On this day:
1973 – The American Psychiatric Association votes 13–0 to remove homosexuality from its official list of psychiatric disorders, the DSM-II.
Presented with data from researchers such as Alfred Kinsey and Evelyn Hooker, the sixth printing of the DSM-II, in 1974, no longer listed homosexuality as a category of disorder. After a vote by the APA trustees in 1973, and confirmed by the wider APA membership in 1974, the diagnosis was replaced with the category of “sexual orientation disturbance”.
In 1973 homosexuality per se was removed from the DSM-II classification of mental disorders and replaced by the category Sexual Orientation Disturbance. This represented a compromise between the view that preferential homosexuality is invariably a mental disorder and the view that it is merely a normal sexual variant. While the 1973 DSM-II controversy was highly public, more recently a related but less public controversy involved what became the DSM-III category of Ego-dystonic Homosexuality. The author presents the DSM-III controversy and a reformulation of the issues involved in the diagnostic status of homosexuality. He argues that what is at issue is a value judgment about heterosexuality, rather than a factual dispute about homosexuality.