Dr. Flamingo Jones And The Tome Of Wonders
I’m very happy to present today’s Guest Slap. The author, Dr. Flamingo Jones, is a world-renowned archaeologist and researcher at the University of Oxbridgeshire. While I know little about his reclusive past and current whereabouts, he has kindly agreed to share with us, occasionally, his knowledge, discoveries, and insights.
A hardy hello to you, readers! I, Dr. Flamingo Jones of the University of Oxbridgeshire, will today be sharing a tidbit from my field of Queer Archaeology that pertains to the more recent past, specifically regarding a very important book written in 1973: The seventh printing of the DSM 2, The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Second Edition.
Now why would this particular printing of this particular book be of any import to queer history? Well, because it represented a major change in the attitudes of professional medicine toward gay and lesbian individuals, as well as a major step forward for our own human rights. Before this point, homosexuality had been categorized as a mental disorder. In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association board of directors chose to down-grade it to the category of sexual orientation disturbance. That category remained in the next version, the DSM 3, until in 1987 when homosexuality as a disorder was removed altogether due to the fact that there was insufficient scientific evidence supporting the need for such a category.
There were many whose work contributed to this great step forward, such as Alfred Kinsey, who showed that the number of people who had some level of homosexual experiences or feelings was greater than previously assumed. Evelyn Hooker’s studies showed that homosexuals were just as well-adjusted and psychologically healthy as heterosexuals, and that professional psychologists couldn’t actually identify who was gay or straight based upon accepted psychological tests. Alfred Freedman found the same results for lesbians. Robert Spitzer was the one who lead the movement to de-list homosexuality as a disorder, but there were also a number of other gay psychologists who helped to move the cause forward too.
The DSM 5 is due out in May of 2013, wherein I hope that homophobia is introduced as a disorder. After all, homophobia can definitely be cured!