Sunday, November 1, 2009

As Nature Made Him

As Nature Made him was a very well written and fascinating book that told the traumatic tale of David Reimer, the boy who was raised as a girl. Hearing about David Reimer's life, and his real life experiences was very interesting. I have never read about a case like this before, and getting to see how this terrible condition affected David and his family
was traumatic. I never realized the importance that gender plays in ones life, and seeing how crucial it was to David Reimer shocked me. The pain and terror he encountered, due to a seemingly small change was very surprising. The author, John Colapinto provided the right amount of David's story and the right amount of science, to make this book enjoyable, but educational. My favorite parts of the book were the parts that actually told David's story. His relationship with his family, Dr. John Money, and his peers was heartbreaking. These parts were very interesting because these types of cases are very rare, and being able to go up close and see David's emotions and feelings through all of this was great. Another reason I believe I enjoyed this book is because I am very interested in psychology and sociology. Understanding how the brain works, and the controversial topic of Nature VS. Nurture really appeals to me. As Nature Made him really made me think about to what extent the environment we grow up in affects our personalities. In David's case, this was not at all true. He was dressed as a girl, received toys that only girls would play with, and overall told he was a girl growing up. His environment was not the problem, especially with Dr. John Money constantly convincing him that he was indeed a girl. Despite all of this, David still felt like he had two identities. The girl that he was supposed to be, and the boy that he always knew he was. One portion of the book that I did not enjoy was Dr. Money. David's parents being desperate to save their son, resorted to him, and I believe this was the worst possible thing they could have done. Dr. Money made David even more confused about his sexuality, and tormented both him and his brothers. I completely disagree with Dr. Money’s teachings, and principals, and his blunt and rude way of stating things. He should not be a doctor or psychologist, because they are supposed to be helpful and the effect that he had on the Reimer's life was miserable. This book can be applied to the real world. There are ethical dilemmas associated with this topic. From a religious viewpoint, some people believe that God has created people a certain way for a reason and this should not be messed with. But for the people who have to live with two identities everyday, it is very difficult, and can potentially destroy their lives. There are plenty of people dealing with the same thing as David Reimer (although it may not have to deal with genitalia). Sexually confused people now have a hope with gender reconstruction surgery, and scientists are learning and researching more about the psychological effects that this switch may have with them. These new discoveries and research will allow these people to live happier comfortable lives, in which they are confident with their true identities.

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