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Currently reading

The Last Precinct (Kay Scarpetta, #11)
Patricia Cornwell
Progress: 295/422 pages
Kristine Smith
Progress: 130/400 pages
As Nature Made Him : The Boy Who Was Raised as a Girl - John Colapinto Having a passing familiarity with this case, it is horrible to read David's monologue of contentment with his life as it was at the time of publication (2000) knowing that he killed himself just a few years later.

Though Colapinto tries to hold onto the idea that this book is unbiased, it is very clear to me that Dr. John Money was the bad guy in this story. It is, after all, David's story and Money was the specter of all the terrible things that shaped his childhood. The descriptions of David's visits are frankly sickening to read. He and his twin brother endure very explicit questions about their bodies, their awareness of other people's sexual behaviors and forced (at least once) to simulate copulation with one another.

Money did a lot of good as a sexual scientist to bring awareness to the general public about several fetishes being normal, but his attitude towards child sexual "exploration" is strange and neurotic. His belief that sexual rehearsal play was something that allowed all children to grow up "entirely free of any psychosexual gender confusions or dysfunction" is without foundation - he bases it on a two week study of the Yolgnu, an aboriginal tribe in Northern Australia. This is refuted heavily by a colleague who has studied this particular tribe for several decades, having never seen any sexual rehearsal play and treated many of them for sexual neuroses (in whatever forms they may have been).

One of the worst things to read over and over was that so many other professionals involved in the family's therapy and care kept trying to convince David of things he knew not to be true; mainly that he needed vaginoplasty to be complete. The only thing this professional conviction was based on was Dr. Money's say-so. The evidence of the case's failure was in front of them in the surly "tomboy" who defied all their attempts to "help".