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Florida international univesity edp 6277

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Nature vs. Nature and Gender Identity
I would like to frame my discussion around a very popular case that started the
conversation surrounding the separation of gender identity and sex. It was run by a psychologist
and sexologist by the name John Money during the 1960’s. This case was called “John/Joan”.
Money’s objective was to prove that gender is something that can be taught (nurture) and is not a
part of one’s core self (nature). His experiment came about after two male twins were born and
one of the twins lost his penis due to a failed circumcision. Money suggested that the twin that
suffered damage to his genitals be reassigned as female and underwent sex reassignment surgery.
He told the parents of the child to raise him as female. The child lived his life fully unaware of
what had been done to him until the age of 15 (Gaetano, 2017).
Dr. Money’s attempt to isolate what he considered to be an issue related to up bringing or
environment brought up serious consequences when he chose to experiment on these twins. My
thoughts are that both nature and nurture are intertwined. Trying to pull them apart can lead to
crossing ethical boundaries such as Money’s experiment did.
I would say that the way a child is nurtured is more impactful than their genetic or
hereditary traits, especially considering that our body’s gene expression can alter based on life
events (Dobbs, 2017; Berk, 2017). Since I am speaking within the context of the "John/Joan"
case, I think that sex is ultimately up to genetics, but the concept of gender is much more fluid
and varies cross culturally.
David Reimer (the twin who underwent sex reassignment) struggled severely from
depression, gender dysphoria and had a generally unstable life. When his parents revealed to him
what he endured as an infant David began living his life as male. He attempted suicide in his

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twenties and ultimately in his late thirties died by suicide (Gaetano, 2017). Had David not been
raised as a girl and was given proper support it is possible, he could have overcome what
happened to him (Dobb, 2017).
As a future counselor I think that I would have to address biases. For example,
throughout this discussion my assumption that the one true reason why David ended his life was
because of what happened to him as a child. However, there are several components that would
have to be looked at, for example, his twin brother suffered from depression and schizophrenia.
Could his depression have been hereditary and only exasperated by his life events? Identical
twins have an identical genetic makeup, thus there is a chance that it was not a coincidence that
both twins suffered from mental illness (Berk, 2017). David’s depression alone could have led to
his death, even if he had lived a relatively “normal” life. The important thing I believe is to
address the person as a whole and not be quick to diagnose or begin treatments based off of an
assumption.

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Nature vs. Nature and Gender Identity I would like to frame my discussion around a very popular case that started the conversation surrounding the separation of gender identity and sex. It was run by a psychologist and sexologist by the name John Money during the 1960’s. This case was called “John/Joan”. Money’s objective was to prove that gender is something that can be taught (nurture) and is not a part of one’s core self (nature). His experiment came about after two male twins were born and one of the twins lost his penis due to a failed circumcision. Money suggested that the twin that suffered damage to his genitals be reassigned as female and underwent sex reassignment surgery. He told the parents of the child to raise him as female. The child lived his life fully unaware of what had been done to him until the age of 15 (Gaetano, 2017). Dr. Money’s attempt to isolate wha ...
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