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John Money : biography

8 July 1921 - 7 July 2006

John William Money (8 July 1921 – 7 July 2006) was a psychologist, sexologist and author, specialising in research into sexual identity and biology of gender. He has been the subject of controversy due to his work with the sex-reassignment of David Reimer.Diamond M, Sigmundson HK (1997). Sex reassignment at birth. Long-term review and clinical implications. Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine. 1997 Mar; 151(3):298–304. PMID 9080940.

Sexological books

Sexual identity, gender identity and gender roles

Money's definition of gender is based on his understanding of sex differences among human beings. According to Money, the fact that one sex produces ova and the other sex produces sperm is the irreducible criterion of sex difference. However, there are other sex-derivative differences that follow in the wake of this primary dichotomy.

These differences involve the way urine is expelled from the human body and other questions of sexual dimorphism. According to Money's theory, sex-adjunctive differences are typified by the smaller size of females and their problems in moving around while nursing infants. This then makes it more likely that the males do the roaming and hunting. Sex-arbitrary differences are those that are purely conventional; for example, color selection (baby blue for boys, pink for girls). Some of the latter differences apply to life activities, such as career opportunities for men versus women.

Finally, Money created the now-common term gender role, which he differentiated from the concept of the more traditional terminology sex role. According to Money, the genitalia and erotic sexual roles were now, by his definition, to be included under the more general term "gender role;" including all the non-genital and non-erotic activities that are defined by the conventions of society to apply to males or to females.

Money made the concept of gender a broader, more inclusive concept than one of male/female. Now, gender includes not only one's status as a man or a woman, but as a matter of personal recognition, social assignment, or legal determination; not only on the basis of one's genitalia but also on the basis of somatic and behavioural criteria that go beyond genital differences.

Gender identity is one's own categorisation of one's individuality as male, female, or ambivalent as experienced in self-awareness of one's own mental processes and one's own actual behaviour.

Gender role is the public manifestation of one's gender identity, the things that one says and that one does that gives people a basis for inferring whether one is male, female, or fits neither of those categories.

To stress the idea that gender identity and gender role are two aspects of the same thing, Money coined a new term: Gender-Identity/Role, which he frequently abbreviated as "G-I/R."

Money also coined the term lovemap.

In 1972, Money presented his theories in Man & Woman, Boy & Girl, a college-level, mainstream textbook. The book featured David Reimer (see below) as a case in point.

"Gay, Straight and In-Between: The Sexology of Erotic Orientation"

In (Oxford 1988: 116), Money develops a conception of 'bodymind,' as a way for scientists, in developing a science about sexuality, to move on from the platitudes of dichotomy between nature versus nurture, innate versus the acquired, biological versus the social, and psychological versus the physiological. He suggests that all of these capitalise on the ancient, pre-Platonic, prebiblical conception of body versus the mind, and the physical versus the spiritual. In coining the term bodymind, in this sense, Money wishes to move beyond these very ingrained principles of our folk or vernacular psychology.

Money also develops here (Oxford 1988: 114–119) a view of "Concepts of Determinism," which, transcultural, transhistorical, and universal, all people have in common, sexologically or otherwise. These include pairbondage, troopbondage, abidance, ycleptance, foredoomance, with these coping strategies: adhibition (engagement), inhibition, explication.

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