Treatments to Cure Homosexuality

Psychiatry’s treatment for homosexuality (in a bid to cure it) included behavioural treatments such as aversion therapy and covert sensitisation.

 The first recorded use of aversion therapy was in 1930 for the treatment of alcoholism, but by the 1950s and 1960s up until early 1980’s it had become one of the more popular methods used to "cure" sexual deviation, including homosexuality and cross-dressing.

Treatments were mainly carried out in NHS hospitals throughout Britain.  The most common treatment was behavioural aversion therapy with electric shocks.  Also, nausea induced by apomorphine as the aversive stimulus was used, however, this was reported less often.  Moreover, there is very little published research on this interesting part of mental health history.  


Therefore, Tommy Dickinson, a senior lecturer in mental health nursing at the University of Central Lancashire and has recently commenced a PhD.

The study is exploring 'The Historical Intersection of Homosexuality and Psychiatry'. In the study he is aiming to interview former patients who received these 'treatments', also, nurses who helped administer them. However, he is having difficulty locating these people.

Therefore, he would really like to hear from anyone who was subject to these treatments or nurses who helped administer them. Or, if you know of anyone i.e. family/friends that were nurses and helped administer these treatments and might be willing to be to participate in the study, he would love to hear from them. Moreover, participants name and personal details would remain confidential and their identity would not be revealed while this study is being conducted or when the results of the study are being reported or published. Tommy can be contacted on: Telephone:
01772 895531 or e-mail:



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