The “Trojan Couch”

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as it attempts to make the case that there is no evidence for an association between homosexuality and psychopathology. 2 Crucially, her study was one of the two upon which in 1973, the APA decided to remove homosexuality from the list of disorders in the DSM and the one study discussed in the APA’s brief in 2003 in the Lawrence case. It claims to show that “homosexuals [are] not inherently abnormal and that there [is] no differen ce between the pathologies of homosexual and heterosexual men.” 3 Eight years after her landmark study, she found herself chair of a newly -established National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Task Force on Homosexuality, hand -picked by Judd Marmor, an influential psychiatrist at UCLA. The only other “mental health” representatives were Alfred Kinsey’s close colleagues Paul Gebhard, and John Money, the latter a psychologist from Johns Hopkins and an early (but recently discredited and fired) proponent of t ranssexual surgery. In 1969 the Task Force issued its report. It claimed, parroting the Kinsey reports almost word-for-word, that sexuality was a continuum from exclusive homosexuality to exclusive heterosexuality, and that some degree of bisexuality was the human norm. Without evidence, it stated that any homosexual suffering was caused by societal prejudice. (It avoided mentioning, however, that in Kinsey’s view, human sexual taste was almost infinitely malleable.) Thus, there was nothing problematic with homosexuality per se. Within a few years, Marmor, who was active in anti -war, pro-abortion, and other “New Left” causes, became Vice-President of the APA. With Hooker and Marmor in such prominent roles, agitators outside the professions could count on the ir collaboration in organizing protests aimed at radicalizing an organization which until then, held to a tacit ethical creed of professionalism that prohibited them from using the public’s trust in their presumed scholarly expertise in circumscribed domains to exercise influence over general matters of civics. One can see the beginnings of a coordinated effort to corrupt this ethos at the APA’s 1970 annual meeting, when a most eminent and respected psychiatrist and psychoanalyst (and later a founder of NARTH) presenting a paper on “homosexuality and transsexualism” was interrupted by an outside agitator who had been secretly bought into the meeting. 4 Acceding to pressure, the organizers of the 1971 conference agreed to sponsor a special panel -not on homosexuality, but by homosexuals: (N.b.: The state of sexuality constituted their sole purported expertise to speak professionally, just as though being tall made one an expert in the mechanisms of cell growth, or having cancer.) The program chairman had been w arned that if the panel was not approved, homosexual activists would ruin the entire convention. The APA caved. The only psychiatrist at this presentation would be the moderator, Robert Spitzer of Columbia University, a sympathizer in large measure on “civ il rights,” not scientific grounds, in his later recollection. After this quick capitulation, the activists decided to seek more. Progressive psychiatrists, gay psychiatrists, and outside activists planned a disruption and sought the services of leftwing activist Frank Kameny, who turned for help to the New Left and non -accomodationist Gay Liberation Front. Kameny’s cadre, with forged credentials provided by allies on the inside (some at the very top), broke into a special lifetime service award meeting. Th ey grabbed the microphone, and Kameny declared “Psychiatry is the enemy incarnate. Psychiatry has waged a relentless war of extermination against us. . . . We’re rejecting you all as our owners. You may take this as our declaration of war.” Regardless, a f ew hours later, the promised panel discussion-presented by the same group of protesters-proceeded without objection by the APA.

Footnotes:   2 See www.psychologymatters.org/hooker.html. 3 Hooker, E., “The Adjustment of the Male Overt Homosexual” ( Journal of Projective Techniques, 1957, 21, 18-31) 4 R. Bayer, Homosexuality And American Psychiatry: The Politics Of Diagnosis. Princeton: Princeton University Press (1987), p. 104.