Stålström, Olli
Title:The Removal of the Sickness Label Of Homosexuality. Homoseksuaalisuuden sairausleiman poistaminen
Published in:In Lehtonen, Jukka & Nissinen, Jussi & Socada, Maria: From Hetero-assumption to Plurality: Lesbians, Gays, Bi- and Trans-people as Clients of Social- and Health services. Hetero-olettamuksesta moninaisuuteen: lesbot, homot, bi- ja transihmiset sosiaali- ja terveyspalveluiden asiakkaina.
Type:Published works
No electronic version available.

      Stålström's article consists of a history of labeling of homosexuality. Stålström finds the roots of the tendency to see homosexuality as unnatural in basic texts of Jewish-Christian culture and western medicine. In 18th century not only the church but also criminal law doomed "unnatural deeds", but at the same time "a world of perversions" began to be constructed: the homosexual subject, way of life and medical category started to take form.
      After Sigmund Freud - who found homosexuality as a "development-pause", but was against efforts to "normalize" homosexuals and labeling homosexuality as a sickness - an era of condemning homosexuality began among psychoanalysts. Stålström summarizes the views of Edmund Bergler, Sandor Rado, Irving Bieber and Charles Socarides.
      Empirical studies began to criticize the views of psychoanalysis after the Second World War. Stålström mentions the studies of the Kinsey Institute and Evelyn Hooker, who stated that homosexuality does not exist as a clinical entity; its forms vary as do the forms of heterosexuality. These studies and the critique of social constructionism towards heterosexual hegemony and stigmatizing of minorities have had great importance in the development towards the end of sickness label of homosexuality. In 1973 homosexuality was taken away from the psychiatric illness classification in United States and in Finland in 1981. Still in 1990's there has occurred a trend of "repathologizing" homosexuality, by explaining homosexuality with anatomy, biology, brainstructure and genes.
Last Modified: 15.04.2002