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The True Story of John / Joan: Transformation from Boy into a Girl

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John was born an identical twin and had a hard time urinating due to phimosis, a condition where the foreskin of the penis cannot retract. John’s doctor said the children needed to be corrected by circumcision. However, John’s circumcision went wrong, which resulted in his penis being burned. After seeking help from Dr. Money, John’s parents decided to reassign his sex. John could become a girl. Dr. Money advised to never tell John he was a boy. His parents agreed and John became Joan. Unfortunately, Joan never adapted to being a girl and had a difficult childhood.

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She never liked to do feminine things. Dr. John Money was a psychologist who thought children were born without the “concept of gender differences”. He also believed that children could reassign genders and that females were easier to establish than males. Children learn genders through education and environment. The true story of John/Joan is a famous case of gender identity, which can be credited to Dr. Money. He had published a book about this story and thought it would be the first successful case of gender reassignment. He uses this case to support his attitude of intersex. Dr. John lying everyone because of he knew that John never been happy to become a girl, and he knew that what happen in John’s lives. So, this case was fail. John have terrible childrenhood. “Her brother saw the all other girls doing their thing- combing their hair, holding their dolls. Joan was not at all like that(Colapinto, 1997)”. This showed that John didn’t like the girl’s thing when she was very younger and liked play boy’s thing, his brother was confused that why girl didn’t like girl thing and mom said that she was tomboy.

However, this not mean that everyone can accept that she was tomboy. “She became the object of instant ridicule from classmates, both male and female (Colapinto, 1997)”. She didn’t have friend in the school and whole school made fun to her. “Her personal difficulties were obvious in her functioning in the classroom (Colapinto, 1997)”. Although her intelligence range is normal, she didn’t want to learn skill during kindergarten. School hold her grade and Dr. John wrote letter to explained her emotional difficulties when her mother complained to Dr. Money, Dr. Money knew his situation in the school but he still published book. Joan could continued to first grade. Later, teacher reported to the district’s Child Guidance that Joan “has been doing just the opposite of anything the other children do (John, 10)” and described the girl as “very negativistic”. This showed that Joan was trouble maker in teacher’s mind. In her high school year, both girls and boys didn’t allow her to use she that use bathroom, when she tried to use their bathroom that “the boys would kick her out and threaten her with a knife. ” So, she went whenever no one was around.

Later, she refused to go to school. This showed the Joan have difficult behavior to adopt her gender, she didn’t like play with girl, but the boy didn’t like play with her and always made fun of her. She knew that she was different from other girl. When Dr. John meet with Joan and Kevin. Dr. Money always asked questions about sex, watching sexual movies and stripping. Joan was always scolded for disagreeing with these practices. Joan felt too many stress from the Dr. Money. Dr. Money thought it was urgent to perform vaginal surgery because “ genital appearance was critical to Mone’s theory of how one “ learns” a sexual identity (Colapinto, 1997). ” Dr. Money only think about himself, he didn’t think if Joan didn’t like to do surgery to become “real” girl. However, the Joan was refused to do this surgery. She told mom that if if she forced her to see Dr. Money again, she will kill herself. Later, when she knew that she was boy, she tried to change the gender and name. He married to the single mother and stepfather of three children. The lives always change, his brother died and he didn’t complete his education, and then he was losing job and separate of his wife. The mental pains and stress that make his mood extremely frustrated, he chose to commit suicide.

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Now, the society still have dispute of gender identity, most people thought human are already assigned the gender when they born, even though they reassign the gender role, they still don’t change the personality and male characteristics. Some people like John both change from a boy to girl feel very painfully to live in this world. So more and more people agree that human gender are affected by DNA of parents, it can not be easily changed by physics. If the John didn’t change the gender, he may have better lives although he can’t have own children, he can have happily childhood. The life can never begin again.

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The True Story of John / Joan: Transformation from Boy into a Girl. (2020, April 30). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 6, 2023, from
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