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CLINICAL NOTES |

Gender-Role Change in Intersexed Patients

Robert J. Stoller, MD
JAMA. 1964;188(7):684-685. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03060330064020.
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MONEY AND THE HAMPSONS1 have held that a child's gender identity is fixed very early in life and that attempts to change this beyond two to three years of age carry great risk. However, several recent papers,2-8 in refutation of Money et al's stand, cite cases in which intersexed patients (child or adult) are shifted from one gender to the other with relative ease and success.

Even ignoring that follow-up studies were not conducted in depth, it must be granted that adjustment in many of these cases seemed at least adequate, if not excellent, and it would appear that fundamental shifts in personality are easily attainable. The increasing number of such reports cannot be ignored. If the observations are correct, how are they to be explained?

  1. It may be that the findings of psychoanalysts in the last 60 years are wrong and that the earliest years of

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