Category:Film about David Reimer

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David Reimer is the story where the timeline of circumcision and intersex intersect. David (born Bruce Reimer, 1965) was not intersex, but his treatment by the medical community, particularly the experiment that John Money and the Johns Hopkins University ran on him and his brother, reinforced the then standard medical treatment of sexually reassigning babies born with intersex conditions, resulting in possibly thousands of intersex children being sexually mutilated and reassigned by the medical community.

Bruce was one of two typical twin male babies. Only a few months old, both babies were scheduled to be circumcised over a (most likely phony) diagnosis of phimosis. Bruce's penis was burned in the procedure, and his brother Brian was not circumcised. Brian's supposed phimosis cleared on its own in a few months. Psychologist John Money recommended raising Bruce as a girl and never telling her the truth. Money had his own agenda; he had the theory that gender was learned by nurture, and this was the ideology that sustained the reassignment of intersex babies, but there were no solid studies proving this theory. The Reimer brothers were a perfect case study for Money: one baby to be reassigned and a twin unharmed brother to act as a control. If both babies could be raised on their different genders and grow to be balanced and happy members of society, the theory would be validated. Money often reported this case, calling it the John/Joan case for privacy.

So Bruce was then renamed Brenda, and surgery was performed to remove her testes. The two siblings were scheduled for yearly visits to assess their evolution. Brenda was always tomboyish and not well adjusted. She was treated with hormones to help feminize her body. As she approached puberty, Money pressed her to have another surgery, a vaginoplasty, to complete her transition.

Tired of the yearly visits and the alleged abuse that took place during those visits, Brenda threatened to kill herself if she was forced to see Money again. At that point her parents had to tell her the truth. Brenda then resumed a male identity, taking the name David.

David underwent a double mastectomy to remove the breasts that had grown as consequence of the hormonal treatment. He also had two phalloplasties to reconstruct his penis.

Later on, David and his brother learned that John Money had never disclosed the failure of the experiment, saying only that the case had been lost to follow up. David then came public, during the late 90s and early 2000s, including an appearance in Oprah Winfrey's show, a Rolling Stone magazine article, and the book "As nature made him" by John Colapinto

David married a young woman mother of 3 children, who he took as his family. In 2003, his brother Brian died of an overdose of antidepressants. The following year, David committed suicide.