- The Washington Times - Monday, July 10, 2006

John Money, 84, sex researcher

BALTIMORE (AP) — John Money, a well-known psychologist and sex researcher who coined the terms “gender identity” and “gender role” and whose theories expanded on the concept of sex, died July 7 at St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson, Md., a hospital spokeswoman said. He was 84.

Mr. Money’s niece, Sally Hopkins, said her uncle died of complications from Parkinson’s disease.

Mr. Money conducted his research for about 50 years at Johns Hopkins University, where he was a professor of medical psychology and pediatrics.

Mr. Money believed a person’s gender identity was determined by an interaction between biological factors and upbringing. That represented a break from past thinking, in which sexual identity was largely thought to be caused only by biological factors.

“He really developed that entire field of study,” said Gregory K. Lehne, a protege and an assistant professor of medical psychology at Johns Hopkins. “Without him, that whole field of study might not have existed.”

Mr. Money was born in New Zealand and immigrated to the United States in 1947 to study at the Psychiatric Institute of the University of Pittsburgh, but he left for Harvard University in 1952.

At Harvard, he wrote a dissertation on hermaphrodites, people who are born with characteristics of both sexes. He left soon after that for Johns Hopkins.

Mr. Money gave advice to parents to help them decide what sex they should raise hermaphrodites to be. He also worked with people who were born with normal sex organs but did not identify with the sex they had been raised to be. He advised them on whether hormonal or surgical procedures would be beneficial.

“He pioneered the concepts related to this and the psychological aspects of sex reassignment,” Mr. Lehne said.

In 1965, he worked with the surgeon who performed the first sex-change operation at Johns Hopkins.

Mr. Money also was a pioneer in hormonal treatment to improve the self-control of sex offenders.

Mr. Lehne described his mentor as “a great taboo-breaker in the area of sexology.”

“That was a real rarity when he started in this field in the early 1950s,” he said.

Mr. Money’s work created a lot of controversy. Mr. Lehne said Mr. Money appeared to enjoy the controversy his work sparked for many years, because it provoked people to think in different ways about sex.

At the end of his career, Mr. Money developed the concept of “lovemaps,” which incorporate the diversity of human sexuality that each person has encoded in his or her brain.

Mr. Money was married briefly in the 1950s and had no children.

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