The last book-burning trial of the twentieth century: The såtlström dissertation and the challenge of homophobic authority

Michael W. Ross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Anti-homosexual (also known as homophobic) values, attitudes, and beliefs thrive, in part, on misinformation and by restricting discussion that might challenge such views. While this was more typical of academic environments in the 1950s, partly because the study of homosexuality was largely based on clinical or correctional populations, academic environments have usually been in the forefront of empirical and social discussion of sexuality. Preventing such discussion (which maintains outdated pathological or criminal theories of homosexuality), thus becomes a significant agenda of those attempting to maintain anti-homosexual attitudes. Further, when anti-homosexual attitudes have characterized a particular professional group, prevention of any discussion that may reveal that the position of that group was without empirical foundation also serves the function of maintaining their authority as experts and allows restrictions on the human rights of homosexual or bisexual individuals to go unchallenged. Rarely, however, has this resulted in a direct attempt to silence academic discussion, through the invocation of legal sanctions. This article looks at the history of such an attempt in Finland, where an adherent of classical psychoanalysis fought to challenge progress and reverse the tide of scientific and clinical evidence that judged homosexuality to be non-pathological.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)623-638
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Homosexuality
Volume56
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2009

Keywords

  • Finland
  • Homophobia
  • Homosexual law
  • Psychoanalysis

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The last book-burning trial of the twentieth century: The såtlström dissertation and the challenge of homophobic authority'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this