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John Money

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John Money

John William Money (8 July 1921 – 7 July 2006) was a New Zealand psychologist, sexologist and author known for his research into sexual identity and biology of gender. He was one of the first researchers to publish theories on the influence of societal constructs of gender on individual formation of gender identity. Money introduced the terms "gender role" and "sexual orientation", and popularized the terms gender identity and paraphilia.

Working with endocrinologist Claude Migeon, Money established the Johns Hopkins Gender Identity Clinic, the first clinic in the United States to perform sexual reassignment surgeries on both infants and adults. Money is often associated with and criticized for his involvement with David Reimer, a Canadian man born male but raised as a girl after his penis was severely injured during a botched circumcision in infancy. Money performed sex-reassignment surgery on Reimer and oversaw his case. He felt this was a success, and other scholars including Vern Bullough and Richard Green feel his actions were appropriate and justified in context.[1] However, Reimer himself was later unhappy in life and eventually killed himself.[2]

Money is also claimed to have instructed and/or forced Reimer and his brother to strip naked for genital inspections and engage in sex play together when they were 6 years old. In "at least one occasion" Money is claimed to have taken a photograph of the two children performing these acts, though we are unaware if any such photo has ever been produced as evidence.[3]

Money on Pedophilia and Victimology

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In 1983 (with J.D. Weinrich), Money published Juvenile, Pedophile, Heterophile: Hermeneutics of Science, Medicine and Law in Two Outcome Studies,[4] which presented the cases of two positively experienced recollections of minor-older sex with a pedophile:

Two young men, aged eighteen and twenty respectively, had a history of a juvenile and early adolescent relationship with an older male pedophilic lover. The erotosexual component of the relationship ended when the younger partner became too sexually mature, at which time each had a pair-bonded love affair with a girl. Subjectively and behaviorally they were neither homosexual nor pedophilic in orientation. They evaluated themselves as having not been traumatized by having had a history of a relationship with a pedophile. (Abstract).

He wrote an introduction for Boys on their Contacts with Men: a Study of Sexually Expressed Friendships[5] (1987), by psychologist Theo Sandfort. He wrote:

For those born and educated after the year 2000, we will be their history, and they will be mystified by our self-imposed, moralistic ignorance of the principles of sexual and erotic development in childhood. We who are today presiding over the demise of the twentieth century are defiantly proud of our ability to deny that sexual health has a developmental history that, like every other aspect of healthy functioning in adolescence and maturity, begins in childhood. We safeguard ourselves against evidence to the contrary by failing to fund basic pediatric sexological research, and by repudiating the findings of those who fund themselves.


It is must reading for all those interested in the development of sexuality in childhood.

In an interview (1991) for Paidika: The Journal of Paedophilia, he stated that:

If I were to see the case of a boy aged 10 or 12 who's intensely attracted toward a man in his 20s or 30s, if the relationship is totally mutual, and the bonding is genuinely totally mutual, then I would not call it pathological in any way.

Money held the view that affectional paedophilia is caused by a surplus of parental love that became erotic, and is not a behavioural disorder. Rather, Money challenged heteronormativity, arguing that heterosexuality is another example of a socially constructed and therefore superficial, ideological concept.

Like his friend Dr. Richard Green, Money believed in the Hippocratic Oath and argued against mandatory reporting laws. He believed that medical doctors should not behave as police personnel: doctors should protect a patient's privacy and hold their healthcare/welfare in highest regard. Being complicit in sending someone to prison is unlikely to benefit their mental or physical health.[6] In the commentaries cited in the above footnote, he particularly criticized "Victimology" for pathologizing and submerging human beings under an enforced "victim"/"perpetrator" label, writing that "victimology is a science only in the etymology of its name". Money continues:

In practice it [victimology] is a branch of the sexosophy of the judicial and punishment industry, not of sexology, the science of sex and sex research.Victimologists are, de facto, the new social-science police. Social science practitioners have never before been accorded the prestige of having so much power over people’s lives

(1988, p. 9).

Elsewhere he wrote:

[I]n this instance, the agent is another human being who, according to the tenets of victimology, must be, if not eliminated, then segregated from society or otherwise disciplined.

Discipline, as a method of treatment, belongs to the adversarial tradition of the law and is totally alien to the Hippocratic tradition of medicine. Thus, whereas victimologists do not depart from the Hippocratic tradition of health care in their treatment of victims, they abandon it completely when they treat suspected victimizers as perpetrators or criminals to be reported and handed over to the law. It is not possible to serve both Hippocrates, the healer, and Hammurabi, the lawgiver and jurist, at the same time, even if the perpetrator is already in detention. Human sexuality professionals, who try to do so, are caught in the invidious position of being, de facto, undercover agents and members of the social service and health-care secret police. Without being articulately aware of it, they have been co-opted into membership in the forces of the sexual counter-reformation. They are the heresy hunters of the inquisitional priesthood of anti-sexualism (SIECUS Report 1991, p. 3).

For his sympathetic positions on minor-attracted people and transsexual/transgender people, he is scapegoated and hated by anti-MAPs and TERFs (which sometimes crossover).[7]

External links


  1. Bullough, Vern L. “The Contributions of John Money: A Personal View.” The Journal of Sex Research 40, no. 3 (2003): 230–36.; Green, R. (2006). John Money, Ph.D. (July 8, 1921–July 7, 2006): A Personal Obituary. Arch Sex Behav 35, 629–632 (open access).
  2. See the Wikipedia page on David Reimer.
  3. The claim comes from a biography of Reimer. John Colapinto. (2001). As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who Was Raised as a Girl. New York: Harper Perennial (published 2006). pp. 86–88.
  4. Juvenile, Pedophile, Heterophile: Hermeneutics of Science, Medicine and Law in Two Outcome Studies
  5. Boys on their Contacts with Men: a Study of Sexually Expressed Friendships, and 2002 MHAMIC review thereof.
  6. : John Money PhD (1988) Commentary, Journal of Psychology & Human Sexuality, 1:1, 5-16; see especially, Sexology and/or sexosophy: The split between sexual researchers and reformers in history and practice. SIECUS Report (1991).
  7. Reduxx: The Pervert who ignored Gender