'Queer' treatments

Giving a voice to former patients who received treatments for their 'sexual deviations'

Tommy Dickinson, Matt Cook, John Playle, Christine Hallett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Aims and objectives. The study aimed to examine the experiences of patients and meanings attached to 'treatments' of sexual deviations, which included homosexuality and transvestism, in the UK (1949-1992), exploring reasons for such treatments, experiences and how individual lives were affected. Background. Male homosexuality remained illegal in England until 1967 and, along with transvestism, was considered an antisocial sexual deviation that could be cured. Homosexuality remained classifiable as a mental illness until 1992. Nurses were involved in administering treatments to cure these individuals; however, there is a paucity of information about this now-discredited mental health nursing practice. Design. A nationwide study based on oral history interviews. Methods. Purposeful and snowball sampling was utilised when selecting participants for the study. Participants were recruited via adverts in gay establishments/media. All participants gave signed informed consent. Face-to-face oral history interviews were conducted and transcribed for historical interpretation. Results. Seven former male patients made contact, aged 65-97years at interview. All reported that the treatments had been unsuccessful in altering their sexual desires or behaviour. Most sought treatment owing to unsupportive and negative attitudes from friends, family and wider society. Others selected treatments instead of imprisonment. Most eventually found happiness in same-sex relationships. However, all were left feeling emotionally troubled by the treatments they received. Conclusion. Defining homosexuality and transvestism as mental illnesses and implementing what could be argued to be inefficient treatments to eradicate them appears to have had a lasting negative impact on the patients who received them. Relevance to clinical practice. Nurses who care for older gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender patients need to be mindful of their potential past treatment by healthcare services and ensure that they are non-judgmental and accepting of their sexual orientation and current gender.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1345-1354
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Clinical Nursing
Volume21
Issue number9-10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2012
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Transvestism
Interviews
Homosexuality
Therapeutics
Nurses
Transgender Persons
Psychiatric Nursing
Happiness
Male Homosexuality
Informed Consent
Sexual Behavior
England
Emotions
Delivery of Health Care
Sexual Minorities

Cite this

@article{effd8dbe4d0a401480ee5135eb39042d,
title = "'Queer' treatments: Giving a voice to former patients who received treatments for their 'sexual deviations'",
abstract = "Aims and objectives. The study aimed to examine the experiences of patients and meanings attached to 'treatments' of sexual deviations, which included homosexuality and transvestism, in the UK (1949-1992), exploring reasons for such treatments, experiences and how individual lives were affected. Background. Male homosexuality remained illegal in England until 1967 and, along with transvestism, was considered an antisocial sexual deviation that could be cured. Homosexuality remained classifiable as a mental illness until 1992. Nurses were involved in administering treatments to cure these individuals; however, there is a paucity of information about this now-discredited mental health nursing practice. Design. A nationwide study based on oral history interviews. Methods. Purposeful and snowball sampling was utilised when selecting participants for the study. Participants were recruited via adverts in gay establishments/media. All participants gave signed informed consent. Face-to-face oral history interviews were conducted and transcribed for historical interpretation. Results. Seven former male patients made contact, aged 65-97years at interview. All reported that the treatments had been unsuccessful in altering their sexual desires or behaviour. Most sought treatment owing to unsupportive and negative attitudes from friends, family and wider society. Others selected treatments instead of imprisonment. Most eventually found happiness in same-sex relationships. However, all were left feeling emotionally troubled by the treatments they received. Conclusion. Defining homosexuality and transvestism as mental illnesses and implementing what could be argued to be inefficient treatments to eradicate them appears to have had a lasting negative impact on the patients who received them. Relevance to clinical practice. Nurses who care for older gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender patients need to be mindful of their potential past treatment by healthcare services and ensure that they are non-judgmental and accepting of their sexual orientation and current gender.",
keywords = "Gay, Gay history, Marginalised, Nursing ethics, Nursing history, Queer",
author = "Tommy Dickinson and Matt Cook and John Playle and Christine Hallett",
year = "2012",
month = "5",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1111/j.1365-2702.2011.03965.x",
language = "English",
volume = "21",
pages = "1345--1354",
journal = "Journal of Clinical Nursing",
issn = "0962-1067",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "9-10",

}

'Queer' treatments : Giving a voice to former patients who received treatments for their 'sexual deviations'. / Dickinson, Tommy; Cook, Matt; Playle, John; Hallett, Christine.

In: Journal of Clinical Nursing, Vol. 21, No. 9-10, 01.05.2012, p. 1345-1354.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - 'Queer' treatments

T2 - Giving a voice to former patients who received treatments for their 'sexual deviations'

AU - Dickinson, Tommy

AU - Cook, Matt

AU - Playle, John

AU - Hallett, Christine

PY - 2012/5/1

Y1 - 2012/5/1

N2 - Aims and objectives. The study aimed to examine the experiences of patients and meanings attached to 'treatments' of sexual deviations, which included homosexuality and transvestism, in the UK (1949-1992), exploring reasons for such treatments, experiences and how individual lives were affected. Background. Male homosexuality remained illegal in England until 1967 and, along with transvestism, was considered an antisocial sexual deviation that could be cured. Homosexuality remained classifiable as a mental illness until 1992. Nurses were involved in administering treatments to cure these individuals; however, there is a paucity of information about this now-discredited mental health nursing practice. Design. A nationwide study based on oral history interviews. Methods. Purposeful and snowball sampling was utilised when selecting participants for the study. Participants were recruited via adverts in gay establishments/media. All participants gave signed informed consent. Face-to-face oral history interviews were conducted and transcribed for historical interpretation. Results. Seven former male patients made contact, aged 65-97years at interview. All reported that the treatments had been unsuccessful in altering their sexual desires or behaviour. Most sought treatment owing to unsupportive and negative attitudes from friends, family and wider society. Others selected treatments instead of imprisonment. Most eventually found happiness in same-sex relationships. However, all were left feeling emotionally troubled by the treatments they received. Conclusion. Defining homosexuality and transvestism as mental illnesses and implementing what could be argued to be inefficient treatments to eradicate them appears to have had a lasting negative impact on the patients who received them. Relevance to clinical practice. Nurses who care for older gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender patients need to be mindful of their potential past treatment by healthcare services and ensure that they are non-judgmental and accepting of their sexual orientation and current gender.

AB - Aims and objectives. The study aimed to examine the experiences of patients and meanings attached to 'treatments' of sexual deviations, which included homosexuality and transvestism, in the UK (1949-1992), exploring reasons for such treatments, experiences and how individual lives were affected. Background. Male homosexuality remained illegal in England until 1967 and, along with transvestism, was considered an antisocial sexual deviation that could be cured. Homosexuality remained classifiable as a mental illness until 1992. Nurses were involved in administering treatments to cure these individuals; however, there is a paucity of information about this now-discredited mental health nursing practice. Design. A nationwide study based on oral history interviews. Methods. Purposeful and snowball sampling was utilised when selecting participants for the study. Participants were recruited via adverts in gay establishments/media. All participants gave signed informed consent. Face-to-face oral history interviews were conducted and transcribed for historical interpretation. Results. Seven former male patients made contact, aged 65-97years at interview. All reported that the treatments had been unsuccessful in altering their sexual desires or behaviour. Most sought treatment owing to unsupportive and negative attitudes from friends, family and wider society. Others selected treatments instead of imprisonment. Most eventually found happiness in same-sex relationships. However, all were left feeling emotionally troubled by the treatments they received. Conclusion. Defining homosexuality and transvestism as mental illnesses and implementing what could be argued to be inefficient treatments to eradicate them appears to have had a lasting negative impact on the patients who received them. Relevance to clinical practice. Nurses who care for older gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender patients need to be mindful of their potential past treatment by healthcare services and ensure that they are non-judgmental and accepting of their sexual orientation and current gender.

KW - Gay

KW - Gay history

KW - Marginalised

KW - Nursing ethics

KW - Nursing history

KW - Queer

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84859745537&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2011.03965.x

DO - 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2011.03965.x

M3 - Article

VL - 21

SP - 1345

EP - 1354

JO - Journal of Clinical Nursing

JF - Journal of Clinical Nursing

SN - 0962-1067

IS - 9-10

ER -