This site uses cookies. By continuing, your consent is assumed. Learn more


Medicalization of homosexuality statistics


The medicalization of queer bodies in the clinic and the lab is inexorably linked to the history of LBGTQ politics. With this in mind, it is crucial to understand the way these biases operate in scientific research and healthcare so their impact on what we know and how we care can be addressed.

It what follows, it will be shown that the medicalization of queer bodies not only fails to diminish these deep-seated biases from sexuality research and clinical practice, but that it also impedes care providers from addressing the healthcare disparities facing queer "Medicalization of homosexuality statistics" today.

They signify the rise of queer public identities and the eruption of a multifaceted political consciousness over the last hundred years. Their power is derived not only from the personal experience of their speakers, but also from a legacy of medicalization of sex and sexual orientation — as well as the misplaced but politically expedient equation Medicalization of homosexuality statistics naturalness with morality.

The dispassionate language used in the medicalization process also facilitates the affective detachment of the speaker the biomedical expert from the thing itself. Historically, labs and clinics have for better or worse had a heavy hand in shaping queer bodies and the queer body politic.

In what follows, the roots of the medicalization of queer bodies are sketched through a brief analysis of the two aforementioned rallying cries. This will contextualize a discussion of the variegated relationship between the medical establishment and queer communities, and will historically ground Medicalization of homosexuality statistics call for greater attention to the cis- and heteronormative biases that undergird our healthcare Medicalization of homosexuality statistics. Ultimately, the purpose of this piece is to provide a bit of sociohistorical context to physician-scientists who typically approach problems from a more biomedical perspective in an effort to foster new ways of thinking about what it means to care.

And because pathologization organizes sexual deviation under the heading of natural variation, legal retaliation against people acting in accordance with their biology was argued to be insensible [ 2 ]. Sexual deviants came to be cast as objects of pity — cursed with the wretched burden of a cruel biological fate. And from until his death inHavelock Ellis among other researchers pushed for more neutral language in the field. By changing the conversation about homosexuals from one of neurological degeneration to one of biological anomalies "Medicalization of homosexuality statistics" 3 ], this small discursive move shrunk even further any implications of moral failing or personal choice.

Decades later, grassroots organizations would denounce moralizing homophobic claims by invoking this non-pathological biological framework.

The medicalization of homosexuality has...

As the concept of homosexuality was refined to be primarily about same sex desire, so did the idea of transsexuality come to be understood primarily as a desire to embody the opposite sex. Of course, it is important to note that the performativity of gender draws on both sex and sexual orientation, and in practice, knowing where one of these terms ends and the other begins can be tricky.

In sum, it is important to note that while all queer bodies were shaped by medicalization, the historical relationship to medicalization is more complex for trans people than it is for Medicalization of homosexuality statistics people. Admittedly, the above vignettes are highly abbreviated and quick to smooth over the intricacies and inherent contradictions of these events. But they illustrate that a critical aspect of homosexual, bisexual and transgender identity positions congealed in response to their medicalization.

This solidification was not a unidirectional process. Homophile activists like Radcliffe Hall and Karl Ulrichs borrowed from the medical literature to knit together the cultural materials that would foster communities, push back against punitive laws and question social mores. Meanwhile clinicians sexologists, psychologists and physicians like Richard von Krafft-Ebing and Havelock Ellis created a swarming expansion of case studies to nail down the origins of a variety of sexual groups, the similarities and differences between them, and the ways their biologies, behaviors and desires diverged from those of heterosexuals.

As described above, the medicalization of sexual orientation and gender identity can be understood as the beginning of a new paradigm shift in sexual politics that signified the start of public movements for queer rights. But crucially, Medicalization of homosexuality statistics also opened the doors for increased scientific scrutiny of sexual minorities.

The attention is in part because of the way scientific research on sexuality is conducted: The identification of sex, gender and sexual orientation as natural phenomena was a windfall for curious minds seeking to better describe and understand the world around them. But while this focus is inexorably tied to historical advancements in queer rights, the heightened scrutiny strikes many in the queer community today as unsettling. The remainder of this piece will focus on the rhetorical complexities inherent to modern research on sexual orientation, the clinical implications of a legacy of sexual medicalization, and why medico-scientific discourses are not Medicalization of homosexuality statistics of addressing the fundamental impediments to justice for queer people.

Ultimately, it will be shown that the medicalization of queer bodies not only fails to diminish these deep-seated cis- and heteronormative biases from sexuality research and clinical practice, but that it also impedes care providers from addressing the healthcare disparities facing queer patients today.

For the sake of brevity, this section will focus primarily on basic science and translational scientific research, which are often neglected in discussions of heteronormative bias in sexuality Medicalization of homosexuality statistics. While the more esoteric content of basic and translational research does function as an inherent barrier to researchers making sweeping social generalizations in their published work, it is often paradoxically more profoundly affected than is clinical research.

This has to do with the fact that translational scientists use animal models to ask different and arguably more fraught questions than do clinical researchers. While observational studies of human subjects are used for estimating prevalence of L, G, B, or Medicalization of homosexuality statistics populations, for probing any associations between sexual orientation and genetics and anatomy, and for better understanding the health needs of these populations, animal models are employed for their potential to get at the underlying mechanisms Medicalization of homosexuality statistics sexual orientation.

As alluded to above, these models are troubled by a number Medicalization of homosexuality statistics assumptions that significantly affect their validity. In any case, these animals are then studied for changes in sexual behavior, which are interpreted as alterations to sexual orientation.

Problematically, there is so little compelling modern evidence for this ubiquitous inversion assumption that many Medicalization of homosexuality statistics in LGBT Studies now argue that the deployment of inversion as an explanatory model for homosexuality is Medicalization of homosexuality statistics more than a truly antiquated bias, harkening back to the idea of the effeminate gay man and the mannish lesbian [ 7 ].

But leaving that aside and also ignoring the fact that discerning sexual orientation from dominance behaviors in animals is often difficultin most of these studies it would be impossible to discern whether behavioral changes are simply a change in the behavioral output of sex-specific behaviors e.


Much more disturbing is the almost universal assumption that queerness in general represents a defect in an otherwise functional heterosexual biological system. By employing castration and genetic knockout studies for example, of genes that are purported to enable an animal to tell the difference between the sexes [ 6 ] as mechanistic explanations for LGB sexual orientations, researchers relegate these sexual orientations to the realm of the pathological. Restated, this sort of experimental design inherently structures scientific data in such a way as to equate Medicalization of homosexuality statistics with functional status and queerness with dysfunction.

Clearly, medicalization in research is doing little to quell old biases about the pathology of homo- and bisexuality. It is notable Medicalization of homosexuality statistics while there is also no significant mechanistic evidence to support the use of the inversion model as an explanation for transgenderism, "Medicalization of homosexuality statistics" was no early recognition and relatively scant current recognition in the basic and translational literature that it would be a better fit based on what is known about the lived experience of transgendered patients.

In fact there is a conspicuous absence of basic or translational research on transgenderism at all. As a case in point, a cursory PubMed search as of the publication of this article for transgender animal models yields no relevant results. Moreover, given the significant biases that pervade basic and translational research of LGB subjects, it is unclear whether the absence of theories about trans subjects is actually problematic. That said, the lack of trans research both here and, until recently, in clinical studies harkens back to a history of erasure for trans people.

The problems described above are all compounded by the fact that peer reviewers in basic science are not as attuned to subtle Medicalization of homosexuality statistics and cisnormative biases than are those in clinical research. Clinical and social scientists often cite findings in basic science to lend credibility to their work; when successful, not only is such cross-disciplinary citation integrative, but it also has Medicalization of homosexuality statistics apparent effect of grounding controversial or novel claims in something fundamental.

Often, the overall explanatory framework rather than the specific content is what gets translated between disparate fields [ 9 "Medicalization of homosexuality statistics." There are also implications for the interaction between the provider and the patient in the exam room.

From the literature on stigma and substance abuse, it is understood that negative attitudes of healthcare providers towards their patients contribute to poor care for these patients [ 12 ]. But as the pervasive biases in the contemporary biological literature demonstrate, the problem with such a goal is that medicine and biology still assign value based on heterosexual reproductive capacity. It is thus unrealistic to expect that a medicalizing gaze, which seems in many respects to be incapable of questioning the insidiousness of heteronormativity, would be able to carry out deeper, more meaningful depathologization.

As described above, this is made clear by the fact that many of the clinical questions posed about queer populations are still premised on the assumption that our health Medicalization of homosexuality statistics stem from some underlying pathology. That said, given that it is now years after the publication of Psychopathia Sexualisnow seems as good a time as any to demedicalize — and not just depathologize — sexual orientation and gender identity. Demedicalization Medicalization of homosexuality statistics not Medicalization of homosexuality statistics a simple rhetorical act.

It entails much more than inverting antiquated sentence structures to suit the new politically correct order of the day. It requires researchers to deconstruct their motives for putting heterosexuality on the mantle. And it changes the conversation about queer people from one that debates their immorality vs. In short, it turns the microscope inwards.

Medical authority and sexual behaviour

The medical establishment has certainly made progress towards providing better care for queer populations. Diagnostic pathologization used to shame queer patients to silence Medicalization of homosexuality statistics and absence from the clinic. That changed for LGB patients in with removal of homosexuality from the DSM-II, and is starting to change for trans patients with the step towards depathologization of transgenderism in the DSM In the wake of the AIDS firestorm that decimated gay and bisexual male communities and likely — though there is less research to support this — trans communitiesactivists, patients, health care workers, scientists and allies drew together "Medicalization of homosexuality statistics" push for the development and proliferation of antiretroviral drugs, which enabled new possibilities and for some a sense of empowerment.

Concurrently, trans populations witnessed the propagation of gender management clinics that enabled them to shape their bodies as they saw fit. And in response to a vacuum in the public health literature described above, there is now a rapidly growing body of research on the healthcare needs of and challenges facing trans populations.

Each of these shifts represents a step towards improving healthcare access to Medicalization of homosexuality statistics delivery for queer people. Nevertheless, there continue to be wide healthcare disparities Medicalization of homosexuality statistics queer communities and straight ones.

The LGBT Medicalization of homosexuality statistics faces higher rates of substance abuse, psychiatric disorders, cancer, obesity among women, and legal and social ostracization [ 13 ].

Factors such as lower rates of insurance, higher rates of systematic harassment and discrimination, Medicalization of homosexuality statistics a lack of cultural competency in the healthcare setting put queer patients at higher risks for adverse health outcomes [ 13 ].

With this in mind, and in an effort to write to the all too often silence on trans issues, the remainder of this section will focus on trans patients. Unfortunately, mistreatment and discrimination of trans people happens often in healthcare settings. A national survey by Lambda Legal found that 21 percent of trans patients reported experiencing verbal abuse in a healthcare setting, while 8 percent of trans patients experienced rough or physically abusive treatment [ 15 ].

Qualitative research on the experiences of trans women in San Francisco-based healthcare settings revealed that many healthcare providers and staff remain ignorant of trans Medicalization of homosexuality statistics needs, deny or withhold care to trans patients, refuse to use requested gender pronouns, and that some even intentionally humiliate patients "Medicalization of homosexuality statistics" of their trans status [ 16 ].

The rampant mistreatment that trans people experience in healthcare leads to a number of avoidant coping mechanisms. From the aforementioned study, mistreatment in a medical setting discourages patients from disclosing transgender status to providers, from frequenting specific providers or clinics, or from attending clinics that are not specifically designated as trans clinics; often it causes trans patients to opt out of the healthcare system altogether [ 16 ].

This is consistent with larger studies of trans patients, Medicalization of homosexuality statistics the California Health Interview Study, which found that 30 percent of transgender adults delayed or did not seek care compared to 17 percent of their heterosexual counterparts [ 13 ]. And this also fits into the larger picture the effect of minority Medicalization of homosexuality statistics on health [ 17 ].

For example, 25 percent of respondents in a survey of trans people by the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force reported misusing drugs or alcohol as a coping strategy in response to everyday instances of discrimination, while 41 percent had attempted to commit suicide in their lifetime [ 18 ].

These statistics deeply Medicalization of homosexuality statistics the importance of a new study by Olson et al. Collectively, these studies show us that the entrenched cis- and heterosexism of our healthcare system and the society in which it operates is repellent and hazardous to trans patients. Preventing discrimination against queer groups in the clinic a tricky task.

On one hand, as opinions of LGBT people in broader society are becoming more favorable, blatant homo- and transphobia are becoming less common. But in settings with the potential to be as intimate as they do to be marginalizing like the clinicthe leisurely pace of social progress is just too sluggish.

Medicalisation of Sexual Orientation and...

Recognizing Medicalization of homosexuality statistics, many healthcare organizations have responded with a proliferation of LGBT sensitivity training programs for their employees. While the evidence for success of these interventions is favorable if weak [ 20 ], the more pressing issue is the continued lack of formal education that physicians receive around LGB and especially trans healthcare.

Doctors and discussion of sexual...

Fifty percent of respondents in the National Center for Transgender Equality survey described having to educate their physicians about trans healthcare Medicalization of homosexuality statistics 18 ]! We as healthcare providers have a responsibility to gain the cultural competency as well as the healthcare knowledge and skills to care for queer populations. The lack of provider education reflects a larger failure on the part of physicians to uphold the fourth and most often forgotten pillar of medical ethics: Indeed, calls inciting physicians to political action against injustice are often met with a kind of lifeless stoicism that could only continue to be justified under the pretexts of medicalization itself.

By reducing queerness to an objective biological and often pathological fact, medicalization strips away social context and produces it as an ahistorical quality. This makes it easier to forget that healthcare disparities suffered by queer populations are socially produced — at least in part by the healthcare system itself — and that their persistence is enabled by mass indifference. Medicalization thus renders out the ethical obligation on healthcare providers to rise to political action for their patients.

Demedicalization is a call to action. If care providers are able to recognize the dual hazards of stigma towards patients in the exam room and paralyzing apathy about addressing the larger systems that create healthcare inequalities for queer people generated by clinical medicalization, they may also be more likely to recognize that the current scientific literature about queer people is replete with cis- and heteronormative biases that ultimately limit what we know and indeed what we can know about the LGBT populations under our care.

This recognition could give care providers the occasion to support their colleagues in basic, translational, and clinical research who already actively try to reduce the Medicalization of homosexuality statistics of bias on their work, and hopefully will be more likely to address these types of biases in the future in asking questions that probe the origins and implications of sex and sexuality in non-normative ways, so as facilitate the creation of a more objective knowledge base about queer populations.

As described previously, Medicalization of homosexuality statistics has historically been useful for advancing queer rights — from decriminalizing homosexual acts in public or private to pushing for queer parenting rights to expanding insurance coverage to include genital reconstruction surgery.

But as larger society comes to terms with accepting queer people, queer relationships, and queer culture srhetorical recourses to nature are looking increasingly antiquated. The medicalization of queer bodies in the clinic and the lab is inexorably the desires and actions of the homosexual became biological facts.

Medicalisation of Sexual Orientation and Gender Medicalization of homosexuality statistics for converting homosexuals to heterosexuals, humiliation of transgender people within the institution. Medical Conceptions of Male Homosexuality The roots of the medicalization of.

a mental and psychological disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual.

MORE: Hopko homosexuality statistics

News feed