In Sickness and in Health
The Wolfenden Committee’s recommendations that the law should no longer interfere in the private sexual lives of homosexual men helped remove the state regulation of non-heterosexual citizens’ intimate lives. However, as shown in Chapter 3, those recommendations did not result in immediate action: it was a decade before legal restrictions were partially lifted in England and Wales and 13 years before similar action was taken in Scotland. The removal of state regulation was not the result of a surge of enlightened thinking, nor did it mean a broader acceptance of homosexuality. Rather, from the 1950s to the 1970s, one sees a shift in viewing of homosexual offences from a legal gaze to a medical one. During this period, medicine was being proffered as a discipline which might replace the law in governing responses to deviant sexualities. The Wolfenden Report itself addressed this tendency: a section of Chapter VI is devoted to consideration of the medical treatment possibilities for homosexual offenders.1 This discussion was limited and the committee were unconvinced of the merits of medical intervention into human sexuality. Nonetheless, debates within and beyond the medical community on treating homosexuality medically were little affected by this lack of political endorsement.
KeywordsMedical Professional Ethinyl Estradiol Child Psychiatrist Medical Concern Female Hormone
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- 1.Home Office Scottish Home Department (1957) Report of the Committee on Homosexual Offences and Prostitution [Hereafter RCHOP] (London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office), pp. 61–72.Google Scholar
- 14.John Bancroft (1969) ‘Aversion Therapy of Homosexuality: A Pilot Study of 10 Cases’, British Journal of Psychiatry, 115, p. 1430.Google Scholar
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