204: 81 Words

204: 81 Words

Jan 18, 2002
The story of how the American Psychiatric Association decided in 1973 that homosexuality was no longer a mental illness.
  • Host Ira Glass explains that the show this week consists of one long story, the story of something very small that was part of something very large in the history of our country. (2 minutes) Sexuality

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  • In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) declared that homosexuality was not a disease simply by changing the 81-word definition of sexual deviance in its own reference manual. It was a change that attracted a lot of attention at the time, but the story of what led up to that change is one that we hear today, from reporter Alix Spiegel. Part one of Alix's story details the activities of a closeted group of gay psychiatrists within the APA who met in secret and called themselves the GAYPA...and another, even more secret group of gay psychiatrists among the political echelons of the APA. Alix's own grandfather was among these psychiatrists, and the president-elect of the APA at the time of the change. (24 minutes) Health Care/MedicineSexuality

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  • Alix Spiegel's story continues, with a man dressed in a Nixon mask called Dr. Anonymous, and a pivotal encounter in a Hawaiian bar. (30 minutes)

    Funding for Alix Spiegel's story came from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Health Care/MedicineSexuality

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