Joan/John, Bruce/Brenda, or David Reimer was born a twin baby boy (XY chromosomes). At 7 months, he had his penis severely burned during a relatively risk-free circumcision to treat a phimosis, a condition in which the foreskin narrows at the tip, eventually preventing urination. Apparently, the surgeon used a new machine (an electrocautery knife) with which he was not familiar and burned away most of the penis. The damage was so severe that it could not be repaired surgically. The prognosis given by the doctors was grim. They predicted that baby Bruce “will be unable to live a normal sexual life from the time of adolescence: that he will be unable to consummate marriage or have normal heterosexual relations, in that he will have to recognize that he is incomplete, physically defective, and that he must live apart” (Colapinto, 2000, p. 16).