by Sukey HowardMay, 2000
A May Day heyday for listenersIt all began with a medical mistake, compounded exponentially, making the life of a child bewildering at best and an unendurable hell at worst. And it's all compellingly documented for the first time in As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who Was Raised as a Girl by John Colapinto, read by Howard McGillin. When Bruce Reimer, born as an identical twin, was eight months old, a botched circumcision left him without a penis. His confused, young parents, guided by famed sex researcher John Money, were convinced to submit their son to an unprecedented experiment in psychosexual engineering surgical sex change, plus 12 years of social and hormonal conditioning. Dr. Money proclaimed its success in scientific journals, proving his theory that nurture, not nature, determined sexual identity: Bruce had become Brenda. But the reality was very different; after years of torment, nature prevailed and Brenda, reverted to the sex of his chromosomes. With the Reimer's courage, candor, and cooperation, Colapinto details this harrowing human drama and the scientific machinations involved. It's a powerful story, a powerful audio. Sukey Howard reports on spoken word audio each month.