Rise and Fall of the Medical Model

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Editor’s Note: The term “homosexual” was a medical diagnosis before it was a sexual orientation, first defined as an anatomical abnormality and then, starting in the early 20th century, as a psychological disorder subject to treatment and cure. This designation held until the pyschiatric establishment finally abandoned it in the 1970’s. Much has been written about this long and torturous history, starting with the work of Michel Foucault; but this important article by Vernon Rosario, a psychiatrist and a frequent contributor to these pages over the years, stands as a singularly succinct history of the medical model. This article appeared in the HGLR’s Fall 1999 issue.

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