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Weekend read: 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.

This 2,053rd post was filed under: Weekend Reads.

Some recently published posts

Reflecting on my first ten years as a doctor / June 2019, 8 minutes long

What I’ve been reading this month / June 2019, 6 minutes long

Californian taxis, gun ownership and democracy / May 2019, 9 minutes long

The assassination of JFK / May 2019, 6 minutes long

Crossing the US-Mexico border / May 2019, 10 minutes long

Some random old posts

The next calling point for this service will be… / April 2019, 4 minutes long

Why the NHS isn’t all about the “N” / August 2009, 4 minutes long

Guest Post: Reflections on the Virginia Massacre / April 2007, 2 minutes long

Why tablets are killing PCs / October 2014, 2 minutes long

No more ‘I know best’, says Blair / February 2005, 1 minute long

Sky News jumping the gun again / April 2008, Less than a minute long


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