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Sexes: Sick Again?

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Psychiatrists vote on gays

In a much debated vote by its membership four years ago, the American Psychiatric Association decided that homosexuality should not be defined as a disorder. For many psychiatrists, that poll has hardly disposed of the issue—as a new survey by Medical Aspects of Human Sexuality shows. The journal sent questionnaires to 10,000 members of the A.P.A., and compiled the first 2,500 responses. Of those answering, 69% said they believed “homosexuality is usually a pathological adaptation, as opposed to a normal variation,” 18% disagreed and 13% were uncertain. Similarly, sizable majorities said that homosexuals are generally less happy than heterosexuals (73%) and less capable of mature, loving relationships (60%). A total of 70% said homosexuals’ problems have more to do with their own inner conflicts than with stigmatization by society at large. Many of the doctors doubted that homosexuals could be trusted with important jobs. To the query “Are homosexuals generally a greater risk than heterosexuals to hold positions of great responsibility?” 43% of the therapists answered yes.

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