Hope of the Hopeless
Graeme Hunter on Tragedy & the Life of David Reimer
In May 2004 the sad life of David Reimer ended where it began, in Winnipeg. He was not quite 40. In his earliest infancy, an unpracticed doctor botched the attempt to circumcise him, destroying his penis. His bewildered parents, not knowing where to turn, fell prey to an ego-driven sex researcher named John Money, employed at the Gender Identity Clinic of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. Money persuaded the Reimers to do something almost inconceivable at that time: to press on with what the doctor had inadvertently begun and make David into a girl.
The Reimers were ordinary working people. They could not have grasped what a windfall their son represented for Money if they followed his advice. He was looking for some way to demonstrate his far-fetched theory that masculinity and femininity are not natural characteristics but acquired ones. If he was right, children could be raised to play either male or female roles in society, provided they were consistently reinforced in whichever role was selected for them.
THIS ARTICLE ONLY AVAILABLE TO SUBSCRIBERS.
FOR QUICK ACCESS:
Graeme Hunter is a contributing editor to Touchstone and Research Professor of Philosophy at Dominican University College in Ottawa. He is the author of Radical Protestantism in Spinoza's Thought (Ashgate).
calling all readers
"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand
"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor
• Not a subscriber or wish to renew your subscription? Subscribe to Touchstone today for full online access. Over 30 years of publishing!
Transactions will be processed on a secure server.
Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.
OR get a subscription to Touchstone to read on your Kindle for only $1.99 per month! (This option is KINDLE ONLY and does not include either print or online.)
Your subscription goes a long way to ensure that Touchstone is able to continue its mission of publishing quality Christian articles and commentary.
more from the online archives