The Boy Who was Raised as a Girl.
What happened . . .
This is a mesmerising story of a medical tragedy and its traumatic results. In 1967, following a botched circumcision, a family is convinced to raise their infant son, Bruce, as a girl. They rename the child Brenda and spend the next 14 years trying to transform him into a her. Angry, sullen and having always insisted that "she" was a boy, Brenda finally decided at age 15 - after "she" finally learned of the surgery - to revert to her original sex and take the name David.
A landmark case gone wrong . . .
This landmark case, initially reported to be a complete success, seemed all the more remarkable since the child had been born an identical twin: his uninjured brother, raised as a boy, provided to the experiment the perfect matched control. The so-called "twins-case" would become one of the most famous in modern medicine and the social sciences; cited repeatedly over the past thirty years as living proof that our sense of being male or female is not inborn but primarily the result of how we are raised.
The true story comes out . . .
Writing with uncommon intelligence, insight, and compassion, John Colapinto tells this extraordinary story for the first time and also sets the historical and medical context for the case. A macabre tale of medical arrogance, 'As Nature Made Him' is first and foremost a human drama of one man's - and one family's - amazing survival in the face of terrible odds. The human intimacy of the story is all the greater for the subject's courageous decision to step out from behind the pseudonym that has shrouded his identity for the past thirty years.
This book is at once a fascinating exploration of the elusive nature of sexual identity and an examination of the ever-intensifying struggle between what medical science can do and what doctors should do. It is also a story of courage and survival that sheds light on the murkiest areas of human sexuality.
How did his life turn out? . . .
At 15, Brenda becomes David and decides to reverse the effects of estrogen treatments. David's ultimately successful life - a solid marriage, honest and close family relationships, and his bravery in making his childhood public - bring an uplifting end to this story. Now living as an adult male, married and with a family of his own, "David" has granted John Colapinto unprecedented access to his story.
- Publication Date:
- 18 / 04 / 2001
- 162 x 242mm