Dr. John Money’s Genderless World and the Twin Boys Who Died to Kill His Theory of Gender Neutrality
If a set of twin boys had killed themselves less than two years apart because they had been forced to live in a Christian home without pornography, alcohol and rock music, it might have made international news. If they had been forbidden to choose Islam as their faith by strict Christian parents, doubly so. But Bruce and Brian Reimer were killed in a crusade to prove gender is an abstract construct of social expectation. Which is why you’ve never heard of them. Until now.
And since the reasons for their miserable life and tragic deaths were tied inextricably to the advancement of a socially avant garde and stylishly humanist medical theory, accounts of their passing went largely unreported. Given the momentary prescience of the issues at play and their ideological importance in the worldview of the modern liberal social plan, it’s a wonder their story hasn’t been scrubbed entirely from the ministry of information. And indeed, it hasn’t. At least, not yet.
In May of 2004, David Reimer of Manitoba, Canada drove his pickup into the parking lot of a Winnipeg grocery store. After sitting parked for several minutes, he placed the barrel of a sawed off 12-gauge shotgun against his head and pulled the trigger. He was 38 years old.
Two years earlier, David’s twin brother Brian had committed suicide by an overdose of sleeping pills at the age of 36.
Those with knowledge of the heartbreaking shipwreck of their lives would tell you that one man and one man alone is to blame. Famed psychologist, Dr. John Money.
Born in 1965 in the part of Canada that is most like the Great Plains of the United States, David and Brian Reimer seemed the picture of health. Strong and strapping and full of life, they were the only children of a working class couple in Winnipeg. At age of seven months and plagued by frequent urinary tract infections in their early months, doctors told the young couple that circumcision was the needed remedy for the boys’ difficulties with urination and bacterial contamination.
New technology at the time prescribed electric cathode cauterization as the method of removing the penile foreskin in what was expected to be a routine procedure. But a misapplication of voltage caused a malfunction resulting in the complete destruction of the penis of one of the little boys. David, (then called Bruce) had his penis burned off entirely in the horrific event.
Into the midst of this clear case of medical negligence strode an arrogant and brilliantly educated pediatric psychiatrist, Dr. John Money. Having already published extensively on issues of gender fluidity and childhood development, Dr. Money set about the first real world implementation of his then controversial and untested theories regarding human gender identity. Dr. Money was beyond eager to prove the central precept of his professional life: That gender is a biological fallacy and that social cues and the social expectancies of gender roles are the true determinant of sexual presentation and behavior in humans. David and Brian Reimer were to be the crowning test case of his beautiful theory. Nature versus nurture, in real time. Dr. Money prescribed full castration for young David and strict denial that the boy had ever been a boy at all.
The results would be catastrophic.
For 13 years, per Dr. Money’s instruction, the Reimer parents raised David Reimer as a little girl they called Brenda. Instead of toy trucks and airplanes like brother Brian, Brenda was surrounded with doll babies and toy kitchen sets and was given the fanciest dresses to wear. Her dutiful mother doted on the “girl,” giving painstaking attention to her hair and makeup and making sure Brenda was always impeccably clean and properly, beautifully attired.
And none of it worked.
At age 13, after years of psychoanalysis (and it would later be learned, repeated sessions of nude modeling and sexualized roleplaying and simulated sex with brother Brian) in weekly counseling sessions with Dr. Money, Brenda announced that “she” would kill herself if she ever had to see Money again. She announced to her parents that “she” wanted to live as a boy. That “she” had always been a boy. And that was that.
For a time, Brenda, who chose the name David, entered the happiest period in an otherwise desperately unhappy life. He began hormone therapy to compensate for his missing testes and related more easily to school aged peers than ever before. Surgery was eventually performed to give David what had been taken from him so long before: a functioning penis. And litigated financial settlement with the hospital responsible for the circumcision catastrophe set David comfortably on a seemingly stable path to early adulthood. He fell in love and married.
But it wasn’t to last.
Upon learning that his “sister” Brenda had actually been his brother, David’s twin brother Brian suffered a psychological break and lingering depression from which he would never recover. Feeling lied to by his parents and unsure of what the revelations meant for his place in the family and the world, (and it would later be learned, traumatized by the knowledge that those repeated, forced sex play sessions in Dr. Money’s office had actually been same sex encounters with his brother, rather than his sister) Brian Reimer took an intentional overdose of sedatives in 2002, ending his own life.
Brian’s death and simultaneous problems in his own marriage and family pushed David Reimer to a final breaking point. He confided to his closest friend that his surgically produced penis had been a failure and that despite his wife’s best reassurances and deep love for him, feelings of sexual inadequacy made him feel like a failure as a husband and as a man.
He shot himself on May 4, 2004, in what his parents contend was a final desperate effort to repudiate the work of the man who had irrevocably altered his life and destroyed their family and yet was still pretending as if the Reimer case was his testimony to greatness.
In the years both preceding and after their sons’ deaths, the Reimer family pushed publicly and forcefully to have published medical descriptions of the boys’ ordeal altered to accurately reflect the absolute failure of Dr. Money’s theory of gender fluidity and “Brenda’s” utter rejection of her assigned role that was contrary to her chromosomal and hormonal reality. Dr. Money refused and resisted. His theories had already transformed the world of child psychology and gender studies, winning him worldwide acclaim as the preeminent pediatric and gender psychologist in the world and launching a generational shift in perceptions about the true nature of human identity, based nearly entirely on his presentation of Brian and “Brenda” Reimer as a flawlessly successful implementation of the Money Theory on Gender Identity. His 1972 bestselling book, “Man & Woman, Boy & Girl,” was an international sensation, circulated by housewives and college professors alike as the seminal moment in modern gender discovery and the study of human personality. His work had already shifted the world. He was an academic superstar of the human psychological and evolutionary fields.
And every bit of it based on a lie.
Money’s theories and the resulting legacy pyramid of psychological and social thought regarding gender are today a deeply entrenched and immovable facet of modern academic and social life. Money’s work and the Reimer case study form the bedrock of every shred of what is now being proffered to the world’s children as the still stylish reality of an ever fluctuating, multiple gender madness which insists that human gender is nothing more than self delusion based solely on societal expectations and mores and the sociopolitical pressures of modern culture. The very lie that killed David and Brian Reimer and is wreaking psychological devastation, disillusionment and human carnage on human society around the world.
And all of this, despite the fact that the only pragmatic, real world case study ever attempted in proving his ridiculous theory of gender fluidity resulted in unspeakable human misery and ultimately, the intergenerational destruction of a family that was told his ideas offered their best possible hope for happiness.
WATCH: The BBC documentary Dr. Money and the Boy With No Penis, chronicling the life and death of the Reimer twins.