2_Sexual behaviour and its medicalisation - Hart and Wellings

2_Sexual behaviour and its medicalisation - Hart and Wellings

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medically qualified doctors provided historical accounts of sexual behaviour does not mean, however, that medicalisation had not occurred. If medicalisation is seen as a social process that does not require the active involvement of doctors, and medical science is invoked to support particular ideological positions, then the medicalisation thesis can be sustained regard- less of the number of doctors involved. Psychiatry and the medicalisation of sex Psychiatry, as the moral arm of medicine, played a major role in developing the idea that some sexual behaviours are expressions of disease. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders , first published by the American Psychiatric Society in 1952, described “treatable” behaviours that previously had been seen as morally inadmissible. This book was hugely influential in defining and sustaining judg- ments regarding the sexual behaviours that required medical intervention. 12 For example, homosexuals,
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