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As Nature Made Him

The Book, “As Nature Made Him” is a story of agony that features a toddler to whom botched circumcision was practices. The two identical twins had the practices disorient their way of life from the beginning. The author shows to the audience that the young man is not the only victim of the dangerous acts from the cruel actor. The main character in the story and whom the story revolves around (Baby Brian) is showed to grow like a girl. The boy is raised up as Brenda. The two doctors behind the suffering felt by the little boy, one whom the author introduces as researcher and a doctor (John Money) is inclined to the notion that gender is culturally constructed, the other doctor and whom the initial operation depended on is Milton Diamond. ‘The Boy who was raised as a girl proves to be a griping tales filled with traumatic repercussions as a result of biased medical decisions in 1967. To offer a little scope of the story the author narrates, it is determined to be on August 22, 1965, where a young housewife delivers two identical twins. The young woman, Jane Remer is a citizen of Winiped, Manitoba delivers the two young twins namely Bruce and Brian. However, there is a problem when the children attain the age of seven-year. A critical disorder befalls the boys (Phimosis) which is excruciating the ability to pass urine and hence developing an obstruction of the ability for the urethra to open. The story is inclined on the decision of the doctor who claims that the problems can have a solution with the circumcision of the boys. Although the circumcision process of Brian went as expected, the other boy’s undergoes an erroneous operation. It proves impossible for anyone to prove how precisely such an outcome can be experienced. This makes the family to have no other way of dealing with the problem other than raising the child as a girl.

After the incident, the author reports that presence of hope in the parents’ life. This was as the family watched the television in 1967. There was hope from the narration of the person in the episode. The Doctor, John Money who is a Harvard Ph.D. claimed having great success during sex operations. It is a pity to find that during these times, gender and sexuality had little influence in the society; this made people have no ground to defend their arguments. The individuals proved to have good knowledge of the issue that influenced the decision of the less fortunate. Doctor Money is presented as a psychologists and a specialist on gender related issue. Moreover, in the case, the person proves to be of hope since he is a scientist with who portrayed great knowledge on the issue of gender reassignment. During the scene the author shows the expertise of the doctor is he answered questions regarding hermaphrodites and transvestites. After visiting the suffering child, the Doctor presents some hope to the family by ascertaining that it is possible to change the gender of the kid. Money claims that it would be possible to work on the child’s genitals and change the shriveled penis into a vagina. This would force the child to be raised not as boy anymore. According to the doctor’s view of gender and sexuality, psychologically, the sexuality of a person is undetermined during birth; rather it is differentiated as either masculine or feminine as a person grows up (33). As a result, nurture has the power to rule over nature when it comes to determining whether as individual male or female. With hope that the operation would be successful, the Reimer’s agreed to the Doctor’s (Money) suggestion, and the child would be turned into a boy.

The case presents the effect of social uncertainties. For instance, the boy does not fit in the new being, “girl.” furthermore, it is difficult for the new-girl to have favorable interactions with the rest of the children. There are also incidences that the girl tries to fight the new being in her. The girl is not comfortable with the life she is living. Regardless of the effort put by the parents to make Brenda satisfied with the new way of life, there exists instances where she has to fight the instinct of being a boy. Her mother gives her items that deem fight for a girl but Brenda is in agony with the imposed gender. The author reports that the parents treat the girl as a normal girl. She is dressed in good clothes, offered dolls to plat with, and at times she is compelled to wear the lace-covered clothes. Her mother also tries to educate the girl concerning girly things such as sewing and baking. Nevertheless, all the trials to make the girl feel like a normal girl are met by great intuition that makes Brenda feel more of a boy than a mere girl. The Book shows that she obliges to engage her brother more than any of the girlish items. Brenda is attracted to the masculine gender where she is presented even having fights with the boys at school. She is inclined to the things that boys like such as the toys her brother is using.

The case also can be termed as a determined threat of the social rights that a child or anyone else should enjoy. From the onset where Brenda realizes her deformity, she is adamant to reassure the identity of a male. Her parents let her know the truth at the age of fifteen. Throughout the school life of Brenda, she is faced with the dilemma of being treated as an outcast. The girls showed no interest in playing with her. The fact that she was different from the other girls scared everyone. On the other hand, none of the boys showed interest since she took the nature of a girl. The fact that she did not fit in any social circle also affected the performance of the girl both in school and in behaviors. Brenda did not occur at the leading positions in class and more so did not get along with the other students.

The occasions between the twins and the doctor (Dr. Money) also act as triggers of the child’s miserable lifestyle. As the author denotes, Brenda would call at the Doctor’s place regularly for medical check-ups. The doctor would question the feelings of Brenda as to whether she felt like a girl. Brenda would openly confess of having boyish feelings. The doctor also affected the child psychologically by showing her and the brother photos and films related to sex. The doctor would also force the kids to take off clothes and display their genitals to each other. The actions would have negligible dangerous outcome at the tender age. However, with the realization of the consequences of the actions the doctor did to them (the twins), Brenda feels traumatized and guilty. She would be distressed whenever the topic of the early visits to the Doctor are raised. The author explains that the parents would be forced to bribe the ‘girl’ with expensive vacations to win her heart. It is possible to claim that the girl was not comfortable with who she was. The mother is also clinically depressed by the condition of the child. She even tries to commit suicide. On the other hand, the father to the girl’s father is turned into an alcoholic. The condition of the child turns as devastative to the lives of the family where the brother Brian rebels against the parents.

To sum up, the story is to a large degree a medical situation that happened to wrong a family, however, characterized with point of view. The issue concerning flexible gender fails to have a positive ramification for gender equality. The author of the book (Colapinto) also tries to make an exploration of other reactions besides focusing the work on Reimers family. Colapinto also portrays extreme pains in the story to develop the feeling that the work is non-fictional. The text can be claimed to bring life in a more appealing manner. With the coverage of content within the sexually and gender lessons, the importance of identity identification among the infant and development of teenagers socially. The facts presented on the book display no instance of condemnation.

Colapinto, John. As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who Was Raised As a Girl. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2000. Internet resource.




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