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Sexual Offences, Diagnosis and Activism: A British History of LGBTIQ Psychology

Hubbard, Katherine Anne and Griffiths, David Andrew (2019) Sexual Offences, Diagnosis and Activism: A British History of LGBTIQ Psychology American Psychologist.

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Abstract

This article charts the historical period from the 1950s to the 1990s, focusing on the role of Psychology in the lives of LGBTIQ people in Britain. Psychology has been, and is, central to the social, legal and medical understandings of biological sex and how best to understand diversity in gender and sexuality. Likewise, gay liberation and liberationist politics also had an effect on Psychology. For the 1950s-1960s, we outline how Psychologists influenced the Law in relation to the Wolfenden Report (1957) and how expertise was centrally located within the Psy disciplines. Following this, in the 1960s-1970s, activists began to challenge this expertise and became increasingly critical of pathologisation and of ‘treatments’ for homosexuality. They did not reject Psychology wholesale, however, and some groups engaged with queer affirmative psychologists who had similar liberatory aims. Finally, for the 1980s-1998 we highlight the establishment of the Lesbian and Gay Section of the British Psychological Society which signalled institutional recognition of lesbian and gay psychologists. This is explored against a backdrop of a specific British history of HIV/AIDS and Section 28. The past fifty years have been a battleground of categories in which LGBTIQ people were conflated, compared, and confused. We demonstrate that psychologists (not all of whom adopted a pathologising perspective) alongside politicians, lawyers, doctors, journalists and activists all played a role in the boundary-making practices of this period. Across this entangled history we demonstrate varied and significant shifts in the legitimacy of professional and personal expertise.

Public Significance Statement:

This article presents a British history of LGBTIQ Psychology from 1954-1998. Within a complex landscape of law, social change, medicine and activism, it recognises the influence Psychology has had on the lives of LGBTIQ people and vice versa. This history is important for contemporary Psychology as LGBTIQ issues continue to be contested in Britain and further afield.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Department of Sociology
Authors :
NameEmailORCID
Hubbard, Katherine Annek.a.hubbard@surrey.ac.uk
Griffiths, David Andrewd.a.griffiths@surrey.ac.uk
Date : 2019
Funders : Wellcome Trust
Grant Title : Wellcome Trust Research Bursary
Copyright Disclaimer : © 2019 American Psychological Association.
Uncontrolled Keywords : Queer British History; LGBTIQ Psychology; History of Psychology; Gay Liberation; Activism
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 15 Oct 2019 15:02
Last Modified : 15 Oct 2019 15:02
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/852935

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