Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 38, Issue 2, pp 161–163 | Cite as

The Implications of Removing Homosexuality from the DSM as a Mental Disorder

  • Charles SilversteinEmail author
Letter to the Editor

On February 8, 1973, the Nomenclature Committee of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) met with an ad hoc committee of gay activists.1 The activist committee was actually representative of New York City’s Gay Activist Alliance, but, for political considerations that made sense in that decade, they denied that they represented a gay organization. The most complete account of the meeting and subsequent political conflicts leading to the recommendation of the Nomenclature Committee is discussed in Bayer (1981).2

The short-range goal of the activist committee was obvious: to remove homosexuality between consenting adults from the list of mental disorders in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). We intended to make sexual orientation change unacceptable, even if the patient asked for it (Silverstein, 1977). Because the psychiatric profession was one of the “gate-keepers” of society’s attitudes, we believed that this change would have profound effects on...


Sexual Orientation American Psychiatric Association Child Pornography Nomenclature Committee Activist Committee 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.New YorkUSA

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