Re: BODYMOD: journal citation

Damien Broderick (
Wed, 29 Jul 1998 11:41:51 +0000

At 08:14 AM 7/28/98 -0700, Kathryn wrote:

>It is worth noting that the research by Money extensively cited at the
>beginning of the article involved the first known instance of male
>reassignment to female after a circumcision accident, and much of the
>medical literature written on this person claiming success has since
>been negated by the patient's own decision to return to male status.

The definition of `success' is somewhat labile here. Consider the outcome:

During childhood, the patient recalled that she self-identified as a "tomboy" and enjoyed stereotypically masculine toys and games; however, the
patient also recalled that her favorite playmates were usually girls and that her best friend was always
a girl.

When seen at age 16, the patient had been admitted to the hospital for vaginoplasty. At that time,
she wished to proceed with the further repair of her genitalia to make them suitable for sexual
intercourse with males. At age 26, the patient returned to the hospital for further vaginoplasty.

Regarding the patient's sexual orientation, she was attracted predominantly to women in fantasy, but
had had sexual experiences with both women and men. At the time of the second surgery, she was in
a relationship with a man and wished to be able to have intercourse. The patient's self-described
sexual identity was "bisexual." After surgery at age 26 years, the patient developed a rectovaginal
fistula. Within a few months of the surgery, the patient and her male partner separated for reasons
other than the patient's physical problems. The patient subsequently began living with a new partner,
a woman, in a lesbian relationship.

Obviously, a person in a female-looking body who chooses to be a lesbian has arrived at a satisfactory accommodation to gender reassignment. But given the basic issue at stake here, I'd have thought that persistent primary sexual attraction to women is the key finding. It looks to me as if uterine Y-chromonsome governance of brain differentiation has indeed marked this person as `male', for the broad purposes of the discussion.

Thanks for an incredibly interesting reference, Kathryn.

Damien Broderick