Category Archives: Journals

Special Issue: Histories of psychology after Stonewall

A special issue of the American Psychologist dedicated to “Histories of psychology after Stonewall” is now online. The issue is guest-edited by Peter Hegarty and Alexandra Rutherford. Full details below.

“Histories of psychology after Stonewall: Introduction to the special issue,” by Hegarty, Peter; Rutherford, Alexandra. Abstract:

This article introduces the special issue Fifty Years Since Stonewall: The Science and Politics of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity. Here, the commemoration of the 1969 Stonewall uprising frames our discussion of issues of representation that arise in commemorating events in general, and events in the history of psychology in particular. We describe how the articles in the special issue expand the existing narratives about the history of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender psychology that are centered in the United States, focused primarily on sexual orientation and often end, rather than begin, in the time of Stonewall. The international scope of the special issue can suggest new ways to particularize histories of psychology since Stonewall that are centered on the United States. We describe the ideological context that shapes the doing of psychology since Stonewall, the telling of the histories of that psychology, and how “the problem of speaking for others” arises in contexts of power, including the curation of the special issue itself.

“Clinical activism in community-based practice: The case of LGBT affirmative care at the Eromin Center, Philadelphia, 1973–1984,” by Byers, David S.; Vider, Stephen; Smith, Amelia. Abstract:

The Eromin Center was founded in Philadelphia in 1973, aiming to provide lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) affirmative mental health treatment 6 months before the American Psychiatric Association voted to remove homosexuality from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM–II; American Psychiatric Association, 1968). This study of archival records and oral histories with Eromin Center staff and volunteers reveals an iterative and improvisational approach to community-based affirmative care. Rather than waiting for national leadership or institutional change, they aimed to respond directly to otherwise unrecognized needs of LGBT people through psychotherapy and social services—what we are calling clinical activism. Without training or guidance from research, they tended to base their work on their own experiences, an approach with inherent limitations in particular because most of the staff were White, cisgender, and identified as gay and lesbian. They attempted to address these limitations until Eromin’s closing in 1984. Largely overshadowed by the broader policy changes in mental health care, Eromin’s work provides a crucial case study in community-based clinical activism and affirmative practice with continuing salience today.

“From conversion toward affirmation: Psychology, civil rights, and experiences of gender-diverse communities in Memphis,” by Hipp, Tracy N.; Gore, Kayla R.; Toumayan, Amanda C.; Anderson, Mollie B.; Thurston, Idia B. Abstract:

Conversion efforts constitute any attempt to align an individual’s behavior or identity with cisgender and heterosexual norms. The majority of empirical literature on conversion efforts focuses on the experiences of White cisgender gay men. Drawing on a review of the literature, archives, and interviews with local community leaders and stakeholders, this article highlights a broader set of conversion strategies targeted toward Black transgender individuals in Memphis, a community at the heart of the civil rights movement. In addition to the role of ex-gay ministries like Love In Action, this investigation produced themes highlighting the roles of Christian organizations promulgating “church hurt,” structural violence, and gatekeeping to access affirmative care as forms of conversion. We further describe how lack of inclusion within the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community, in terms of race, class, and gender identity, has resulted in unequal support for Black transgender individuals and the obscuring of the central role that many transgender individuals, especially those with intersectional marginalized identities, have played in social justice movements. We end with ideas for moving toward affirmation and liberation.

“Content analysis of psychological research with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people of color in the United States: 1969–2018,” by Barnett, Andrew P.; del Río-González, Ana María; Parchem, Benjamin; Pinho, Veronica; Aguayo-Romero, Rodrigo; Nakamura, Nadine; Calabrese, Sarah K.; Poppen, Paul J.; Zea, Maria Cecilia. Abstract:

This article updates previous content analyses that identified a relative paucity of U.S.-based psychological research on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people of color by extending the period covered to 2018. In addition to documenting how many such studies occurred and when, it considers the research questions asked, funding sources, impact, and journal outlets. This richer description of this research area allowed us to describe historically not only when LGBT people of color in the United States were studied but why they were studied, which journals published this work, and which published studies were most influential. We found that the literature starts in 1988 for LGB people of color and in 2009 for transgender people of color and that a significant shift occurred in 2009, with the majority of the articles being published in the last 10 years. Findings suggest that U.S. federal funding and support for LGBT research as well as divisions of the American Psychological Association focused on minoritized identities and their journals played a role in the recent increase. Half of the studies investigated psychological symptoms, and more than a third of studied experiences and psychological processes related to holding multiple minority statuses, many of which focused on potentially deleterious aspects of these identities. These findings indicate that this literature has a significant focus on pathology. Underrepresented groups included cisgender and transgender women; transgender men; older individuals; Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders; American Indians and Alaska Natives; and multiracial individuals.

“Transnormativity in the psy disciplines: Constructing pathology in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and Standards of Care,” by Riggs, Damien W.; Pearce, Ruth; Pfeffer, Carla A.; Hines, Sally; White, Francis; Ruspini, Elisabetta. Abstract:

The psy disciplines (i.e., psychiatry, psychology, psychoanalysis, and psychotherapy) have played a significant role in shaping understandings of transgender people’s lives in ways that are transnormative (i.e., by emphasizing one particular account of what it means to be transgender). This article documents (a) how the rise of the psy disciplines created opportunities for transgender people to access treatment (but that such access often required tacit acceptance of transnormativity), and (b) how transgender people have resisted transnormative accounts within the psy disciplines. More specifically, this article explores how both the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, and what is now the World Professional Association for Transgender Health’s Standards of Care, have often enshrined highly regulatory accounts of transgender people’s lives, while also changing over time, in part as a result of the contributions of transgender people. The article concludes by considering recent contributions by transgender people in terms of the use of informed consent models of care and clinical research, and highlights the ongoing marginalization of transgender people in terms of access to ethical, transcompetent care.

“Homosexuality and psychiatry in state-socialist Hungary: Representing women’s same-sex desire in the psychomedical literature,” by Borgos, Anna. Abstract:

This study explores representations of homosexuality in the psychiatric and sexology literature between the 1960s and the 1980s in Hungary with special attention to women. The literature is indicative of how psy sciences interacted with the system of norms on gender and sexual orientation embedded within the social and political context of the era. Examination of these sources shows a predominantly pathologizing-normative discursive framework deployed by experts. The fundamental therapeutic aim was to achieve good social adaptation. In this process, psy experts were influential representatives of the heteronormative society, reinforcing gender norms and state-socialist family ideals. Within the psychological discourses on homosexuality, the case of women had some special characteristics. Their sexual choices were represented as more alterable than men’s and linked to emotional factors in the first place. In women’s case, there was usually no “need” for therapeutic conversion because socially prescribed gender norms worked strongly enough and the lack of sexual pleasure with men was not considered a significant problem. Professional and popular psychiatric and sexology literature on homosexuality indicate that whereas for men, transgressing normative (hetero)sexuality was the stronger taboo, for women, it was the unfulfilled order of marriage and motherhood that was considered the most serious deviance, and lesbian relationships had to be prevented for this reason.

“Sexual offence, diagnosis, and activism: A British history of LGBTIQ psychology,” by Hubbard, Katherine Anne; Griffiths, David Andrew. Abstract:

This article charts the historical period from the 1950s to the 1990s, focusing on the role of Psychology in the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) people in Britain. Psychology has been, and is, central to the social, legal, and medical understandings of biological sex and how best to understand diversity in gender and sexuality. Likewise, gay liberation and liberationist politics also had an effect on Psychology. For the 1950s to 1960s, we outline how psychologists influenced the law in relation to the Wolfenden Report (1957) and how expertise was centrally located within the ‘psy’ disciplines. Following this, in the 1960s to 1970s, activists began to challenge this expertise and became increasingly critical of pathologization and of ‘treatments’ for homosexuality. They did not reject Psychology wholesale, however, and some groups engaged with queer affirmative psychologists who had similar liberatory aims. Finally, for the 1980s to 1998, we highlight the establishment of the Lesbian and Gay Section of the British Psychological Society, which signaled institutional recognition of lesbian and gay psychologists. This is explored against a backdrop of a specific British history of HIV/AIDS and Section 28. The past 50 years have been a battleground of categories in which LGBTIQ people were conflated, compared, and confused. We demonstrate that psychologists (not all of whom adopted a pathologizing perspective), alongside politicians, lawyers, doctors, journalists, and activists, all played a role in the boundary-making practices of this period. Across this entangled history, we demonstrate varied and significant shifts in the legitimacy of professional and personal expertise.

“Queering the history of South African psychology: From apartheid to LGBTI+ affirmative practices,” by Pillay, Suntosh R.; Nel, Juan A.; McLachlan, Chris/tine; Victor, Cornelius J. Abstract:

This article constructs a brief history of how lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) issues have intersected with South African psychology at key sociopolitical moments, filling a gap in current histories. Organized psychology—a primary focus of this analysis—since its first formations in 1948, mostly colluded with apartheid governments by othering queerness as psychopathology or social deviance. The National Party, both homophobic and racist, ruled the country from 1948 until the first democratic elections in 1994. The acceleration of antiapartheid struggles in the 1980s saw progressive psychologists develop more critical forms of theory and practice. However, LGBTI+ issues remained overshadowed by the primary struggle for racial equality and democracy. Psychology’s chameleon-like adaptation to evolving eras resulted in a unified organization when apartheid ended: the Psychological Society of South Africa (PsySSA). Democratic South Africa’s Constitution took the bold step of protecting sexuality as a fundamental human right, galvanizing a fresh wave of LGBTI+ scholarship post-1994. However, LGBTI+ people still suffered prejudice, discrimination, and violence. Additionally, psychology training continued to ignore sexual orientation and gender-affirmative health care in curricula. PsySSA therefore joined the International Psychology Network for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Issues (IPsyNet) in 2007, catalyzing the PsySSA African LGBTI+ Human Rights Project in 2012 and two pioneering publications: a position statement on affirmative practice in 2013, and practice guidelines for psychology professionals working with sexually and gender-diverse people in 2017. This article traces a neglected history of South African psychology, examining the political, social, and institutional factors that eventually enabled the development of LGBTI+ affirmative psychologies.

“Emergence of a transnational LGBTI psychology: Commonalities and challenges in advocacy and activism,” by Horne, Sharon G.; Maroney, Meredith R.; Nel, Juan A.; Chaparro, Reynel A.; Manalastas, Eric Julian. Abstract:

This contribution explores the historical developments of transnational lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) psychology in Colombia, the Philippines, Russia, and South Africa in relationship to U.S. LGBT psychology. LGBTI psychology in these diverse contexts share commonalities but also have important variations in their development and focus within LGBTI concerns. The International Psychology Network for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Issues (IPsyNet) provides a model for international professional psychology collaboration and linkage on behalf of advocacy for LGBTI rights and sexual orientation and gender identity and/or expression concerns. Although there is the risk of transnational LGBTI psychology(ies) reproducing European-North American (Euro-N.A.) “homonationalism” and contributing to neo-colonization, these case examples illustrate the dynamic potential of transnational LGBTI psychology, including the possibilities of psychology to develop LGBTI psychologies drawing from indigenous as well as international structures and platforms, influencing Euro-N.A. models in the process. Finally, this article describes the promise and the limitations of transnational LGBTI psychology, including the role of human rights frameworks, as well as advocacy within professional psychology.

New at HHS: Collingwood’s critique of psychometrics, John Lilly and the control of ‘human agents’

Two articles now in press at History of the Human Sciences may interest AHP readers. Details below.

On ‘modified human agents’: John Lilly and the paranoid style in American neuroscience,” by Charlie Williams. Abstract:

The personal papers of the neurophysiologist John C. Lilly at Stanford University hold a classified paper he wrote in the late 1950s on the behavioural modification and control of ‘human agents’. The paper provides an unnerving prognosis of the future application of Lilly’s research, then being carried out at the National Institute of Mental Health. Lilly claimed that the use of sensory isolation, electrostimulation of the brain, and the recording and mapping of brain activity could be used to gain ‘push-button’ control over motivation and behaviour. This research, wrote Lilly, could eventually lead to ‘master-slave controls directly of one brain over another’. The paper is an explicit example of Lilly’s preparedness to align his research towards Cold War military aims. It is not, however, the research for which Lilly is best known. During the 1960s and 1970s, Lilly developed cult status as a far-out guru of consciousness exploration, promoting the use of psychedelics and sensory isolation tanks. Lilly argued that, rather than being used as tools of brainwashing, these techniques could be employed by the individual to regain control of their own mind and retain a sense of agency over their thoughts and actions. This article examines the scientific, intellectual, and cultural relationship between the sciences of brainwashing and psychedelic mind alteration. Through an analysis of Lilly’s autobiographical writings, I also show how paranoid ideas about brainwashing and mind control provide an important lens for understanding the trajectory of Lilly’s research.

The fashionable scientific fraud: Collingwood’s critique of psychometrics,” by Joel Michell. Abstract:

In his review of Charles Spearman’s The Nature of ‘Intelligence’ (1923), R. G. Collingwood launched an attack upon psychometrics that was expanded in his Essay on Metaphysics (1940). Although underrated by friend and foe alike, Collingwood’s critique identified a number of defects in the thinking of psychometricians that subsequently became entrenched. However, his main complaint was that psychology generally (and, by implication, psychometrics) was a ‘fashionable scientific fraud’. This charge was inspired by his more general views on logic and metaphysics, which, however, as I argue, are logically unsustainable. Ironically, other elements of his philosophy – his ‘fallacy of calculation’ and concept of ‘scale of forms’ – are relevant to psychometrics and tip the scales in favour of his otherwise unwarranted charge.

New: Guidance Counseling in 20th c. America, Monitoring the self

Two articles now in press at History of Science may interest AHP readers. Details below.

Monitoring the self: François-Marc-Louis Naville and his moral tables,” Harro Maas. Abstract:

This paper examines the self-measurement and self-tracking practices of a turn-of-the-nineteenth-century Genevese pastor and pedagogical innovator, François-Marc-Louis Naville, who extensively used Benjamin Franklin’s tools of moral calculation and a lesser known tool, Marc-Antoine Jullien’s moral thermometer, to set a direction to his life and to monitor and improve his moral character. My contribution sheds light on how technologies of quantification molded notions of personal responsibility and character within an emerging utilitarian context. I situate Naville’s use of these tools within his work as a pastor in a parish of the (then occupied) Republic of Geneva and within the Genevese and Swiss pedagogical reform movement of the early nineteenth century. I provide a detailed examination of how Naville used and adapted Franklin’s and Jullien’s tools of moral accounting for his own moral and religious purposes. Time, God’s most precious gift to man, served Naville as the ultimate measure of his moral worth.

Guidance counseling in the mid-twentieth century United States: Measurement, grouping, and the making of the intelligent self,” by Jim Wynter Porter. Abstract:

This article investigates National Defense Education Act and National Defense Education Act-related calls in the late 1950s for the training of guidance counselors, an emergent profession that was to play an instrumental role in both the measuring and placement of students in schools by “intelligence” or academic “ability”. In analyzing this mid-century push for more guidance counseling in schools, this article will first explore a foundational argument for the fairness of intelligence testing made by Educational Testing Service psychometrician William Turnbull in 1951, and then later taken up and employed by other National Defense Education Act-era advocates of testing and grouping. Secondly, this analysis will proceed to National Defense Education Act expert testimony, examining here assertions of the necessity of guidance counseling in schools, and an emergent and shared vision articulating the role guidance counseling was supposed to play in school life. A pattern or structure to this vision emerges here. According to its advocates, guidance counseling would not only inform the self-understanding of the measured individual, but it would also work to condition the ideology of individual intelligence across numerous layers of social life around the student: through peer group, through teachers and school administrators, and finally through home, family, and the wider community.

New CBHM/BCHM: Deinstitutionalization in Québec and Graphics in Psychiatric Drug Maintenance Therapy

Two articles in the fall issue of the Canadian Bulletin of Medical History may interest AHP readers. Details below:

En quête de financement pour la création d’une clinique externe et d’un service social comme parachèvement de la désinstitutionnalisation à l’Hôpital Saint-Michel-Archange de Beauport, 1961–72,” by Karine Aubin. Abstract:

La parution du rapport de la Commission d’étude des hôpitaux psychiatriques (rapport Bédard) en 1962 fut longtemps considérée comme un point de rupture dans l’histoire de la psychiatrie québécoise. L’historiographie récente propose une nouvelle interprétation du phénomène de la désinstitutionnalisation au Québec en s’intéressant à des initiatives datant du début du 20e siècle. Dans cette perspective, nous proposons l’hypothèse que le rapport Bédard constitue un levier politique pour obtenir un financement après l’entrée en vigueur de la Loi de l’assurance-hospitalisation en 1961 et que ses recommandations s’appuient sur les changements en cours. Cet article offre une relecture du rapport de la commission en ce qui concerne l’Hôpital Saint-Michel-Archange de Beauport et jette un éclairage différent sur la désinstitutionnalisation au Québec. Pour illustrer les changements organisationnels qui se produisent entre 1962 et 1972, notamment grâce à un nouveau financement public, nous nous appuyons sur les informations contenues dans un dossier médical spécifique.

The release of the report of the Commission d’étude des hôpitaux psychiatriques (Bédard report) in 1962 was long considered a transformative moment in the history of Québec psychiatry. But recent historiography suggests that deinstitutionalization in Québec features initiatives dating back to the early 20th century. Following this line of argumentation, we suggest that the Bédard report was primarily a political tool to obtain funding in the wake of the 1961 Hospital Insurance Act, and that the report’s recommendations built upon ongoing changes. This article proposes a new reading of the commission’s report on Beauport’s Hôpital Saint-Michel-Archange, and offers a new perspective on deinstitutionalization in Québec. Data gathered from medical records help illustrate the organizational changes that occurred between 1962 and 1972 through new public funding.

Erasing the Personal Baseline: Graphing Responders to Psychiatric Drug Maintenance Therapy,” by Dorian Deshauer. Abstract:

Since the 1950s, the practice of psychiatric drug maintenance therapy has been supported by graphics. Lacking physical markers to identify “responders” to long-term drugs, psychiatrists have used graphics to make the outcomes of their interventions visible. This article identifies changes in the graphical representation of drug responders in psychiatric journals between the mid-1950s and the mid-1990s. It argues that before 1970, psychiatrists assessed patients’ responses in relation to their personal baselines or symptom trajectories. After 1970, clinical trials made it possible to see responders through a statistical lens, as a homogeneous population, decontextualized from its past and having a future consisting of two possible states: relapse or remission. Abstracted from their life’s context, responders became the desired outcome of prescribing protocols that could be applied anywhere. Psychiatry’s graphical language supported an authoritative view of mental health as something to be optimized and maintained with prescription drugs.

Depuis les années 1950, les thérapies psychiatriques qui recouraient aux médicaments s’appuyaient sur des graphiques. Ne pouvant faire état de signes physiques, les psychiatres les utilisaient pour rendre « visibles » les réponses des patients aux médicaments administrés à long terme. Cet article retrace l’évolution des représentations graphiques utilisées dans les revues de psychiatrie pour exposer les réponses des patients à des médicaments entre le milieu des années 1950 et le milieu des années 1990. Avant 1970, les psychiatres évaluaient ces réponses en fonction des caractéristiques personnelles des patients ou de l’évolution de leurs symptômes. Après 1970 cependant, les essais cliniques permirent une démarche statistique, qui traitait les patients sous médication comme une population homogène, sans passé et dotée d’un futur exprimé en termes de rémission ou de rechute. Une fois détachés de leur contexte de vie, ces patients symbolisaient les résultats attendus de protocoles de prescription applicables partout. Ce langage graphique véhiculait une conception dominante selon laquelle la santé mentale peut être améliorée et maintenue grâce à la prescription de médicaments.

Credibility and Incredulity in Milgram’s Obedience Experiments: A Reanalysis of an Unpublished Test

Those following ongoing conversations about the Milrgam obedience to authority experiments may be interested in a recent article in Social Psychology Quarterly that reanalyses some of the original data from the experiment. Details below.

Credibility and Incredulity in Milgram’s Obedience Experiments: A Reanalysis of an Unpublished Test,” by Gina Perry, Augustine Brannigan, Richard A. Wanner, Henderikus Stam. Abstract:

This article analyzes variations in subject perceptions of pain in Milgram’s obedience experiments and their behavioral consequences. Based on an unpublished study by Milgram’s assistant, Taketo Murata, we report the relationship between the subjects’ belief that the learner was actually receiving painful electric shocks and their choice of shock level. This archival material indicates that in 18 of 23 variations of the experiment, the mean levels of shock for those who fully believed that they were inflicting pain were lower than for subjects who did not fully believe they were inflicting pain. These data suggest that the perception of pain inflated subject defiance and that subject skepticism inflated their obedience. This analysis revises our perception of the classical interpretation of the experiment and its putative relevance to the explanation of state atrocities, such as the Holocaust. It also raises the issue of dramaturgical credibility in experiments based on deception. The findings are discussed in the context of methodological questions about the reliability of Milgram’s questionnaire data and their broader theoretical relevance.