The “Trojan Couch”

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does not constitute a psychiatric disorder. Homosexuality per se is one form of sexual behavior, and with other forms of sexual behavior which are not by themselves psychiatric disorders, are not listed in this nomenclature.10 In other words, it had become defined as a disorder for one to wish that the way he expresses his instincts be in concord with the physical organs that do the expressing, as though a fish who thinks itself a bird should be thought ill for hoping one day to be happy in the water. A pure political compromise, this peculiar category would last but a few years before being dispensed with altogether. What hung in the balance? By the time this struggle ended, “what Frank Kameny had been referring to for years as the major ideological prop of society’s antihomosexual bias had been shattered,” notes Bayer. 11 Twenty years later all the sodomy statutes in America would be close to being found unconstitutional and five years after that, the Supreme Court of Massachusetts would find marriage itself unconstitutional. Moreover, in 1997, the APA would make a subtle change in how it diagnosed all the paraphilias (the new term for “deviations” like sadomasochism, pedophilia, fetishism) in a revised edition of DSM IV. The Nomenclature Committee rewrote its criteria so that such diagnoses would apply only if the impulses or activities in question interfered with other functioning or caused distress to the individual himself . By 2002, the “sexology” community was fiercely d ebating whether all the “paraphilias” should be removed from the DSM, and the American Psychological Association had published an article arguing that pedophilia was not harmful. In 2003 the American Psychiatric Association held a symposium debating the removal of the paraphilias, pedophilia included, from the DSM, on the same grounds as homosexuality had been removed. Part II. Homosexuality as a Disorder in the Guilds’ Lawrence Brief The APA’s decision to remove homosexuality from the DSM was presented to the public as based upon a solid scientific foundation, though this foundation was in fact lacking as we’ll see. The APA and others have so often repeated the same falsehoods that the public and even the Supreme Court now take for granted that science has demonstrated that homosexuality is a perfectly normal variant of human sexuality if it is fixed early in life and does not change: that it is a matter of “orientation” or “identity.” In political contexts, the bulk of the literature is passed over with a wave of the hand in the form of reviews and reviews of reviews that never characterize the full picture; certain studies, lacking in scientific merit, are presented again and again, no matter how hoary (Hooker in particular, as we will see). In the Lawrence brief, the first point the mental health guild amici (friends) make, for example, is that “Decades of research and clinical experience have led all mainstream mental health organizations in this country to the conclusion that homosexuality is a normal fo rm of human sexuality.” The footnotes offer no support for this claim. Moreover, the sources they do use do not represent the literature as a whole. For example, although the brief uses the nearly half-century old Hooker study, the only study from which it offers any details, it studiously ignores even the Saghir and Robins studies, which according to Spitzer, were previously presented as crucial. In fact, however, within the somewhat substantial if scientifically loose literature on homosexuality, few studies on homosexuality fail to assert the very strong intrinsic association between homosexuality and psychological distress-far beyond that which could be attributed solely to the genuine and additional distress caused by social stigma and prejudice. No literature has succeeded in demonstrating that this excess psychological distress is in fact attributable to stigma and prejudice. Recently, some studies do ask and examine the attribution

Footnotes:   10 Ibid. 11 Bayer, op. cit., p. 138