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Born A Boy, Brought Up A Girl


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17 replies to this topic

#1

katymo

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Posted Dec 6, 2005 @ 12:44 PM

Please tell me someone else saw this special on TLC! It was without a doubt the saddest story I've ever heard. Two twin boys are born and a few months later, a doctor botches the circumcision of one of the boys. A doctor then tells them that they need to raise the boy as a girl, they remove his testicles and begin to raise him as a girl, Brenda. WTF? She then grows up through childhood as basically the "experiment" of a Dr. Money who warns the parents the experiement to raise him as a girl won't work unless she is never told she was born as a boy. Then it becomes obvious that the girl is becoming more masculine, has no friends, and refuses to have surgery on her genetalia as the Dr. recommends and says she'll commit suicide if they take him back to the dr. It was alleged that the Dr. forced Brenda and her brother to take their clothes off to be photographed in sexual ways, which was never documented according to anyone yet. The parents then finally tell the girl and her twin brother that Brenda is really a boy and Brenda decides she wants to be a boy at 13 years old. He becomes David and when he grows he marries a woman with children, becoming an instant father, and a good one and things are good. Then David's brother becomes schizophrenic and they decide to go public about the Dr. Money's behavior, since he is claiming the experiment was a total success. During that time, David's brother is found dead, but it is unknown whether it was suicide or an accident. He can't deal with it and David's wife tells him they need time apart, so he leaves his parents and ends up committing suicide with a shotgun in the end. It is so tragic and the behavior of this so called doctor is evil, to me. It's almost unbelievable, its so out there. That poor family!

#2

formergr

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Posted Dec 6, 2005 @ 1:39 PM

I saw it, and was already familiar with the story-- very sad. It was so wrong of the doctor to re-assign him as a girl, especially since he had an identical twin brother growing up with him-- if everything I've heard about the special bond identical twins share is true, it must have been even more confusing for them both.

I know that at the time it was a common practice for babies born with ambiguous genitalia (something that fortunately is less common today as well) to be re-assigned, but to try it on a fully "normal" baby who just had an accident, it's especially obvious that it was bound for failure.

Interesting how all the kids at school somehow knew something just wasn't right with Brenda and wouldn't be friends with her. As soon as he switched, it appears he began to make friends.

#3

greybear

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Posted Dec 6, 2005 @ 2:39 PM

A little more detail ...
The saddest thing about the whole situation is that no one shot Dr Money in the head.

Edited by greybear, Dec 6, 2005 @ 2:40 PM.


#4

formergr

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Posted Dec 6, 2005 @ 2:45 PM

But they did on a Law & Order: SVU epsiode! It was somewhat of a similar story, but in the end the affected kid did shoot their version of Dr Money.

Edited by formergr, Dec 7, 2005 @ 11:36 AM.


#5

twentysomething

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Posted Dec 6, 2005 @ 4:12 PM

Yes, I watched the TLC program too. I had some vague memory of hearing about this story before, probably on Dateline or 20/20 a few years ago or something. I didn't know David actually killed himself, though, till the end. What a downer. The entire story is so tragically depressing and disturbing. And when I looked online and found out how the orginal accident happened when they were babies, I felt sick. It all just seems so wrong. So wrong.

#6

AnnieGirl

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Posted Dec 6, 2005 @ 8:25 PM

Kill me now (actually, don't ... too many have died already).

I watched this show a long time ago on TLC and remember it ending somewhat positive with David happy with his wife/family. I didn't know he killed himself.

Now that is SAD, SAD, SAD.

#7

liesel

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Posted Dec 7, 2005 @ 5:57 PM

I saw this too...incredibly sad. His poor parents, the guilt they felt was palpable.

#8

bucksterman09

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Posted Dec 8, 2005 @ 12:43 AM

I didn't see the show, but I do have the book written a few years ago. It's called
"As Nature Made Him" and is by John Colapinto. You can find it on Amazon I'm sure. I recommend the read. Sad, sad story.

#9

QAF Rocks

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Posted Dec 9, 2005 @ 5:38 AM

I saw Born a Boy, Brought Up a Girl a few days ago. This story is very powerful, but there was a much, much better documentary that dealt with this particular case. If you can, watch the NOVA episode Sex: Unknown. You can also read the transcript online here.

I didn't see the show, but I do have the book written a few years ago. It's called
"As Nature Made Him" and is by John Colapinto. You can find it on Amazon I'm sure. I recommend the read. Sad, sad story.


I second that recommendation. The book is well worth reading.

Edited by QAF Rocks, Aug 22, 2008 @ 7:25 PM.


#10

Siera

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Posted Aug 5, 2008 @ 10:04 PM

Did anyone just watch this on tlc? What a horrible, tragic story. I remember reading about this in an intro to sociology textbook a few years ago but I had no idea David ended up dying. What a creepy, vile person Dr. Money was.

But they did on a Law & Order: SVU epsiode! It was somewhat of a similar story, but in the end the affected kid did shoot their version of Dr Money.


If anyone would deserve to be shot in the head it would be this guy. What he put those kids through was disgusting.

#11

Sleepwalker12

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Posted Aug 11, 2008 @ 9:25 PM

You can watch Sex: Unknown on Youtube. It is much better than the TLC version.

#12

Messy

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Posted Aug 19, 2008 @ 10:11 AM

If anyone would deserve to be shot in the head it would be this guy. What he put those kids through was disgusting.


Some feminist groups still use his results as proof of their ideology.

#13

Mermaid Under

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Posted Aug 20, 2008 @ 11:04 AM

Some feminist groups still use his results as proof of their ideology.

Which ideology?

#14

smittykins

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Posted Aug 20, 2008 @ 2:46 PM

I'm guessing the belief that gender identity is learned, not biological.

Edited for clarification.

Edited by smittykins, Aug 20, 2008 @ 7:35 PM.


#15

Mod Suit

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Posted Aug 21, 2008 @ 9:13 AM

I'm guessing the belief that gender identity is learned, not biological.


But...doesn't this prove that it's biological?

I'm sorry, but as a feminist I confused as to what they would see.

#16

Cress

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Posted Aug 21, 2008 @ 10:54 AM

This is an article about David's suicide by John Colapinto. David's story is so tragic.

#17

saturnrose

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Posted Oct 5, 2008 @ 10:15 PM

I caught this on TLC tonight. What a terribly sad story. I'm really surprised that Dr. Money didn't get called on the crappy set-up of his research and instead became something of an expert in the field. Didn't someone point out that the results are pretty inconclusive if you stop before puberty? And come on, being "the boss" and getting in fights with other boys does not a boy make, either by nature or nurture.

Also, a trivial nitpick given the subject matter, but why were the kids speaking with British accents?

#18

jackiecarr

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Posted Oct 6, 2008 @ 9:24 AM

I watched last night. Ugh, the doctor was so creepy. I hoped they filmed some of the more disturbing re-enactments with the kids in a different room or something.
I had remembered reading about this story in Rolling Stone quite a few years back, I think it was just before the book came out, and I believe David was still alive at the time. I didn't know that both twins had passed away, it's very sad.
They seemed to rush through the part when Brenda decided to live as a boy and then started making friends at school. Like, was there some announcement that Brenda was now David? They didn't mention changing schools or anything, it just seemed odd.