As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who Was Raised as a Girl

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In 1967, after a twin baby boy suffered a botched circumcision, his family agreed to a radical treatment that would alter his gender. The case would become one of the most famous in modern medicine—and a total failure. As Nature Made Him tells the extraordinary story of David Reimer, who, when finally informed of his medical history, made the decision to live as a male. A macabre tale of medical arrogance, it is first and foremost a human drama of one man's—and one family's—amazing survival in the face of terrible odds.
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About the author

John Colapinto has written for Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, Esquire, Mademoiselle, Us Weekly, and Rolling Stone, where the landmark National Magazine Award-winning article that was the basis for As Nature Made Him first appeared. He is also the author of the novel About the Author. He lives in New York City with his wife and son.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Harper Collins
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Published on
Mar 5, 2013
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Pages
336
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ISBN
9780062278319
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Medical / Anatomy
Medical / Ethics
Psychology / General
Social Science / Gender Studies
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Susan Pinker, psychologist and award-winning columnist, has written a groundbreaking and controversial book that reveals why learning and behavioral gaps between boys and girls in the classroom are reversed in the workplace.

Pinker examines how fundamental sex differences play out over the life span. By comparing fragile boys who succeed later with high-achieving women who opt out or plateau in their careers, Pinker turns several assumptions upside down: that women and men are biologically equivalent, that intelligence is all it takes to succeed, and that women are just versions of men, with identical interests and goals. In lively prose, Pinker guides readers through the latest findings in neuroscience and economics while addressing these questions: Are males the more fragile sex? What do men with Asperger syndrome or dyslexia tell us about more average men? Which sex is the happiest at work? Why do some male college dropouts earn more than the bright girls who sat beside them in third grade? After three decades of women's educational coups, why do men outnumber women in corporate law, engineering, physical science, and politics? The answers to these questions are the opposite of what we expect.

A provocative examination of how and why learning and behavioral gaps in the nursery are reversed in the boardroom, this illuminating book reveals how sex differences influence career choices and ambition. Through the stories of real men and women, science, and examples from popular culture, Susan Pinker takes a new look at the differences between women and men.
The theory and practice of medicine remains central to the concerns of persons identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex or others. Individuals who have homosexual desires or feel transgender or are born intersex are often taken against their will to medical professionals. Instead of receiving affirmative support, they have distressing experiences of violence and violations. The narratives of such violence and violation include treatments offered for converting homosexuals to heterosexuals, humiliation of transgender people within the institution, and emergency surgeries of intersex infants who, due to the collusion between surgeons and parents, face the scalpel to convert them into an ‘acceptable’ gender. Further, everyday struggles of LGBT persons like suicidality and depression are dealt with less sensitively owing to the pathologisation of their identities. The most critical challenge here is the one pertaining to the need to change mindsets of doctors who are still insistently focused on changing their patients’ sexual orientation or still exhibit prejudice when it comes to dealing with their transgender patients. As a starting point for change, this anthology brings together writing by medical professionals and queer activists which is beginning to question heteronormativity within the field of medicine. The essays in this volume begin by outlining the frameworks on which the mental health and other medical sectors have posited homosexual desire and transgender or intersex identities. They then argue that sexual orientation and gender identity are not to be seen as pathologies and suggest forms of engagement that are more affirmative of LGBT identities. Finally, they look at the interface between law, medicine and human rights as a starting point of a change in the perception of LGBT persons. Aiming to incubate serious and sustained work on the centrality of the medical establishment to queer lives, this anthology will be of particular interest to medical practitioners, queer activists, members of the LGBT community, and all readers who believe that every individual should receive medical attention that is shorn of prejudice of any kind.
The healing power of the bond between men and dogs is explored in this unique book. Three important themes emerge: attachment, loss, and continued bonds with canine companions for males across the life span and from various contextual backgrounds. The contributors replace common assumptions with needed context pertaining to men’s emotions and relationships, starting with the impact of gender norms on attachment, and including robust data on how canine companionship may counter Western culture socialization. The chapters engage readers with details pertaining to ways in which dogs help men develop stable, caring relationships, process feelings, and cope with stress – within a variety of environments including home, school and treatment programs for veterans, prisoners, and youth. The book also address men’s loss of companion animals, and the need for building new ways of sustaining the memory and meaning of the bond in males’ lives, referred to as a “continuing bond.” From these various vantage points, therapeutic insights and relevant findings bring a new depth of understanding to this compelling topic.

Included in the coverage:

Masculine gender role conflict theory, research, and practice: implications for understanding the human-animal bond in males’ lives. At-risk youth and at-risk dogs helping one another.

An examination of human-animal interaction as an outlet for healthy masculinity in prison.

Exploring how the human-animal bond affects men’s relational capacity to make and sustain meaningful attachment bonds with both human and animal companions .“/li> Older adults and companion animals: physical and psychological benefits of the bond. Continuing the bonds with animal companions: implications for men grieving the loss of a dog.

Probing the deeper concepts behind “man’s best friend,” Men and Their Dogs provides a rich clinical understanding of this timeless bond, and should be of special interest to health psychologists, clinical psychologists, academicians, social workers, nurses, counselors, life coaches and dog lovers.

A horrifying, hilarious and subversive “work of literary devilry” about lust and envy, a man and a girl, and a plan (The New York Times).
 
Hailed as “wicked, sexy, funny, ghastly, [and] tragic” (Michael-Lindsay Hogg), Undone is the tour-de-force black comedy by International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award Nominee John Colapinto—“a pseudo-incestuous thriller, a noir that, like Francine Prose’s Blue Angel and Philip Roth’s American Pastoral, details the unraveling of the moral American man and his world” (The Globe and Mail).
 
Dez is a former lawyer, disgraced teacher, and unrepentant ephebophile hiding out in a trailer park with his latest teenage conquest, Chloe. Having been in and out of courtrooms (and therapists’ offices) for years, Dez is adrift, and at odds with a society that persecutes him over his desires. Then one afternoon Dez sees an interview with Jasper Ulrickson, a doting father and loving husband whose heartrending memoir is a national bestseller. It chronicles his journey with his wife who suffered a stroke giving birth to their only child and has been in a locked-in state ever since. Espousing their deep connection and chaste marriage, Jasper’s selfless devotion to his wife has made him one of the most popular and admired men in America.
 
So Dez sets out to do what any red-blooded American would do: destroy Ulrickson by using Chloe to pose as the righteous author’s long-lost daughter, infiltrate his family, seduce him, and, when he’s sent to jail for a little consanguineous coupling, claim his fortune.
 
“Cannily over the top in its comic depravity and magnetizing in its sympathy, Colapinto’s battle royale of innocence and evil, blindness and illumination, betrayal and love (Booklist Starred Review) “is one of the most profoundly disturbing novels you’ll ever read —there’s not a taboo John Colapinto isn’t willing to skewer—but it’s also one of the most entertaining” (Tod Goldberg, author of Gangsterland).
A fascinating guide to a career in neurosurgery written by award-winning journalist John Colapinto and based on the real-life experiences of an expert in the field—essential reading for someone considering a path to this most challenging profession.

Choosing what to do with your life begins with imagining yourself in a career, actually meeting the emotional, physical, and intellectual demands of the job. Often regarded as one of the most technically and emotionally demanding of surgical disciplines, becoming a neurosurgeon requires years of study. This practical guide offers a unique opportunity to see what daily life for a neurosurgeon is like, from someone who has mastered the profession and can explain what the risks and rewards of the job really are.

Joshua Bederson is the chief of Neurosurgery at the esteemed Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City. New Yorker writer John Colapinto brings to vivid life what Dr. Bederson’s professional life is like to show all the varied facets of his work, from extensive study and research to brain operations, one-on-one consultations with patients, and even staff meetings with fellow surgeons and students. Since Mt. Sinai is a teaching hospital, we learn alongside the residents and interns how Bederson trains neurosurgeons, passing along the knowledge and skills he honed over decades. The result is a multidimensional portrait of a man and a department, a practical guide for how to enter and learn the profession, as well as a moving glimpse into the world of patients and doctors who face some of life’s most harrowing challenges.
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