Re: Colapinto/Dr Money

From: Damien Broderick (
Date: Wed Jun 07 2000 - 19:53:42 MDT

At 06:34 PM 7/06/00 -0700, Lorree wrote:

>The John/Joan case catapulted Dr. Money to fame... and it was bad science
>from the start. He started with a preconceived idea and altered his
>experimental data to support it.

Actually, one of the truly astonishing aspects of Colapinto's book is that
it revealed, apparently for the first time in this long debate, that
Money's own unpublished PhD thesis provided survey evidence that
non-`corrected' individuals *didn't* suffer unduly during maturation, and
certainly didn't go mad. This was only a few years before he changed his
tune. So his basic preconceptions were the *other way around*. Really weird.

His cover-up of David's key case is shocking and disgraceful, of course. I
find it piquant that this sort of thing happens on all sides of such
questions. Last time round, it was Cyril Burt concocting IQ to prove the
superior impact of heritability over nurture. La la.

Colapinto's book demonizes Money to an extraordinary extent, not allowing
him the benefit of a good conscience (however misguided, and admittedly
that PhD makes it hard to be generous). He is subtly and repeatedly held up
to ridicule and revulsion for his uncensored speech (he said `fuck' and
`shit' even in front of children... oh no), his own bisexual activities,
the way he showed his child patients `pornography', that is, pictures of
naked adults and children, some of them fucking. There's a strong
implication, as I read it, that we're meant to suspect him of paedophilia
as well as his other crimes. This is very strange stuff from a reporter who
published his original story on the case in... Rolling Stone (not Reader's

>You could have something in your theory about castrati... but I haven't
>even been curious about those individuals.

I mentioned them only as a kind of comparison test case. But an interesting
one, I think.

Do you assume that your own brain was feminized in utero, even though your
body (evidently) wasn't?

Do you think that those people who choose to switch later in life (several
of my gfs and old pals are now elective lesbians, after years of
heterosexuality) must always have been pre-wired to make the move? This
seems to me perhaps as dangerous a preconception as the purely socially
constructed variety. I *do* think we, or some of us, have the ability to
expand or specialise our sexual desires, up to a point. (I personally can't
find it imaginable to feel gay desire, which narrows my chances dismally.
But marooned on Mars with the other guys in an all-male crew, maybe I'd
eventually get more sentimental about my buds...)

>Did I cover/respond to the points you were interested in Damien?

Thanks for the comments, Lorree.


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