sex of rearing
- external genital morphology
- internal reproductive structures
- hormonal and secondary sex characteristics
- gonadal sex
- chromosomal sex
"Patients showing various combinations and permutations of these six sexual variables may be appraised with respect to a seventh variable:
7. Gender role and orientation as male or female, established while growing up."
He then defined gender role as
"all those things that a person says or does to disclose himself or herself as having the status of boy or man, girl or woman, respectively. It includes, but is not restricted to sexuality in the sense of eroticism. Gender role is appraised in relation to the following: general mannerisms, deportment and demeanor; play preferences and recreational interests; spontaneous topics of talk in unprompted conversation and casual comment; content of dreams, daydreams and fantasies; replies to oblique inquiries and projective tests; evidence of erotic practices, and, finally, the person's own replies to direct inquiry."
Money made the concept of gender a broader, more inclusive concept than one of masculine/feminine. For him, gender included not only one's status as a man or a woman, but was also a matter of personal recognition, social assignment, or legal determination; not only on the basis of one's genitalia but also on the basis of somatic and behavioral criteria that go beyond genital differences.
In 1972, Money presented his theories in Man & Woman, Boy & Girl, a college-level, mainstream textbook. The book featured David Reimer (see below) as an example of gender reassignment.
Gay, Straight and In-Between: The Sexology of Erotic Orientation
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In this book (Oxford 1988: 116), Money develops a conception of 'bodymind,' as a way for scientists, in developing a science about sexuality, to move on from the platitudes of dichotomy between nature versus nurture, innate versus the acquired, biological versus the social, and psychological versus the physiological. He suggests that all of these capitalize on the ancient, pre-Platonic, pre-biblical conception of body versus the mind, and the physical versus the spiritual. In coining the term "bodymind", in this sense, Money wishes to move beyond these very ingrained principles of our folk or vernacular psychology.
Money also develops here (Oxford 1988: 114–119) a view of "Concepts of Determinism," which, transcultural, transhistorical, and universal, all people have in common, sexologically or otherwise. These include pairbondage, troopbondage, abidance, ycleptance, foredoomance, with these coping strategies: adhibition (engagement), inhibition, explication.
Money suggests that the concept of threshold (Oxford 1988: 115) – the release or inhibition of sexual (or other) behavior – is most useful for sex research as a substitute for any concept of motivation. Moreover, it confers the distinct advantage of having continuity and unity to what would otherwise be a highly disparate and varied field of research. It also allows for the classification of sexual behavior. For Money, the concept of threshold has great value because of the wide spectrum to which it applies. "It allows one to think developmentally or longitudinally, in terms of stages or experiences that are programmed serially, or hierarchically, or cybernetically (i.e. regulated by mutual feedback)." (Oxford 1988: 116)
Sex reassignment of David Reimer
During his professional life, Money was respected as an expert on sexual behavior, especially for allegedly demonstrating that gender was learned rather than innate. Many years later, however, it was revealed that his most famous case was fundamentally flawed. The subject was the sex reassignment of David Reimer (Born as Bruce Reimer), in what later became known as the "John/Joan" case.
In 1966, a botched circumcision left eight-month-old David Reimer without a penis. Money persuaded the baby's parents that sex reassignment surgery would be in Reimer's best interest. At the age of 22 months, Bruce underwent an orchidectomy, in which his testicles were surgically removed. He was reassigned to be raised as female and given the name Brenda. Money further recommended hormone treatment to which the parents agreed, Money then recommended a surgical procedure to create an artificial vagina, which the parents refused. Money published a number of papers reporting the reassignment as successful.
David's case came to international attention in 1997 when he told his story to Milton Diamond, an academic sexologist who persuaded Reimer to allow him to report the outcome in order to dissuade physicians from treating other infants similarly. Soon after, Reimer went public with his story, and John Colapinto published a widely disseminated and influential account in Rolling Stone magazine in December 1997.
In 2000, David and his twin brother (Brian) alleged that Money forced the twins to rehearse sexual acts involving "thrusting movements", with David playing the bottom role. He said as a child, Money forced him go "down on all fours" with his brother, Brian Reimer, "up behind his butt" with "his crotch against" his "buttocks," and that Money forced David to have his "legs spread" with Brian on top. Money also forced the children to take their "clothes off" and engage in "genital inspections". On at "least one occasion", Money reportedly took photographs of the two children doing these activities. Money's rationale for these various treatments was his belief that "childhood 'sexual rehearsal play'" was important for a "healthy adult gender identity".
Reimer had experienced the visits to Baltimore as traumatic, and when Money started pressuring the family to bring him in for surgery during which a vagina would be constructed, the family discontinued the follow-up visits. From 22 months into his teenaged years, Reimer urinated through a hole that surgeons had placed in the abdomen. Estrogen was given during adolescence to induce breast development. Having no contact with the family once the visits were discontinued, John Money published nothing further about the case.
For several years, Money reported on Reimer's progress as the "John/Joan case", describing apparently successful female gender development and using this case to support the feasibility of sex reassignment and surgical reconstruction even in non-intersex cases. Money wrote, "The child's behavior is so clearly that of an active little girl and so different from the boyish ways of her twin brother." Notes by a former student at Money's lab state that, during the follow-up visits, which occurred only once a year, Reimer's parents routinely lied to lab staff about the success of the procedure. The twin brother, Brian, later developed schizophrenia.
On July 1, 2002, Brian was found dead from an overdose of antidepressants. On May 5, 2004, after suffering years of severe depression, financial instability, and marital troubles, David committed suicide by shooting himself in the head with a sawed-off shotgun at the age of 38. Reimer's parents have stated that Money's methodology was responsible for the deaths of both of their sons.
Money claimed that media response to the exposé was due to right-wing media bias and "the antifeminist movement." He claimed his detractors believed "masculinity and femininity are built into the genes so women should get back to the mattress and the kitchen." However, intersex activists also criticized Money, stating that the unreported failure had led to the surgical reassignment of thousands of infants as a matter of policy. Privately, Money was mortified by the case, colleagues said, and as a rule did not discuss it. Money's own views also developed and changed over the years.
John Money was critical in debates on chronophilias, especially pedophilia. He stated that both sexual researchers and the public do not make distinctions between affectional pedophilia and sadistic pedophilia. Money asserted that affectional pedophilia was about love and not sex.
If I were to see the case of a boy aged ten or eleven who's intensely erotically attracted toward a man in his twenties or thirties, if the relationship is totally mutual, and the bonding is genuinely totally mutual ... then I would not call it pathological in any way.
Money held the view that affectional pedophilia is caused by a surplus of parental love that became erotic, and is not a behavioral disorder. Rather, he took the position that heterosexuality is another example of a societal and therefore superficial, ideological concept.
- Money, John. (1952). Hermaphroditism: An Inquiry into the Nature of a Human Paradox. Thesis (Ph.D.), Harvard University.
- Money, John, and Patricia Tucker. (1975). Sexual Signatures on Being a Man or a Woman. Little Brown & Co: ISBN 0-316-57825-8
- Money, John. (1986). Lovemaps: Clinical Concepts of Sexual/Erotic Health and Pathology, Paraphilia, and Gender Transposition in Childhood, Adolescence, and Maturity. New York: Irvington. ISBN 0-8264-0852-4
- Money, John. (1988) Gay, Straight, and In-Between: The Sexology of Erotic Orientation. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-505407-5
- Money, John. (1989). Vandalized Lovemaps: Paraphilic Outcome of 7 Cases in Pediatric Sexology. Prometheus Books: ISBN 0-87975-513-X
- Money, John. (1994). Sex Errors of the Body and Related Syndromes: A Guide to Counseling Children, Adolescents, and Their Families , 2nd ed. Baltimore: P.H. Brooks Publishing Company. ISBN 1-55766-150-2
- Money, John. (1995). Gendermaps: Social Constructionism, Feminism, and Sexosophical History. New York: Continuum. ISBN 0-8264-0852-4
- Money, John, and Anke Ehrhardt. (1996). Man & Woman, Boy & Girl: Gender Identity from Conception to Maturity. Northvale, N.J.: Jason Aronson. Originally published:
- Money, John. (1999). The Lovemap Guidebook: A Definitive Statement. Continuum. ISBN 0-8264-1203-3
- Diamond M, Sigmundson HK (1997). Sex reassignment at birth. Long-term review and clinical implications. Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine. 1997 Mar; 151(3):298–304. PMID 9080940. Full text
- Ehrhardt, Anke A. (August 2007). "John Money, Ph.D.". The Journal of Sex Research 44 (3): 223–224. doi:10.1080/00224490701580741. Retrieved 24 February 2015.
- (10 July 2006) Kiwi sexologist dies in US hospital, New Zealand Herald
- "John Money, PhD". Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality. Retrieved 15 April 2008.
- Diamond, Milton. (2004). "Sex, gender, and identity over the years: a changing perspective", Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America. 13: 591–607. PMID 15183375 Full text
- Bullough, Vern. "The Contributions of John Money: A Personal View". Jstor. Taylor and Francis, Ltd. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
- Brewington, Kelly (9 July 2006). Dr. John Money 1921–2006: Hopkins pioneer in gender identity. Baltimore Sun
- Highleyman, Liz (3 August 2006). "Sex researcher John Money dies". The Bay Area Reporter. Retrieved 1 March 2009.
- Fitzgerald, John Warner (9 July 2006). "Obituaries in the News". Associated Press via Fox News. Retrieved 1 March 2009.
- Money, John; Hampson, Joan G; Hampson, John (October 1955). "An Examination of Some Basic Sexual Concepts: The Evidence of Human Hermaphroditism". Bull. Johns Hopkins Hosp. (Johns Hopkins University) 97 (4): 301–19.
- Dr. Money And The Boy With No Penis Retrieved 24 December 2010.
- Diamond, Milton; Sigmundson, HK (March 1997). "Sex reassignment at birth. Long-term review and clinical implications.". Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 151 (3): 298–304. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1997.02170400084015. PMID 9080940. Retrieved 15 May 2013.
- Colapinto, John (December 11, 1997). "The True Story of John/Joan". Rolling Stone: 54–97. Archived from the original on 2000-08-15. Retrieved 2014-09-27.
- Colapinto, J (2001). As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who Was Raised as a Girl. Harper Perennial. ISBN 0-06-092959-6. Revised in 2006
- "Dr Money and the Boy with No Penis". BBC. Horizon. BBC. 2005. Retrieved 2014-09-27.
- "David Reimer, 38, Subject of the John/Joan Case". nytimes.com (New York Times). May 12, 2004. Retrieved 2014-09-27.
- "Born a Boy, Raised as a Girl" Documentary, The Learning Channel
- Walker, Jesse (24 May 2004). The Death of David Reimer: A tale of sex, science, and abuse. Reason
- Who was David Reimer (also, sadly, known as "John/Joan")? via Intersex Society of North America. Retrieved 10 July 2006.
- Carey, Benedict (11 July 2006). John William Money, 84, Sexual Identity Researcher, Dies, New York Times
- Wisniewski AB, Migeon CJ, Gearhart JP, Rock JA, Berkovitz GD, Plotnick LP, Meyer-Bahlburg HF, Money J. Congenital micropenis: long-term medical, surgical and psychosexual follow-up of individuals raised male or female. Hormone Research 2001;56(1–2):3–11. PMID 11815721 Press release
- Interview: John Money. PAIDIKA: The Journal of Paedophilia, Spring 1991, vol. 2, no. 3, p. 5.
- Cited online in John Colapinto,'The True Story of John / Joan', Rolling Stone December 1997: 54–97.
- Ehrhardt, Anke A. 'John Money, Ph.D.' Journal of Sex Research 44.3 (2007): 223-224.
- Downing, Lisa; Morland, Iain; Sullivan, Nikki (November 26, 2014). Fuckology: Critical Essays on John Money's Diagnostic Concepts. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
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