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Books, Journals, New Media
November 20, 2002

Homosexuality, ResearchDeparting From Deviance: A History of Homosexual Rights and Emancipatory Science in America

Author Affiliations

Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorDavid H.MorseMS, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media


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JAMA. 2002;288(19):2478-2479. doi:10.1001/jama.288.19.2478-JBK1120-3-1

Can science promote social justice? Many people think so. If discrimination and prejudice are based on myth and erroneous belief, then might not science, with its committed search for truth about the world, have a crucial role in promoting social good? The people whose stories are told in Departing From Deviance were certainly among the believers.

Henry L. Minton, a respected psychologist, gives us an account of several remarkable individuals who believed fervently in the power of scientific research to change the world. They suffered the discrimination, indignities, and personal pain inflicted on gay and lesbian people in America in the middle decades of 20th century. Their faith in science led them to see themselves as research subjects, helping the medical profession to better understand the complexities, causes, and diverse manifestations of homosexuality. Minton bases his account on a wide range of current scholarship, several unpublished diaries, and relevant archival material, much of it from the Kinsey Institute Archives.

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