'Curing queers'

Mental nurses and their patients, 1935–74
Author(s): 
Dickinson, Tommy
ISBN: 
9780719095887
Date published: 
January 2015
Hardback
Price: 
£70.00

Drawing on a rich array of source materials including previously unseen, fascinating (and often quite moving) oral histories, archival and news media sources, 'Curing queers' examines the plight of men who were institutionalised in British mental hospitals to receive ‘treatment’ for homosexuality and transvestism, and the perceptions and actions of the men and women who nursed them. It examines why the majority of the nurses followed orders in administering the treatment – in spite of the zero success-rate in ‘straightening out’ queer men – but also why a small number surreptitiously defied their superiors by engaging in fascinating subversive behaviours. 'Curing queers' makes a significant and substantial contribution to the history of nursing and the history of sexuality, bringing together two sub-disciplines that combine only infrequently. It will be of interest to general readers as well as scholars and students in nursing, history, gender studies, and health care ethics and law.