John Money was a pioneering sex researcher whose work covered a wide range of sexual subjects and who became famous (and in some circles infamous) for his work on gender identity and gender roles. It was Money who coined the term gender role and his work set the frame of reference for much of the contemporary discussion around gender. At the time of his death his legacy was questioned by those who believe he was unethical in his reporting on the success of his gender reassignment protocol. Despite this, it cannot be argued that Money was a trailblazer who was willing to research areas most people would hardly consider speaking of.
He was the worlds first pediatric clinical psychoendocrinologist. In 1966 he founded the Gender Identity Clinic at Johns Hopkins where he continued to work practically until his death in 2006. Money was a key supporter of the first sex reassignment surgery in the U.S., which was performed at Johns Hopkins.
He has been most criticized for his belief, which he put into practice, that gender could be successfully reassigned before 18 months. Near the end of his life there were some high profile cases of adults who as infants had undergone Moneys protocol, and who considered themselves to have been severely harmed by it. At the time of his death there was much debate about his legacy as some considered him to have been unethical, influencing the reporting of outcomes and refusing to deal with his patients who as adults were reporting that his treatment had left them damaged. In the sexual science establishment Money is regarded as a key figure and trailblazer, and his work is seen as crucial in the development of sexology.