Discuss the power of biology

Second response to classmate posted by Sunday



Second response is at least 150 words



Second response employs at least 2   citations; one can be text;   other must be from an academic source



New! gender and relationships 

Lauren Skorupski(Jul 11, 2018 9:10 PM)– Read by: 3

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  1. What does this case tell you      about the power of biology?

-This case shows that the power of biology is really strong. David’s surgery was suppose to turn him into a girl, but even with the hormones and everything he went through didn’t actually change who he really was. His parents tried to put off that he was actually a girl. But David knew something wasn’t right. His psychiatrist insisted his parents tell him the truth of what actually happened (Colapinto, 2004).  His parents assigned roles, they didn’t let biology really happen here. At a young age, David ripped her dress off and pretty much bullied his brother for the toys that were car and guns because he didn’t want to play with them (Colapinto, 2004).  Genetics themselves played a huge role in the case, it most likely is why he took his own life. The mother of the boys and herself all suffered some depression, so they inherited them from her (Colapinto, 2004). Both of David’s mutilations of his parents guilt and had to do with his mental health issues (Colapinto, 2004).
2.) Does it support or refute Dr. Money’s (and others’) apparent view that children are a “blank slate,” and that they can successfully transition from one sex to another if it is done early enough in childhood?

This article refutes Dr. Money’s view of children being blank slates. Money tried to prove that that nurture trumps nature, but this case failed to show that. I feel like he really only continued to publish updates for publicity because he stopped writing updates once David found out what happened and how he wanted to be a boy and then he changed back into being a man. I just don’t understand the thought process because he might have had a sex change but he still didn’t have ovaries or anything so he wasn’t fully going to be a girl. This case refutes Money’s view because David wasn’t happy with who he was, he knew this wasn’t who he truly wanted to be.  He changed back into being a boy by having a double mastectomy, multiple operations, including plastic surgery, and testosterone (Colapinto, 2004). His parents tried to parent him into being a girl, but at the age of two he showed signed of frustration just from toys (Colapinto, 2004).  He knew at a young age something wasn’t right so nurturing in this case truly failed. This was nature all the way.

 3.) Given what happened to David Reimer, what would be your opinion now on whether “sex reassignment surgery” should be done on infants or young children who are born with an intersex condition? Support your argument with empirical research findings.

In my undergrad classes I remember that we discussed this story a few times. In my opinion, I don’t think gender reassignment surgery is the right idea. I personally think the child is too young and it’s just going to affect the child in the long run and even sometimes for the rest of their lives. If the parents’ base their child’s gender based off of chromosomes and they turn into the different that was given to them, then they are on hormone therapy the rest of their lives. The surgery is just a bad idea because there is a high percentage of children changing back to another gender (Human Rights Watch, 2017). Once they get changed back into the regular gender they were suppose to be, there are more issues than before with scar tissues and failure of nerve growth coming back (Human Rights Watch, 2017). These babies are not able to make their own decisions, and I think they should make a decision like this when they are older for it and when they understand what all happens because these procedures are non- reversible (Human Rights Watch, 2017). Overall, it’s just a bad idea to chose for your child. Notice how I spoke about the child, David, the entire time as a he and not once did I say he was a girl because genetically he wasn’t and he wasn’t able to choose what he wanted to be.


Colapinto, J. (2004, June 3). Gender Gap: What were the real reasons behind David Reimer’s suicide? Retrieved July 11, 2018.

Human Rights Watch. (2017, July 25). US: Harmful Surgery on Intersex Children: Medically Unnecessary Operations Risk Lifelong Suffering. Retrieved July 11, 2018.


Alison Jiles(Jul 11, 2018 9:54 PM)– Read by: 4

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1.) What does this case tell you about the power of biology?

In my opinion, this case presents greater understanding in the concept of nature vs nurture. I have always felt both are important in the development of a human, and this case supports the idea even more. The family felt their upbringing of the child, along with his surgeries, would suffice as a way for him to develop “normally” as a girl. But as David said when he found out the true story, everything began to make since, especially since he expressed how different he felt early on in his life. Many children begin to identify with a certain gender, and they allow this identification to guide them in their gender-related behaviors and choices. This was apparent in David’s case as well, as he was not interested in playing with dolls. I think overall, the lack of information David was provided early on in life about his biology along with his actual biological makeup speaks volumes as to how his development proceeded and sadly came to an end.


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