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January 15, 2016


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Dexter Edge

The "publish her findings" link to PsycNet appears to be broken. At any rate, on my system (Firefox 3.6 on Mac), it leads me to the most elaborate "Sorry, we can no longer locate this search" message that I've ever seen.

I'm in the middle of linking to your post on my blog (idiography.blogspot.com), and I wanted to provide a direct link to Hooker's publication.

Romeo  Vitelli

Thank for letting me know. I changed that link to another web page that includes the reference for Hooker's article. Unfortunately, many research databases don't date back that far.


"Along with Thomas Szasz (whose anti-psychiatry crusade came to include homosexuality as another focus of psychiatric repression) and Judd Marmor, Evelyn Hooker became part of the more accommodating movement that rejected orthodox views of homosexuality as a disease."

Be careful with Szasz, he's a slippery character.

Firstly, I understand he rejects the term "anti-psychiatry" applied to himself because he says he has no problem with consensual psychiatry, only with the use of psychiatry to justify force (even if no crime) or to excuse people from prison (even if a crime). He actually uses "anti-psychiatry" as a term of abuse to describe others, which bearing in mind that he is himself a psychiatrist may not actually be that surprising.

Secondly, it turns out that by his own admission his anti-disease philosophy stems from his Eastern European teenage politics, prior to his psychiatric training/experience in the US, and is applied across the board. And according to this book http://books.google.com/books?id=OY05uZUCaTsC the gay rights movement was pretty selective in using him for support, because he apparently wrote in 1965 (I don't know if he later withdrew this assertion?): "I believe it is very likely that homosexuality is, indeed, a disease in the second sense [expression of psychosexual immaturity] and perhaps sometimes even in the stricter sense [a condition somewhat similar to ordinary organic maladies]."

He added that he thought that regardless of its disease status, it was a fit subject for moral judgement.

Romeo  Vitelli

I don't know where Szasz fell on the entire gay rights issue, simply that he used it as an example of psychiatry's role in enforcing orthodoxy. My impression is that he is not considered a gay rights reformer in the way that Evelyn Hooker and Judd Marmor are.

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