The American Psychiatric Association (APA) is a professional organization of psychiatrists in the United States. On December 15th, 1973, the APA voted 13-0 to remove homosexuality from its official list of psychiatric disorders, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). This decision came after years of discussion and debate within the psychiatric community about the classification of homosexuality as a mental disorder.
Prior to the APA’s decision, homosexuality was considered a mental illness and was listed as such in the DSM. This classification was based on the belief that homosexuality was a form of sexual deviance and that it was caused by psychological or emotional problems. Many psychiatrists and other mental health professionals believed that homosexuality could be cured through therapy and other forms of treatment.
However, in the decades leading up to the APA’s decision, a growing body of scientific evidence began to challenge this view. Researchers found that homosexuality was not a result of psychological or emotional problems but was rather a normal variant of human sexuality. Additionally, they found that attempts to “cure” homosexuality were often ineffective and could even be harmful to the individuals undergoing such treatments.
In light of this new evidence, the APA decided to remove homosexuality from the DSM and to no longer classify it as a mental disorder. This decision was a major milestone in the history of psychiatry and was a significant step toward greater acceptance of homosexuality in American society. It also helped pave the way for the legalization of same-sex marriage and other rights for LGBTQ individuals in the United States.