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Departing from DevianceA History of Homosexual Rights and Emancipatory Science in America$
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Henry L. Minton

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780226530437

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226304458.001.0001

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Jan Gay and the Sex Variants Committee, 1935–41

Jan Gay and the Sex Variants Committee, 1935–41

(p.33) Chapter 3 Jan Gay and the Sex Variants Committee, 1935–41
Departing from Deviance
University of Chicago Press

The sex variants study reflected a strong commitment on the part of both homosexuals and scientific investigators to carry out an investigation of homosexuality. This chapter examines the objectives sought by each group in this study and explores the nature of the relationship between them. It begins with an overview of the background and results of the sex variants study and then considers the broader context of this investigation by discussing how it is situated within the emergence of a grassroots community concern for homosexual rights and the medicalization of homosexuality. For advocates of homosexual rights, the objective was for gay men and lesbians to be able to live their lives in a sexually pluralist society; that is, without having to conform to the social conventions of the heterosexual majority. The objective of effecting social change, reflected in the work of the research activists and expressed by some of the research participants, was also manifested in a case of political activism.

Keywords:   sex variants, homosexual rights, gay men, lesbians, political activism

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