The BMA and homosexuality
I’ve chosen a relatively short recommended read for this weekend: I know people like a variety of lengths in these selections, and I’m aware that the last few weeks have been pretty heavy going!
Richard Smith, former editor of the BMJ, published a brilliant post on the BMJ blog back in June about the BMA’s difficult relationship with homosexuality. Or really, in some ways, I guess it’s more about the BMA’s relationship with the concept of masculinity. It’s hard to beleive that, well within living memory, the BMA made statements like this:
Effeminate men wearing make-up and using scent are objectionable to everybody.
And, as if the rest wasn’t enough, the casual sexism on display in the BMA’s previous advice is totally jaw-dropping:
Other men adopt homosexual practices as a substitute for extramarital heterosexual intercourse because there is no fear of causing emotional complications as in the life of a woman.
I think it is sometimes easy to forget the relative speed with which British society has become socially enlightened, and Smith’s blog post serves as a curious reminder of common attitudes of the not-too-distant past. It’s food for thought.
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