In 1965, David Reimer, an 8-month-old Canadian twin brother to Brian Reimer, was a victim of unethical psychiatric practices that lead us to understand Nature Vs. Nurture, and how both aid in the development of adulthood. Dr. John Money was first introduced to David, when physicians used an electro cautery needle instead of standard scalpel, which lead to the burning off of his reproductive organ. According to Intersex Society of North America “David’s parents agreed to have him “sex reassigned” and made into a girl via surgical, hormonal, and psychological treatments—i.e., via the system Money advocated for intersex children.” This approach has then provided the perspective in which modern countries use to assume that gender identity is all about nurture (upbringing), not nature (inborn traits)” After a couple of years, it turned out that Money realized he was wrong about his experiment, yet never felt obliged to accept it. Reimer was diagnosed to be depressed his entire life in which unfortunately led to his death at the age of 38.
Reimer’s situation displays that nature should not be changed in order to force a human to believe something they are not. Therefore, the inhumane studies performed on Reimer throughout his childhood not only represent the adverse effects cruelty can provide on the human mind, but how forcing psychological treatments will only break a person down. According to our book, the way a human evolves from birth to adulthood depends on various variables. First, it all has to do with the environment we are raised on. In Reimer’s situation, it seemed to be inevitably forced to an impoverished environment leading unmotivated improvements in the cerebral cortex. Furthermore, peer influence as well as parental guidance encourages us to develop into what we become as we reach adulthood. Unfortunately, in Reimer’s situation both doctors, as well as family members contributed to this experiment. Only until the age of about 13, Reimer...
Cited: Top 10 Unethical Psychological Experiments. (2008, September 7). Retrieved October 25, 2014, from http://listverse.com/2008/09/07/top-10-unethical-psychological-experiments/.
Myers, D. (2013). Chapter 4 Nature, Nurture, and Human Diversity. In Psychology (10th ed.). New York, NY: Worth.
Who was David Reimer (also, sadly, known as "John/Joan")? (2008, January 1). Retrieved October 27, 2014, from http://www.isna.org/faq/reimer
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