The Psychiatrist Who De-Pathologized Homosexuality

By on February 4, 2016

Until 1973, the psychiatric field classified homosexuality as a mental illness. Dr. Robert Spitzer, who spearheaded the change, died on December 25th, 2015.

When the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) dropped homosexuality as a disorder in 1973, it sent a powerful message to mental health professionals and the American public. On December 16 of that year, the New York Times wrote, “[The American Psychiatric Association (APA)], altering position it has held for nearly 100 years, on Dec 15 declares that homosexuality is not a mental disorder.” In place of “disorder” came the term “sexual orientation disturbance,” defined in the Times as a “category for ‘individuals whose sexual interests are directed toward people of their own sex and who are either disturbed by, in conflict with or wish to change their sexual orientation’.”

Read the full article: The Legacy of Robert Spitzer, Psychiatrist Who De-Pathologized Homosexuality | Broadly

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