Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
. 2015 Dec 4;5(4):565-75.
doi: 10.3390/bs5040565.

Out of DSM: Depathologizing Homosexuality

Free PMC article

Out of DSM: Depathologizing Homosexuality

Jack Drescher. Behav Sci (Basel). .
Free PMC article


In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) removed the diagnosis of "homosexuality" from the second edition of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM). This resulted after comparing competing theories, those that pathologized homosexuality and those that viewed it as normal. In an effort to explain how that decision came about, this paper reviews some historical scientific theories and arguments that first led to the placement of homosexuality in DSM-I and DSM-II as well as alternative theories that eventually led to its removal from DSM III and subsequent editions of the manual. The paper concludes with a discussion of the sociocultural aftermath of that 1973 decision.

Keywords: American Psychiatric Association (APA); Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM); diagnosis; gender beliefs; gender binaries; homosexuality; psychiatry.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 5 articles


    1. Bayer R. Homosexuality and American Psychiatry: The Politics of Diagnosis. Basic Books; New York, NY, USA: 1981.
    1. Drescher J., Merlino J.P., editors. American Psychiatry and Homosexuality: An Oral History. Routledge; New York, NY, USA: 2007.
    1. Drescher J. An interview with Robert L. Spitzer, MD. J. Gay Lesb. Psychother. 2003;7:97–111. doi: 10.1300/J236v07n03_07. - DOI
    1. Drescher J. An interview with Lawrence Hartmann, MD. J. Gay Lesb. Psychother. 2006;10:123–137. doi: 10.1300/J236v10n01_11. - DOI
    1. Rosario V.A. An interview with Judd Marmor, MD. J. Gay Lesb. Psychother. 2003;7:23–34. doi: 10.1300/J236v07n04_03. - DOI