In 1965, a boy named Bruce had his genitalia mutilated during a circumcision and his parents decided to raise him as a girl under the guidance and supervision of a psychologist named Dr Money. Dr Money convinced the parents to rename Bruce Brenda and never reveal his true gender. Bruce’s behaviour aroused concerns from his parents as his personality was distinctly masculine and he preferred to play with male orientated items such as toy cars and trucks. Bruce’s parents finally told him about the experiment when he was 13. After discovering his true identity, Bruce changed his name to David and tried to live a normal life. Unfortunately, his depression never went away and he committed suicide in 2004.
This is seen as one of psychology’s most controversial studies as it was so unethical and showed that gender has a hugely biological basis. The way that we raise children does not seem, from this evidence, to influence the way they perceive their gender.