The Ladder, August 1966, Vol. 10, No. 11
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purpose of the Daughters of BILITIS
A WOMEN'S ORGANIZATION FOR THE PURPOSE OF PROMOTING THE INTEGRATION OF THE HOMOSEXUAL INTO SOCIETY BY:
1 Education of the variant, with particular emphasis on the psychological, physiological and sociological aspects, to enable her to understand herself and make her adjustment to society in all its social, civic and economic implications--this to be accomplished by establishing and maintaining as complete a library as possible of both fiction and non-fiction literature on the sex deviant theme; by sponsoring public discussions on pertinent subjects to be conducted by leading members of the legal, psychiatric, religious and other professions; by advocating a mode of behavior and dress acceptable to society.
2 Education of the public at large through acceptance first of the individual, leading to an eventual breakdown of erroneous taboos and prejudices; through public discussion meetings aforementioned; through dissemination of educational literature on the homosexual theme.
3 Participation in research projects by duly authorized and responsible psychologists, sociologists and other such experts directed towards further knowledge of the homosexual.
4 Investigation of the penal code as it pertains to the homosexual, proposal of changes to provide an equitable handling of cases involving this minority group, and promotion of these changes through due process of law in the state legislatures.
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Published monthly by the Daughters of Bilitis, Inc., a nonprofit corporation, 3470 Mission Street, San Francisco, California 94110.
NATIONAL OFFICERS, DAUGHTERS OF BILITIS, INC.
RECORDING SECRETARY--Meredith Grey
CORRESPONDING SECRETARY--Marjorie McCann
PUBLIC RELATIONS DIRECTOR--Phyllis Lyon
THE LADDER STAFF
ASSISTANT TO THE EDITOR; ART EDITOR--Kay Tobin
PRODUCTION MANAGER--Donna Manns
CIRCULATION MANAGER--Doris Hanson
THE LADDER is regarded as a sounding board for various points of view on the homophile and related subjects and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the organization.
|DOB Puts San Francisco On the Spot||
|10 Days In August||
|A Perplexing Book--by John R. Cavanagh||
An Empirical Study -
Law vs. Private Morality
|DOB Convention Program||
|Lesbiana--by Gene Damon||
Research Through a Glass, Darkly -
An Evaluation of the Bieber Study
on Homosexuality--by Fritz A.
Fluckiger, Ph.d. (Part Two)
Cover Photos by Kay Tobin
Copyright 1966 by Daughters of Bilitis, Inc.,San Francisco, California
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DOB Puts San Francisco
On The Spot
For the first time, representatives from city hall and the police department will sit down at a conference table with members of the homophile community and allied civic organizations. This historic occasion is set for the fourth national convention of the Daughters of Bilitis, to be held August 20 at the Jack Tar Hotel in San Francisco.
The program will be focused on one city: San Francisco. It Is expected that in this face-to-face confrontation, specific recommendations will be made to solve problems encountered by the homosexual minority in San Francisco.
Ever since the city's mayoralty campaign in 19 59--when the incumbent,. George Christopher, was accused by his opponent of "harboring homosexuals" in the city--the Daughters of Bilitis as an organization has worked diligently towards such a conference as the one now scheduled for its 1966 convention. At the time of the 1959 election smear, DOB asked civic leaders to call such a meeting. In 1960, the mayor and the police chief were invited to participate in DOB's first national convention. In 1965; after the fiasco of the New Year's Ball (see p. 14, June 1966 issue), DOB again called for a meeting between civic leaders and the homophile organizations of San Francisco. But all these attempts were rebuffed or ignored.
Now, with the advent of the council on Religion and the Homosexual and the support of clergy and of the United Church of Christ, with the new alliance between the homophile community and other minorities as exemplified in Citizens Alert, with the emergence of a homosexual voting bloc and its endorsement of candidates, with the more militant approach of social action projects such as the National Protest Day held May 21," the city has been forced to face the homophile issues.
Mayor John F. Shelley is sending as his personal representative to the DOB convention Dr. Ellis D. Sox, director of the San Francisco Health Department. Police Chief Thomas Cahill has appointed officer Elliott Blackstone, of the police community relations unit, to represent him.
Other city-officials who will participate are: Miss Janet Aitken, assistant district attorney; Dr. Joel Fort, criminologist-psychiatrist and director of the San Francisco Health Department's new Center for Special Problems; Douglas Corbin, senior attorney, Public Defender's Office; Judge Joseph G. Kennedy Of the municipal court (also president of the San
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Francisco Council of Churches); and Mrs. Dorothy von Bolderingen, newly-appointed member of the Board of Supervisors.
Cast in supporting roles as representing civic organizations which have already established a working liaison with the homophile community will be: Rev. Lewis Durham, director of Glide Foundation; Robert Gonzales, president of the Mexican-American Political Association; Rev. A. Cecil Williams, chairman of Citizens Alert; Bernard Mayes, head of San Francisco Suicide Prevention, Inc.; and Dr. Clarence Colwell, president of The Council on Religion and the Homosexual Inc.
At the close of the daytime portion of the DOB convention program, a panel discussion by all the guest-participants will be moderated by Dr. Evelyn Hooker, psychologist and sociologist at the University of California at Los Angeles.
The theme for the convention Is: San Francisco and Its Homophile Community--A Merging Social Conscience. The convention is open to the public. Registration for the full day, including luncheon and banquet, is $15. Advance reservations are requested; they may be made with a down payment of $5, with the balance to be paid by August 20th. Arrangements may also be made for attending Individual sessions of the program at special rates
Ten Days in August
In anticipation of the many travelers from throughout the United States wishing to attend both the Fourth National Convention of the Daughters of Bilitis (August 19-21) and the National Planning Conference of Homophile Organizations (August 25-27), San Francisco groups have joined together in planning and hosting a varied and intensive educational and social program throughout the week.
There will be seminars on Theology and the Homosexual, Legal and Penal Reforms, Psycho-Social Views of Homosexuality, Communication and Leadership Training. On the lighter side there will be parties, dances, a musical-variety show and gay bar tours.
Plan your San Francisco vacation NOW--from August 19 through August 28, If you are interested in gaining further knowledge of the homosexual and his problems, what the homophile movement is all about and how you can help, or how to set up a homophile organization in your town or city, these ten days offer a gold mine of information and social camaraderie.
Hotel rates available at the Jack Tar Hotel, Van Ness Ave, and Geary Blvd., August 19-21 when registered as attending the DOB Convention are $15.00 single and $19.00 double. To those registered as attending the National Planning Conference of Homophile Organizations, the Bellevue Hotel, 505 Geary Blvd., has also offered special rates- of $11.00 single and $15.00 double. These
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hotel reservations should be made immediately. Other housing information can be obtained by writing to DOB, 3470 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94110.
The special Consultation on Theology and the Homosexual to be held August 22-24 is limited to 4-0 participants who have some depth of experience in relationships between the clergy and the homosexual. Registrants must be able to attend all sessions including evening of August 22, all day and evening August 23, and all day August 24. Fee is $5.00. For further information write to the Council on Religion and the Homosexual, 330 Ellis St., San Francisco, CA 94102.
Tentatively, the schedule for ten exciting days is as follows:
FRIDAY, AUGUST 20
Daughters of Bilitis reception (cocktails and buffet) free for DOB Convention registrants. DOB Hall, 3470 Mission St. 7 p.m. on.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 20
Fourth National Convention of the Daughters of Bilitis, Inc. Jack Tar Hotel. 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. (For details see program in this issue).
SUNDAY, AUGUST 21
Orientations sessions arranged by the council on Religion and the Homosexual for out-of-towners who would like to participate in conversations between church men and homosexuals. If interested, contact CRH, 330 Ellis St., S. F.
DOB business meeting (all day). DOB members only.
Party, for women only. DOB Hall. 9 p.m. on.
MONDAY, AUGUST 22
Tavern Guild of San Francisco Fishing trip. 5:30 a.m.-4 p.m. If interested, write to TGSF, 83 - 6th St., San Francisco.
Seminar: "A Psycho-Social View of Homosexuality." 2-5 p.m. Society for Individual Rights Center, 83 - 6th St.
Theology Consultation (open): "The Pastoral Theologian Looks at Homosexuality." Dr. Arthur Foster, Dean, Berkeley Baptist Divinity School. Glide Fellowship Hall, Ellis and Taylor St. 8 p.m.
TUESDAY, AUGUST 23
Theology Consultation (registrants only). Glide Fellowship Hall. 9:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Seminar: A panel discussion on legal and penal code reforms as they affect the homosexual. SIR Center. 2-5 p.m.
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Theology Consultation (open): "A Sociologist Looks at Homosexuality and Moral Theology," The Rev. D. J. Schallert, S.J. (Ph.D.) assistant professor of sociology, University of San Francisco. Glide Fellowship Hall. 8 p.m.
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 24
Theology Consultation (registrants only). Glide Fellowship Hall. 9:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Seminar: "Communication--Homosexuality and Inter-personal Relations." SIR Center, 10-12 a.m.
Seminar: Leadership Training. SIR Center, 2-5 p.m.
Evening: Brewery Party and Panel discussion on homophile organizations.
National Planning Conference of Homophile Organizations. Bellevue Hotel. 9-12 a.m. and 2-5 p.m. Forum on "What concrete steps can be taken to further the homophile movement?" Sessions open to observers, but only delegates may take part.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 26
National Planning Conference of Homophile Organizations.
Bellevue Hotel. 9 a.m. 5 p.m.
Wine Tasting Party. Bellevue Hotel. 5 p.m.
Evening: DOB Musical-Variety Show.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 27
National Planning Conference of Homophile Organizations. Bellevue Hotel. 9 a.m. 5 p.m.
Citizens News cocktail party for delegates, their guests and CN subscribers only. 22 Russ St. 7-9 p.m.
SIR dance. SIR Center, 9 P.m. on.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 28
Tavern Guild of San Francisco picnic. All Day.
Make your plans now. Don't miss this unparalleled and unforgettable vacation package in San Francisco August 19-28, 1966.
The organizations who have cooperated in putting together this vacation special include: Council on Religion and the Homosexual, Daughters of Bilitis, Mattachine Society, Society for Individual Rights, Strait and Associates (Citizens News) and Tavern Guild of San Francisco. Any one or all of them will be glad to assist you In making your plans.
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A Perplexing Book
COUNSELING THE INVERT--John R. Cavanagh
(The Bruce Publishing Company, Milwaukee, 1966)
Counseling the Invert is just that a book on how to counsel the homosexual. It is by a Roman Catholic psychiatrist, John R. Cavanagh. It is to be used by counselors when a homosexual hurts enough to go to one. Consequently, it should not be evaluated from an other perspective.
As a book on counseling, it separates neatly the pathological from the normal. For Cavanagh, "homosexuality, of itself, is neither moral nor immoral" (p. 151). But "sexual acts outside of marriage are seriously sinful (p. 153). And, "true homosexuals, whether overt or latent, should not get married" (p. 135). Cavanagh seems to pour his psychiatric assumptions and his religious assumptions into an electric mixer and turn it on. So that, in addition to the religious conclusions, he concludes that homosexuality is "symptomatic of an underlying personality disorder" which is adequate ground for excluding a person from "religious life," which seems to mean the priesthood.
A man's assumptions--in such areas as homosexuality--are often more interesting than his conclusions. For conclusions flow easily from a combination of assumptions. Cavanagh at times seems to include among his assumptions a static 19th century Freudian Viennese culture. He also seems to accept with finality endless religious tenets--including guidelines for psychiatry. Through it all, I keep asking, "What happened to God as redeemer, as freer?"
Ecumenical commitments are growing, but such doctrinaire treatments of contemporary man and his condition as the Cavanagh book should cause thinking Protestants to pause. If I were a homosexual seeking counseling today, I would have serious doubts about going to a Roman Catholic psychiatrist--because of his previous commitments. His values appear to be final and treatment proceeds from that point. Little respect is shown for the values of the person if he or she happens to be a homosexual. If, however, I were a homosexual choosing a Roman Catholic therapist, I would turn to Dr. Cavanagh--for he has done his homework; he knows, the literature, and he appears to be thinking. (For instance, he uses the Kinsey typology in a diagnostic formula.)
In his chapter on governmental agencies, Cavanagh includes everything from why homosexuals make good intelligence agents to the west et al plan for modifying the military codes in regard to homosexuality.
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Cavanagh favors laws legalizing private homosexual acts between adults. He condemns entrapment. Legal and psychiatric terminology needs to be brought up to date.
In aiding the counselor, Cavanagh develops a realistic and inclusive context. He includes everything from an analysis of scripture to the legal code of the Air Force.
He includes one surprisingly thorough chapter on "Homosexual Organizations and Publications," giving excellent coverage of Daughters of Bilitis and THE LADDER. He refers to The Council on Religion and the Homosexual as "of special interest to the counselor" (p. 217).
Cavanagh concludes that the homosexual is not "responsible for the origin of his inversion." His "state of being" is not culpable. But he is "responsible for his current individual acts," Cavanagh states that "there can never be a legitimate sex act out-side of marriage," Finally, the role of the counselor is "to attempt to persuade the homosexual...that abstinence is the greater good" (pp. 231-233). "A clergyman should be content to set as his ultimate aim the adjustment of the homosexual to a life of chastity" (p. 257).
All data is presented with such finality that the reader finds himself asking, "If it is all so settled, why counsel at all? What is the purpose of counseling?" One reason for counseling is to ascertain "the part played by the condition and that played by the will" in specific acts of homosexuality--and "to cultivate and strengthen the grip of conscience" (p. 233). Counseling is not therapy. Counseling is limited to acceptance and understanding of conflicts and the development of "a new sex orientation." Therapy may call for (1) the adoption of "a completely heterosexual attitude; (2) a new orientation which would include an acceptance of heterosexuality but with no basic change in his homosexuality;" or (3) "an acceptance of his Condition with the decision to remain abstinent" (p.268).
Cavanagh dignifies female homosexuality by devoting one chapter to it. He begins the chapter by stating that his experience has been that Lesbianism "has been twice as frequent as male homosexuality" and ends the chapter by concluding "little Is known of female homosexuality"--and says nothing new as the result of his experience.
Counseling the Invert is a perplexing book in that It is basically a conservative presentation of Roman Catholic and psychiatric positions and progressive social policy. It is provocative in Its combination of ideas if the reader can keep his mind open to seeing the whole book as an entity rather than picking at specific conclusions.
It is recommended reading for any counselors--including Protestant clergymen. It will be interesting reading to persons interested in understanding Roman Catholic moral theology. Otherwise, it is a good reader of material printed elsewhere.
- Reviewed by The Rev. Donald Kuhn
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An Empirical Study
The Law vs. Private Morality
THE CONSENTING ADULT HOMOSEXUAL AND THE LAW: AN EMPIRICAL STUDY OP ENFORCEMENT AND ADMINISTRATION IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY. UCLA LAW REVIEW, Vol. 13, No. 3, March 1966, A Project, pp. 644-832.
Although this project purports to be an empirical study of enforcement and administration in Los Angeles county vis a vis the consenting adult homosexual, in actuality it gives the reader an overview of homosexual offenses, the kind of people who commit them, the circumstances under which they are committed, the representation the accused receives, the penalties, and some statistical data on acquittals and convictions. The project might well have been published as a book, and had it been so published some of its real meat might have been exposed to the larger reading audience it deserves rather than the limited one reached by a university law review.
First, let me indicate how the project is set up in terms of content, and then I will offer a few comments on its value.
The foreword, written by Associate Justice Stanley Mosk of the California Supreme Court, a former attorney general of this state, should give hearty encouragement to those individuals and groups who have struggled so long for a balanced view on sexuality. Justice Mosk finds some healthy straws in the wind of "social attitudes as reflected in legislation" the recent cases based on right of privacy (Griswold v. Connecticut, on birth control) and invalidation of "crimes of status" as contained in effect, conduct between consenting adult individuals lawful. Lastly, Justice Mosk finds this project study by the University of California at Los Angeles Law School mature and provocative, and includes it as one of the healthy straws in the wind.
The introduction attempts to focus on what the project wants to achieve: an analysis of the functioning of the criminal law as a vehicle for the regulation of private morality and a study of its successes and the areas of difficulty.
The next section is entitled "Statutory Sex Provisions" and puts in perspective the main crimes involving homosexual conduct. In addition to pointing out the obvious penal code sections in California statutes, it discusses the use of the broad vagrancy statutes and the "catch-all" provisions, for example, of Section 650-1/2. This study examines the proposed
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statutory revisions as they have occurred in Illinois and the attempts which were made in Minnesota and New York to redefine the public interest in sexual conduct between consenting adults
The most interesting, from a lay reader's standpoint, will undoubtedly be the section titled "Enforcement Techniques." This section bears careful reading by every citizen who is interested in good law enforcement. The data was compiled from interviews with homosexuals, enforcement agencies, probation departments, owners of homosexual bars, and from perusal of arrest records. One method of enforcement included in this section is the use of police decoys. There is a fine discussion on entrapment, defined as activity by police officers designed to foster rather than prevent and detect crime. Also listed are types of clandestine observation, with an analysis of the types of observation which are permitted under California law, and a discussion of the various rationale used by police in justifying such tactics.
Another type of enforcement, "Routine Patrol and Harassment," provides an informative exposition with which most homosexuals and professional people involved in law, both from a prosecution and defense standpoint, are already familiar. (An example: parking a police car outside a homosexual bar to frighten off prospective patrons.)
A still different type of enforcement is what is called "Licensing and Abatement." This includes a discussion on the practice of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board with respect to homosexual bars, and police devices to control homosexual activity by, for example, requiring licensing of massage parlors and art studios.
The last portion of the enforcement techniques is concerned with arrests made at police discretion and on which penal statutes to charge offenses when such arrests are made. This necessarily involves a discussion of the registration law in California (Penal Code Section 290). This portion also discloses that there is less police activity against Lesbians than male homosexuals. In fact, the statistical data in the study shows no females involved in the felony or the misdemeanor cases cited. This, of course, does not mean that the Lesbian is any less subject to police enforcement techniques, such as licensing of establishments and revocation of licenses.
The next part concerns the interval between arrest and trial, going into detail as to the court procedures and protections afforded the accused. This is followed by concerns of trial and post-trial disposition, and contains statistical data on convictions for the various types of offenses. This section reveals what most attorneys who handle adult sex offenders realize--that there is a systematic disposition of adult consensual homosexual offenders as misdemeanants. These include those crimes which are considered felonies but by sentence of the court are declared to be, or are converted into, misdemeanors.
Indicative of this-procedure is this quotation: "Interviews
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with judges, attorneys, psychiatrists, probation officials and a study of the leading authorities lead to the conclusion that the adult consensual homosexual offender is not a menace to society and does not exhibit a proclivity toward children. When he engages in homosexual conduct in public he is simply a nuisance. Sentences imposed by the court indicate judicial recognition of this fact," (p. 792)
To assess the value of this project is indeed difficult. The project indicates in a few short sentences that the penal code is not enforced on private consensual homosexual activity, mainly because of the evidentiary problem: obtaining warrants for search of private dwelling places based on reasonable cause presents an insurmountable burden even to the most avid vice squad officer.
There is a good deal of truth in the conclusions that the actions of the courts in many jurisdictions in California, mainly the metropolitan areas, tend to treat public homosexual offenses between consenting adults as public . I would have welcomed a greater in-depth treatment of the California registration statute, Penal Code Section 290, and an analysis of the efficacy of the statute. I go along with many other members of the California State Bar in feeling that the purpose is virtually non-existent and the harassment and humiliation is completely out of line with any legitimate purpose. The use of the provisions of the Welfare and Institutions Code relating to psychiatric evaluation and incarceration of sexual offenders in state hospitals is probably accurately assessed. In my own experience this has only been used when one of the sexual partners was below the age of I4.
One of the values of a study such as this, if it is widely circulated, can be to give both homosexuals and heterosexuals a better understanding of the legal and extra-legal problems homosexuals face, both on the statute books and in enforcement of the laws in a manner in which other laws are not enforced. The main value as I see it, however, is that the subject of homosexual behavior is one which can always benefit by more objective airing of all its aspects; and law enforcement regarding public homosexual behavior is one such important aspect. The project tends to put the limelight on the reason for law enforcement on homosexual behavior in one quotation:
"A great majority of the authorities interviewed were not as concerned with the manner in which the adult homosexual gratified his sexual desires as they were with where such gratification occurred. These authorities prefer to focus upon what appears to be the only legitimate societal interest served by the proscription of adult consensual homosexuality--the right to be protected from offensive conduct in public. Viewed from this perspective the solicitation and consummation of homosexual acts in public becomes the only ground upon which the imposition of criminal sanctions is properly sustainable." (p. 790-791)
- Reviewed by Herbert Donaldson,
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should be pp. 13-16
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AUGUST 20, 1966
JACK TAR HOTEL
Daughters Of Bilitis 4TH NATIONAL CONVENTION
"San Francisco and Its Homophile Community- A Merging Social Conscience"
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|Friday, August 19||Reception, cocktails and buffet for all Convention registrants|
|7p.m.||DOB Hall, 3470 Mission Street, San Francisco. Telephone AT 5-4275.|
|Saturday, August 20||Public Forum|
|The International Room of the Jack. Tar Hotel, Van Ness Avenue and Geary Boulevard, San Francisco.|
|8:30--9 a.m.||Registration. All sessions open to the public.|
|9--9:30 a.m.||Addresses of Welcome|
|Miss Lois Williams, President, San Francisco Chapter,|
|Miss Phyllis Lyon, National Public Relations Director.|
|9:30-10 a.m.||History of the Homophile Organizations in San Francisco--Miss Del Martin, charter member of DOB.|
|A Challenge to the City of San Francisco --William Beardemphl, President, Society for Individual Rights.|
|10 a.m.--Noon||The Homophile Community and Civic Organizations--How They Relate.|
|The Rev. Lewis Durham, Executive Director, The Glide Foundation.|
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10 a.m.-Noon (continued)
|Dr. Clarence A. Colwell, President, The Council on Religion and the Homosexual, Inc.|
|The Rev. A, Cecil Williams, Chairman Citizens Alert.|
|Bernard Mayes, M.A. (Hons.) Cantab., T.D., Rev., Director of Volunteers, San Francisco Suicide Prevention.|
|Robert Gonzales, Attorney and President, Mexican-American Political Association.|
|12:30--2 p.m.||Luncheon, The El Dorado Room|
|Speaker--Judge Joseph G. Kennedy of the Municipal Court, and President, San Francisco Council of Churches.|
|2:30--4:30 p.m.||The International Room|
|The Homophile Community and Governmental Agencies--Can They Relate?|
|Miss Janet Aitken, Assistant District Attorney.|
|Officer Elliott Blackstone, Police Community Relations Unit.|
|Douglas Corbin, Senior Attorney Public Defender's Office.|
|Dr. Joel Fort, Director, Center for Special Problems, San Francisco Health Department.|
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2:30--4:30 p.m. (continued)
|Dr. Ellis D. Sox, Director, San Francisco Health Department and personal representative of Mayor John F. Shelley to this Convention.|
|4:30--6 p.m.||Roundtable discussion featuring all speakers|
|Moderator: Dr. Evelyn Hooker, psychologist, sociologist and researcher from the University of California at Los Angeles.|
|The El Dorado Room|
|6-7:30 p.m.||No-Host Cocktails|
|7:30 p.m.||Banquet. Speaker--Mrs. Dorothy Von Beroldingen, member, San Francisco Board of Supervisors.|
|Sunday, August 21||DOB Hall|
|9 a.m.-5 p.m.||DOB General Assembly, members only,|
|9 p.m.-2 a.m.||Party, women only.|
DAUGHTERS OF BILITIS, INC, wishes to take this opportunity to extend its gratitude to everyone who has helped in the presentation of this Convention.
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by Gene Damon
342, "Me and the Girls"--Short story in PRETTY POLLY AND OTHER STORIES--Noel Coward. London, Heinemann, 1964; Garden City, N. Y., Doubleday, 1965.
The, three novellas which make up this collection all contain lesbian and male homosexual characters and references. "Me and the Girls" is the life of Georgie Banks, a second-rate song and dance man and entrepreneur of a small troupe of girl performers. Georgie, dying in a Swiss hospital, writes down some of the things that have happened to him: his boyhood on the stage, his discovery of his homosexuality, his first love affair, his first traveling troupe, etc. There is no drum roll announcement but this poignant story is as much about the human condition as it is about Georgie. It will be especially liked by those who appreciate Mr. Coward's wonderful sense of irony.
343. THE DIARY OP ANAIS NIN: 1931-1934, Edited by Gunther Stuhlmann. Denver, Alan Swallow, 1966; New York, Harcourt, Brace, 1966.
For more than thirty years the literary world has waited for a glimpse of the 150-some manuscript volumes that make up the diary of Anais Nin. Henry Miller said in 1937 that her story would "take Its place beside the revelations of St. Augustine, Petronius, Abelard, Rousseau, Proust."
This first book consists of about half the text of volumes 30 to 40. Much of it is taken up with recounting Miss Nin's two painful experiences with psychiatry, and the remainder concerns her violently emotional affair with June Miller, Henry Miller's second wife. Apparently this affair was only partly consummated, despite the fact that the tone used to relate the incidents is particularly florid.
Many people were involved with Anais Nin, and Henry and June Miller at that time, and the majority of them are referred to by Initials or first names (sometimes false) only, along with brief career identifications--such as "Jean--sculptress and poet", said to be a masculine woman who lives in New York and who was, during that time, one of June Miller's lovers.
Readers familiar with Miss Nin's contributions to lesbian, literature (the best known being LADDERS TO FIRE and UNDER A: GLASS BELL) will enjoy very much this partially satisfactory glimpse of her history, others probably less so. We can look forward to a more complete picture as further volumes appear.
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Through a Glass,
An Evaluation of the. Study by Irving Bieber et al.:
HOMOSEXUALITY: A PSYCHOANALYTIC STUDY
New York, Basic Books, 1962
by Fritz A. Fluckiger, Ph.D.
This is the second of three installments of a critical evaluation of the Bieber research. This study is based on a comparison of 106 homosexuals and 100 heterosexuals, all of whom were patients in psychoanalytic treatment. The first installment was published in the July 1966 issue of THE LADDER.
Chapter V: Siblings
In this chapter, the Bieber authors investigate the relationship between the patients and their parents, and the relationship between the patients and their brothers and sisters.
The chapter presents special statistical problems. A patient may be an only son, or he may be first-born, or he may have any one of several possible places in the order of birth if there are several brothers and sisters. The possible variations are so numerous that the relatively small sample of 206 men is spread very thinly over many categories (or "cells,"as statisticians would say). Therefore one must not expect clear-cut findings. It is all the more surprising that the Bieber authors should have chosen to use some of their most positive and colorful language in this very chapter.
A striking example is given in the comments (p. 123) to Table V-6. This table shows that when the homosexual patient is an only son and has one or more sisters, the father often prefers a daughter (specifically, 19 out of 31 cases), The mother, by contrast, very often prefers her son (25 out of 31 cases). This, according to the authors, means that the mother's preference was "specific for the homosexual son.... The importance of sexually salient components in the mother's relatedness to her son helps explain why incestuous problems appear to be more central among male homosexuals than among heterosexuals" (p.123).
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This statement may sound very convincing to many readers-- except those who also read the Table. They will find the following; The fathers of heterosexual only sons often prefer a daughter (specifically, 7 out of 15 cases). The mothers, by contrast, very often prefer their son (11 out of 15 cases). It is very clear that if there is a pattern, it is similar for homosexual and heterosexual only sons. Does the mother's", preference for her heterosexual only son not have "sexually salient components"? And what explanation do the authors have for their implied finding that the heterosexual sons preferred by their mothers, so many of whom had fathers who preferred a sister, apparently did not have "more central" incestuous problems? There is not a word about this.
The careful reader, then, will recognize the authors' conclusions quoted above (as well as much of what is said about mothers of homosexuals) as a flight of fancy which is supported by their enthusiastic belief in their underlying hypotheses, rather than by the data.
Another example of the peculiarly biased perspective of the authors is the following. It is sometimes asserted that a son not only competes with father for the favors of mother, but also generally assumes a competitive attitude toward his siblings. Such competition may be overt or covert. As homosexuals are often thought to be timid or sneaky fellows, one might suppose that their competitiveness would be on the covert side. Indeed it was, for this sample: 78 homosexuals were reported to have been covertly competitive (Question VI K 3, p. 342). So the authors decided that "competitive attitudes were covertly expressed significantly more often among homosexuals" (p.126).
One wonders how that conclusion was arrived at, since, for the very same question, 80 heterosexuals had also been described as covertly competitive. A check of the relevant questions (VI K 1-8, pp. 342f.) provides an explanation. More heterosexuals used "frank" competitive techniques such as athletics; more homosexuals used their "artistic ability" to compete, and the authors' comments imply that such competition is less frank, or is covert (p. 126). Obviously the authors share the stereotyped view of masculinity which is one of the more naive contributions of American psychologists to their science.
Chapter VI: The Triangular System
In this chapter the authors make an attempt, in principle well taken, to deal with patterns of family relationships. Because of the large number of possible patterns, the authors wisely deal only with the "triangular" system of mother-father patient son, leaving out the siblings and other close relatives or friends. This limitation necessarily restricts the, meaningfulness of the findings, and one would wish that the authors had made this more clear.
It is most unfortunate that, because of the poor design of the study, the analysis of triangular systems had to be based on
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the methodologically questionable ratings (the "close binding intimate mother," the "hostile father," and so on) with their built-in multiple bias favoring psychoanalytic hypotheses.
Predictably, many of the homosexuals are said to have grown up within the kind of family system which has been emphasized by the authors all along as being "pathogenic." Five out of 10 homosexuals had both a close-binding/intimate mother and a detached father, while only 2 out of 10 heterosexuals did. This result is made to appear even more convincing to the reader who cross-checks with the chapter on "Latent Homosexuality" and finds that a sizable number of heterosexuals who grew up within such a family constellation had homosexual leanings.
But the critical reader is still left with the problem of why half of the homosexual patients who either did not have close binding/intimate mothers or did not have detached fathers, became homosexual. And he wonders why, conversely, two-thirds of the heterosexuals who developed mild to severe "homosexual problems" did not grow up in an environment where mother was close-binding/intimate and father was detached.
What conclusions can be drawn from this kind of data? The most important inference is that if one assumes that there are family constellations which promote homosexuality; there are a great many such constellations. The "classical homosexual triangle" (p. 114) in which the mother looks down on the father and seduces the son while the father is detached and hostile is only one of these possible constellations.
Psychoanalysts tend to look for the "classical homosexual triangle" (and therefore find it) because of the Oedipus complex, hypothesis. Literate homosexuals also may look for it (and therefore find it) in their life history because they have read books by Freud and his followers--or because they have read D. H. Lawrence's SONS AND LOVERS and perhaps some of the innumerable commentaries which critics and memoirists of assorted caliber have piled on top of that beautiful exploration of the experience of this one man.
The cold fact which emerges from the data presented in this chapter is that boys with many different family backgrounds grow up to be homosexual men.
This is not to suggest that early environmental influences do not contribute to a person's later sexual object choice. However, the Bieber authors' analysis of this problem is sadly lacking in depth because they are so sure that they knew "the truth" all along.
Chapter VII: Developmental Aspects of the Pre-Homosexual Child
This chapter, attempts to deal with the child as he moves outside the family, and to show that his actions are determined by the mother-father-son relationship of early childhood. The social world of the pre-pubertal child presents a complex array of stimuli and responses. Only a few of these are investigated by the authors, mainly those which have to do with the
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child's adjustment to stereotyped concepts of the masculine role.
For example, strivings for scholastic and artistic excellence which do not fit the masculine stereotype are not discussed in this chapter, but instead are placed into a context of "acting-out" competitiveness with-mother, father, or a sibling (Question K 1, 2, p. 342). One may see this as an amusing example of theoretical bias determining the arrangement of facts, or as a discouraging illustration of how some psychoanalysts reduce the symphonic richness of a growing individual's experience to feeble echoes of nursery room noises.
The pattern of responses for those kinds of pre-pubertal behaviors which were examined can be summarized by saying that 6 to 8 out of 10 homosexuals, and 3 to 5 out of 10 heterosexuals, were thought by the authors to have been "sissies." (The word "sissies" is avoided by the authors; the present writer is introducing it as a convenient shorthand term.)
The "sissies" had been excessively fearful of injury in childhood, had avoided physical fights, had played with girls rather than boys, and instead of participating in competitive group games had been lone wolves. Having-identified the "sissy" pattern to their satisfaction, the authors proceed to tie it in with "psychopathology in parent-child relationships" (p. 174).
Excessive fear of injury in childhood, For instance, the authors try to show that the combination of an overprotective and restrictive mother with a minimizing and feared father led to "excessive fear of injury in childhood." Note that this should hold true whether the son's later sexual choice is homosexual or heterosexual; it simply means that if mother acts to make a sissy out of you and father does not stop her, you are likely to become a sissy. It is in the investigation of this not exactly world-shaking proposition that some of the study's more obvious statistical howlers are perpetrated.
The authors' first analysis of selected questionnaire items shows that the pattern of parental behavior summarized in the preceding paragraph does indeed lead to "excessive fear of injury in childhood," But It does so only for the heterosexual patients (Table VII-2, p. 175).
Rather than examine their assumptions, data, and procedure, the authors chose to select another-set of questionnaire items to attempt again to make the same point for both groups. The "father" items are dropped on this round, and the two "mother" items are supplemented by two more "mother" items (which happen to be near-duplicates in meaning, and are almost certainly, statistically dependent on the first two). The result is a complete reversal: now overprotective mothers make "sissies" out of homosexual sons, but not out of heterosexual sons (Table Vii-3, p. 177).
Such reversals are common in research. It is generally considered good form to take them as warning signals indicating
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that at the very least a cautious interpretation of one's findings is in order. The Bieber authors did not heed the signal. Rather, they went on to select yet a third set of items including most of the ones used in the previous two tries, plus a few others which, again, are near-duplicates of the old items. (Note 8) The nine items thus selected are presented as a "scale." While the psychometric problems involved are too complex to be discussed here, it must be said that this rough-and-ready procedure is illegitimate and violates fundamental rules of statistical analysis and scale construction.
But finally, at long and laborious last, the third try shows the results which were wanted all along: the combination of an overprotective mother and a minimizing father helps to make a "sissy" out of a son, whether homosexual or heterosexual And so the stage is set for concluding statements such as: "Paternal hostility and engulfing maternalism emerge throughout our findings as having had the most telling destructive impact" (p. 179), and "Excessive fear of physical injury in childhood in both the, homosexual and control samples was found to be significantly associated with psychopathological parental behavior" (emphasis supplied) (p. 204).
It is safe to assume that few readers of the Bieber study will know how many procedural somersaults had been necessary so that these statements could be made, or will realize that the data on which they are based had been arranged and re-arranged so that it was practically impossible not to get the desired results.
Excessive fear of injury in childhood and symptoms of sexual disturbances. The authors also present data to show that a boy who was a "sissy" is likely to develop symptoms of sexual disturbances. Three such symptoms are listed: masturbatory guilt, aversion to female genitals, and the wish for a larger penis (p. 179).
Much guilt about masturbation is reported for about half the homosexuals and heterosexuals (p. 180). Guilt feelings about masturbation are widespread in our culture--almost as widespread as the practice itself. The Bieber data support this view (Question V B, p. 335). Therefore, one may well question.
8. The problem of using duplicate items can be illustrated by the following example. If we have a question: "In childhood was the patient's mother unduly concerned about his health?" (Question II U 1, p. 327), and another question: "Was mother unduly concerned with protecting the patient from physical in-Jury?" (Question II U 2, p. 327), it is very unlikely that we have two independent pieces of evidence. Almost certainly most mothers who worried about their sons' health also worried about their being injured. It is not proper procedure to treat these two Items as though they were independent of each other. But this is precisely what the Bieber authors did.
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why such guilt feelings should be considered a symptom of sexual disturbance at all.
The other two "symptoms" will be dealt with in the evaluation of the chapter on "Sexual Adaptation" below.
Earliest sexual experiences. The authors found that the homosexuals tended to enter sexual relationships earlier than the heterosexuals. The homosexuals' experiences were, of course, with males. This leads the authors to note the "striking fact" that the homosexual patients were aroused by a woman later, if ever, than the heterosexual patients. This is interpreted as a "delay" due to their alleged repression of earlier memories of heterosexual arousal (p. 190).
In other words: heterosexuality being a "biological norm," heterosexual arousal must have taken place in the homosexual patients; if there is no evidence for it, the event must have been repressed. So, if you see it, it's there. If you don't see it, it's there also, but is covered up. The key rule of this game of interpretation is: heads I win, tails you lose.
Chapter VIII: Adolescence
This chapter describes a small group of overtly homosexual adolescents. Most of them were ward patients in a psychiatric hospital, and their presenting problems ranged from anxiety states to arson and attempted matricide. The subjects differed from those of the main study in important respects, especially socio-economic level.
The study is purely descriptive and does not have even the limited methodological control features used in the main study. It is an attempt to remedy for the paucity of the questionnaire data covering the adolescence of the Bieber patients. The attempt is ill-advised, and a detailed discussion of this chapter is not warranted.
Chapter IX: The Sexual Adaptation of the Male Homosexual
This chapter deals with some aspects of the adult homosexual's love life, his sexual practices, the kinds of mates he seeks out, and the gratifications or frustration which ensue. The keynote for the authors' selection of questionnaire items analyzed in this chapter is given in the introductory statement: "We consider homosexuality to be a pathologic biosocial, psychosexual adaptation consequent to pervasive fears surrounding the expression of heterosexual impulses. In our view, every homosexual is, in reality, a 'latent' heterosexual; hence we expected to find evidence of heterosexual strivings among the homosexual patients of our study" (p. 220).
It Is always easy to find what one expects. The evidence for the 'latent heterosexuality" of the 76 exclusively homosexual patients can be summarized as follows: many of them maintained social contacts with women, reported the conscious presence of heterosexual desires at one time or another,
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attempted intercourse with women, or had dreams and fantasies with heterosexual content.
The authors' interpretation that these observations support a general theory of "latent" heterosexuality may have some merit. One wonders, however, why they argue so insistently that the converse does not hold, i. e., that their observation of mild to severe homosexual problems in 60% of their heterosexual patients does not support a general theory of "latent" bisexuality that becomes differentiated into a heterosexual or homosexual preference as the individual matures and makes his sexual object choices.
The social pressures toward heterosexuality are extremely powerful in our culture. Such pressures operate in ways too numerous to mention here, and it is well known what big sticks there are to bring into line boys who do not heed the soft talk of their parents, teachers, peers, and other agencies of social control.
Briefly, in a world where some of a male's earliest experiences of physical intimacy are with a woman (i. e., mother, whether "seductive" or not), and in which at least half one's fellow human beings are female and insistently presented as sexual objects who ought to be desired, it is inevitable that social and sometimes erotic concerns with women should arise in all men. To define all such concerns of a homosexual man with women as sexual, while denying that a heterosexual man's social and sometimes erotic concern with other males may also have a sexual component, is simply inconsistent.
The bisexual. Another psychoanalytic theoretical bias--that the degree of a man's psychopathology is measured less by the quality of his adult social activities than by the extent to which he conformed as a child to conventional, stereotyped role expectations--is exhibited blatantly in the section discussing the 30 bisexuals who were part of the homosexual sample.
One wonders why the 30 bisexuals and the 26 heterosexuals with "severe homosexual problems" were not separated more clearly from the exclusive homosexuals and heterosexuals. For the bisexuals, the authors apparently made a systematic comparison with the exclusive homosexuals on all the questionnaire items --with a mere 9 items (out of about 350) showing a significant difference. The suspicion arises that the bisexuals included in the homosexual sample all too often did not fit the underlying hypotheses about parent-child relationships and thus proved as embarrassing for the authors' theory as did the "latent" homosexuals included in the heterosexual sample (see discussion of Chapter X below).
The- data indicate that fewer of the bisexuals fit into the pattern of "sissy" behavior in childhood (pp. 225F.). The authors assert that "the bisexual shows evidence of less serious psychopathology than the homosexual" (p. 226). Why is a man who has sexual relations with both men and women healthier
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than a man who has sexual relations only with men? This proposition makes sense only to the reader who accepts the basic assumption that homosexuality is "sick" and heterosexuality is "healthy." This may be the place to point out once more that this assumption is at no point tested by the authors.
Attitudes toward male genitals. The discussion of the homosexuals sexual practices is entered by analysis of their attitudes toward their genitals: specifically, the feeling of 43% of the homosexuals that their penis is smaller than they wish. No mention is made here of the fact that 35% of the heterosexual patients expressed the same dissatisfaction, and that the difference between the two groups is statistically not significant.
The desire of 56% of the homosexual patients for a partner with a large penis is interpreted as a magical "reparative search" to compensate for the homosexuals' feelings of inadequacy as "castrates" (p. 231), This interpretation may have some merit, but the implication that such a search is pathological does not. It is impossible to outline here the multiple factors which are thought to determine the choice of a love object. But a few general remarks can be made.
Within the psychoanalytic theoretical model, the search for a love object, whether male or female, is by definition always "reparative" in that it is meant to fulfill a "lack" and a complex set of "needs." Invariably the love object is endowed with irrational, "magical" properties. The preference of gentlemen for blondes is not a rational choice.
Genital size is a highly valued attribute of masculinity among men generally. So it is no great surprise that homosexuals (who, by the authors' own findings, tend to look for masculine attributes in their partners; Question VII C 1, p. 344) appreciate this particularly salient feature.
Responding to the size of a partner's primary or secondary sexual organs, especially those involving erectile tissues, by sexual arousal is by no means limited to the homosexual, as the continued popularity of some well-endowed female movie stars attests. Here too, interpretations in terms of a reparative search (for instance, a search for mother's bountiful breasts) can be made, and are often made, by psychoanalysts and magazine writers. Such interpretations do not usually carry an implication of pathology when the male's search is for a female.
Attitudes toward female genitals. The authors claim that "in the homosexuals, morbid fear of injury to one's own genitals Is predominantly associated with fear/aversion to female genitalia" and that a large proportion of the homosexual subjects desired a partner with a large penis (p. 230). The interpretation Is that "fear of genital injury is in some way associated with a phobic attitude toward female genitalia, and a partner with a large penis seems to keep these anxieties at a minimum" (p. 231).
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An examination of the data used for this interpretation raises several questions,
1. The question about fear of genital injury included the fear of genital disease (Question V H, p. 336). The latter is a realistic fear for the adult male homosexual who sometimes has a succession of partners.
2. The fear or aversion reactions to female genitalia expressed by many homosexuals are here, as everywhere else In the Bieber volume, assumed to be an inhibition of a "natural" liking. There is no consideration of the social facts involved. These are as follows. It is part of "being a man" to respond with arousal and, sometimes, liking, to female genitalia, A man who does not so respond is "not quite a man." The man who does not so respond experiences this as a major social and psychological threat to his self-esteem, and his failure to respond may become a source of often intense fear. In threatening situations people make defensive moves. One such move for the homosexual is to claim that he not only is not aroused by female genitalia, but feels aversion to them.
3. The data show that It is very often possible to value a large penis in one's partner without wishing for a larger penis oneself, and without having fear or aversion reactions to female genitalia. Less than one out of three homosexuals, In fact, fitted the pattern of finding magical protection from the engulfing vagina in the large penis of another man (Table IX-5A, P. 232).
To be concluded Next Month
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