A former US soldier flew to India to have a sex change as part of a growing trend of foreigners traveling out to the country to have operations at budget clinics.Dressed in a bright blue sari and wearing ornate Indian jewellery, Betty Ann Archer, 64, who was born Dale, said she felt trapped in the wrong body.'I attempted to kill myself twice...I didn't like myself. I didn't like my body at all. I couldn't be myself', she explained. 'I became very ill in 2011 and almost died. While I was recovering I came to the conclusion that I had to transition or die.'Seeking an affordable operation she travelled to India where procedures are cheaper and have no waiting lists.
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And the picture:
UPDATE: One reader suggested Bruce/Brenda/David Reimer was an example of miswiring. The Wikipedia article is persuasive the other direction. The Wikipedia article says he was born male, and a botched circumcision destroyed his penis. He was then subjected to Dr. John Money's experiments intent on proving that gender was socially determined. Those experiments certainly sound like a weird form of sexual abuse:
Reimer said that Dr. Money forced the twins to rehearse sexual acts involving "thrusting movements", with David playing the bottom role. Reimer said that, as a child, he had to get "down on all fours" with his brother, Brian Reimer, "up behind his butt" with "his crotch against" his "buttocks". Reimer said that Dr. Money forced David, in another sexual position, to have his "legs spread" with Brian on top. Reimer said that Dr. Money also forced the children to take their "clothes off" and engage in "genital inspections". On at "least one occasion", Reimer said that Dr. Money took a photograph of the two children doing these activities. Dr. Money's rationale for these various treatments was his belief that "childhood 'sexual rehearsal play'" was important for a "healthy adult gender identity".
For several years, Money reported on Reimer's progress as the "John/Joan case", describing apparently successful female gender development and using this case to support the feasibility of sex reassignment and surgical reconstruction even in non-intersex cases. Money wrote, "The child's behavior is so clearly that of an active little girl and so different from the boyish ways of her twin brother." Notes by a former student at Money's lab state that, during the follow-up visits, which occurred only once a year, Reimer's parents routinely lied to lab staff about the success of the procedure. The twin brother, Brian, later developed schizophrenia.
For the first thirty years after Dr. Money's initial report that the reassignment had been a success, Dr. Money's view of the malleability of gender became the dominant viewpoint among physicians and doctors, reassuring them that sexual reassignment was the correct decision in certain instances, resulting in thousands of sexual reassignments.The report and subsequent book about Reimer influenced several medical practices, reputations, and even current understanding of the biology of gender. The case accelerated the decline of sex reassignment and surgery for unambiguous XY infants withmicropenis, various other rare congenital malformations, or penile loss in infancy.