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FuckologyCritical Essays on John Money's Diagnostic Concepts$
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Lisa Downing, Iain Morland, and Nikki Sullivan

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780226186580

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226186757.001.0001

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Gender, Genitals, and the Meaning of Being Human

Gender, Genitals, and the Meaning of Being Human

(p.69) Chapter 3 Gender, Genitals, and the Meaning of Being Human

Iain Morland

University of Chicago Press

Authored by Iain Morland, this chapter explains John Money’s unique impact on the medical treatment of intersex by situating his work in relation to twentieth-century discourses of humanism. Arguing that Money invoked humanism in his signature claims that gender and genitals are malleable in infancy, the chapter shows how Money borrowed authority from contemporary scientific theories of human adaptability. His purported humanism had the mutually reinforcing effects of facilitating the uptake of Money’s ideas about intersex, while also instituting gender as a core human quality, flexible by definition. The chapter details the confluence in Money’s work of humanist discourses from across the century: psychologist Alfred Adler’s inferiority theory; the popularization of cosmetic surgery after World War I; the post-World War II scientific rejection of race; the medical recognition and treatment of transsexuality; and changing sexual norms during the 1960s. It explores how these discourses converged in Money’s test case for intersex treatment—the story of David Reimer.

Keywords:   Alfred Adler, David Reimer, humanism, intersex, John Money, Milton Diamond, psychology, race

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