A Medical Experiment

    Dr. John Money, an American psychiatrist, conducted an interesting experiment in the 1960s around the nature vs. nurture debate, through which he sought to prove that nurture is everything in the makeup of male and female. As an ardent supporter of gender ideology, he wanted to eliminate natural differences, and determine the sexed condition of man and woman through culture.

    For his experiment he took as a sample two male identical twin babies called Bruce and Brian Reimer in 1965, with the consent of their parents, who were required to keep the study secret. He submitted Bruce to plastic surgery to give him a female appearance and instructed the parents to treat and bring him up in every aspect as if he were a girl. Bruce came to be called Brenda. From a theoretical standpoint, the experiment was perfect: it started out from two siblings with identical genetic heredity and a different upbringing. Brian would end up being a boy and Bruce or Brenda a girl. The masculinity or femininity condition would be determined by culture and nurture rather than by biology.

    Gender ideology claims that being male or female does not depend on the different biology we are endowed with, such as genitalia, but on the nurture received from family and school. French writer Simone de Beauvoir and philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, the main representative of existentialism, defended that a human being has freedom rather than nature, and everyone can do whatever they wish with their body. At the same time, Dr. Money used to call himself a sex missionary and supported open marriages and bisexual group sex.

    But the experiment did not follow the paths expected by the doctor and eventually failed. According to Janet, the identical twins’ mother, before turning two years old Brenda violently rebelled when she tried to make her wear a girl dress. Janet said, “She tried to pull it off herself, tear it off. I remember thinking, my God, she is aware she is a boy and does not want to be dressed as a girl.”

    When Brenda went to school she was attracted to girls and was accused of “lesbian tendencies,” despite the hormones she was forced to take. In spite of such evidence, Dr. Money was promoting the experiment as a resounding success in newspapers. Meanwhile, the twins were being forced by Dr. Money to undergo psychiatric treatment, where they were urged to take off their clothes and watch sexual images that eventually degenerated and seriously traumatized both of them. Along with this therapy they were being treated with estrogens.

    At the age of fifteen Brenda tried to commit suicide, shattered by the endless psychiatric sessions and by medication. Her parents told her the truth about the experiment and she decided to become a boy again, called David, undergoing further plastic surgery.

    In 2002 his brother Brian, suffering from schizophrenia, killed himself and in 2004 David (formerly Bruce and Brenda) committed suicide. He had said, “I would give anything so that a hypnotist might erase all the memories of my past. It is a torture I cannot bear. What they did to my body is not so serious as the effects this had on my mind.”

    And this was the end of the medical experiment that sought to show the feasibility of gender ideology—the most radical step of radical feminism.

   Arturo Ramo

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