Views & Reviews Medical Classics

Sexual Deviation

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 01 April 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b1240
  1. Kate Robertson, staff grade psychiatrist, Ardenleigh Centre, Birmingham
  1. kate.robertson{at}

    This early book from the renowned Oxford psychiatrist Anthony Storr, who died in 2001, now seems to embody an appallingly patronising and dated psychiatric view of the world. It claims compassion for the “unfortunate” “deviants” such as homosexuals “in their predicament” and exalts a psychoanalytically informed but psychiatrically defined normality (heterosexual genital sex is “the only fully satisfactory way known to human beings”). Anything else is an illness, and treatment is not only necessary but humane. Storr has an eminent psychiatrist’s appetite for unjustified assertion: “lesbians . . . do not know what they are really missing”; “an excessive fear of physical injury is more commonly …

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