Currently, there are 351 recognized Gender & Sexuality Studies Bachelor’s Degree programs in the United States. You can also obtain a Master’s Degree from 75 programs in the same area. A rudimentary internet search reveals a plethora of articles analyzing the alleged distinction between sex and gender while simultaneously advocating for the concept of sexual fluidity. The only problem with this, however, is that modern gender theory is built upon a lie— the fiction that biological sex is as malleable as Play-Doh.
The field of gender theory is a relatively new idea to academia, philosophy, and mainstream society alike. The Second Sex (1949) is an existentialist philosophical production of French philosopher Simone de Beauvoir, in which she offers one of the earliest-known articulations of the sex-gender distinction, writing, “One is not born but becomes a woman.”
It is here where college educators generally choose to end the lesson; the mere philosophical distinction, an idea discussed in the abstract, as opposed to the true history of scientific inquiry that followed. For over two decades, no attempts to empirically test this hypothesis existed. That changed, however, with Dr. John Money, a psychologist at Johns Hopkins University.
In 1972, John Money co-authored a college textbook with Anke Ehrhardt titled Man & Women, Boy & Girl, in which they incorporated many of de Beauvoir’s ideas into academia in the first attempt to merge the philosophy and science of gender theory. In the text, patient David Reimer was used as an example of successful gender reassignment. It is here where we begin to uncover the dark history behind the desperate search to empirically validate gender theory.
Bruce Reimer was born an identical, non-intersex Canadian twin boy in 1965. At 8 months, Bruce and his brother Brian both had minor medical problems, leading to the medical decision to circumcise both boys. Bruce’s circumcision was botched as a result of an inappropriate procedure, leaving him with non-functioning genitalia. Dr. John Money recommended that Bruce be “sex reassigned” to become a female— his parents agreed.
The goal was to turn Bruce into a girl via surgical, hormonal, and psychological treatments using Money’s system. This was his opportunity to finally prove that gender theory was a legitimate and noble cause. After all, what better way to provide the perfect snapshot of gender fluidity than successfully transitioning one identical twin raised in the same household by the same parents?
Following the sex reassignment operation, Bruce took the name of Brenda. According to reports, as a young child, Brenda acted like a girl. However, around the age of 7, Brenda began to act more masculine (keep in mind that, by the time Brenda began to act and appear more masculine, Money had already published his results, which served as the underlying principles that are still used in gender theory research and sexual fluidity argumentation today).
In an attempt to prevent Brenda’s masculinity from developing, Money tried to force Brenda to realize her female nature, in ways that were reported to have been pedophilic towards both Brenda and Brian. For example, both boys alleged that Money had taken numerous naked photographs of the twins during their treatment and forced them to engage in ‘sexual play’ as early as age 7.
Around the age of 13, Brenda continued to look and act more masculine. Around this time, Brenda began to reject femininity altogether while also experiencing severe depression caused by the traumatic and unethical practices of Money. It wasn’t until age 14 that Brenda’s parents told her the truth of her sex at birth.
This is one of the most important conclusions of the case: Brenda began to look and act more masculine years before she was told that she was born a biological male.
In her teen years, Brenda stopped taking hormonal treatment and changed her name to David while also undergoing another sex reassignment. The physical, emotional, and psychological damage from Money’s experiment never escaped either of the boys, however. At the ages of 36 and 38, Brian and David each took their lives.
In the aftermath, Money’s published findings were used by psychologists, sociologists, and philosophers for decades before their legitimacy was ever challenged. Suzanne Kesler, a renowned psychologist, originally offered support for Money’s findings in her writings on the social constructionist theory of gender identity, before eventually disavowing these results in an ardent critique of Money’s work found in Lessons from the Intersexed (1998).
In 1981, psychologist Sandra Bem introduced gender theory schema as an attempt to offer explanations for sex-typing and gender stereotypes. Drawing upon the work of Money, Bem argued that, if children were raised in an androgynous environment, they’d have a significant likelihood of developing cross-sex-typed, androgynous, or undifferentiated in addition with traditional sex-typed development.
Contrary to Bem’s theory, a meta-analysis reviewing 16 studies of data collected from approximately 1600 children found large effect size differences in the development of children in relation to their biological sex, even in the absence of sex-typing and gender stereotypes. Put simply, even when raised androgynously, boys and girls are far more likely to develop as their biological sex than they are to develop as any of the other three possibilities outlined by Bem, a finding in direct contradiction with the foundational premise of gender theory.
The influence of Money’s initial (and, more importantly, incorrect) findings have been falsely perpetuated as successful empirical evidence of the distinction between sex and gender. The truth and the reality, however, is that they do the exact opposite. Money prematurely published his findings to validate his personal agenda— an agenda fulfilled through deception, borderline-torturous methodology, and a blatant disregard for scientific truth.
John Colapinto, a Canadian journalist, discussed Money’s work in his book As Nature Made Him (2000), in which he wrote, “[Money’s work has] already been used as one of the main foundations of modern feminism.” This is apparent in Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble (1990), in which she perpetuates Money’s false findings, arguing that gender is fluid rather than fixed.
This idea, hypothesized by Simone de Beauvoir, tested by John Money, and perpetuated by Judith Butler and other social scientists, serves as the basis of the modern notions that there are an infinite number of genders, that biological sex and gender are entirely disconnected, and that gender exists on an eternally-expanding continuum as opposed to a conventional binary— all ideas that the true results of the work behind the dark history of gender theory directly contradict.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.