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Finding aid of the John Money Papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Processing Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: John Money papers
    Dates: 1802-1993
    Bulk Dates: 1980-1984
    Collection number: Coll2008-023
    Creator: Money, John, 1921-2006
    Collection Size: 3 archive cartons. 1 linear foot.
    Repository: ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives.
    Los Angeles, California 90007
    Abstract: Writings, lectures, course materials, printed materials from research, and miscellaneous items created and collected by psychologist/sexologist Dr. John William Money. The bulk of the collection is a complete carbon-copy set of Money's lectures from his class, "Biosocial Aspects of Human Sexuality" at Johns Hopkins University, in fall 1980. The collection also includes a number of Money's early writings; article off-prints; and his "Autobiographical Statement," later re-titled "Explorations in Human Behavior" and published in the second volume of The History of Clinical Psychology in Autobiography (1993), edited by C. Eugene Walker.
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English


    The collection is open to researchers. There are no access restrictions.

    Publication Rights

    Researchers wishing to publish materials must obtain permission in writing from ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives as the physical owner. Researchers must also obtain clearance from the holder(s) of any copyrights in the materials. Note that ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives can grant copyright clearance only for those materials for which we hold the copyright. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain copyright clearance for all other materials directly from the copyright holder(s).

    Preferred Citation

    Box #, folder #, John Money Papers, Coll2008-023, ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles, California.

    Acquisition Information

    Donated by John Money in several installments between 1998 and 2001.

    Processing Information

    Formerly housed in box 103-78. Collection processed by Johanna Michael, May 30, 2008.


    John William Money was born on July 8, 1921, in Morrinsville, Waikato, New Zealand. He grew up in a conservative, evangelical Christian family, which may have influenced his research focus later in life. He received his undergraduate degree in psychology from Victoria University in 1943, then emigrated to the United States to pursue graduate education. He studied social relations in the Psychological Clinic at Harvard University, receiving his Ph.D. in 1952. The next year, he joined the faculty of Johns Hopkins University Medical School, where he taught and carried out sexology research for over 50 years. He founded the Psychohormonal Research Unit at Johns Hopkins University Medical School and coined the term "gender role" in 1955, which he later expanded to "gender-identity/role" (GI/R). Throughout his career, Money authored numerous publications on sexology, including Venuses Penuses in 1986 and the controversial Man and Woman, Boy and Girl, coauthored with Anke Ehrhardt in 1972. In the latter, Money and Ehrhardt expressed the view that gender was malleable and could be altered through external factors such as prescribed hormones and behavior therapy. To support this hypothesis, Money cited the "John/Joan" case, in which he advised a Canadian couple whose son's genitals had been severely damaged in a circumcision gone awry to raise the child as a female. The family acted according to this advice; the child underwent surgery to construct a vagina and began estrogen treatment. Money followed "Joan's" progress for five years and declared the treatment successful. However, as soon as "Joan" was informed about the treatment at the age of fourteen, he reclaimed a male identity and underwent sex reassignment surgery. Despite this action, "John" remained deeply troubled and committed suicide in 2004. According to his colleagues, Money was very distressed by the outcome of that case and preferred not to re-examine it. Dr. Richard Green, an emeritus professor at the University of California, Los Angeles and one of Money's former colleagues, publicly defended Money's actions, explaining that Money had no way of knowing that the treatment would backfire. Other researchers, however, find fault with Money's research practices regarding the case. Despite this debate, Money's impact in the field of sexology remains undisputed. His research marked the first steps toward a new understanding of gender that is still developing today. Money died of complications from Parkinson's disease on July 7, 2006 in Towson, Maryland. He was survived by eight nieces and nephews. Many originals of his lectures and research are housed at the Kinsey Institute.
    Carey, Benedict. "John William Money, 84, Sexual Identity Researcher, Dies." New York Times. 11 July 2006.
    John Money Papers, Coll2008-023, ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles, California.
    Stein, Mark, ed. "Money, John and Anke Ehrhardt." Encyclopedia of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History in America . New York: Thompson-Gale, 2004.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    This collection consists of one series, divided into four subsections: Writings, Teaching, Printed Materials and Miscellaneous. Money's writings are arranged chronologically; from early works (1953-1956), to article off-prints (1957-1984), to his Autobiographical Statement (with accompanying curriculum vitae), later titled "Explorations in Human Behavior" for publication in volume two of C. Eugene Walker's compilation, he History of Clinical Psychology in Autobiography T (1993). Money's course materials from his teaching and administrative experience at Johns Hopkins University and a complete carbon-copy set of his lectures from Fall 1980 are also arranged chronologically by category. A small number of printed materials that Money collected during his research are also included in the collection, arranged by author. The last category contains miscellaneous items, including a copy of a New York Times article about Money.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Gender identity
    Money, John, 1921-2006
    Psychosexual development
    Sex differentiation