Chapter

Henry and Gross and the Study of Sex Offenders, 1937–72

in Departing from Deviance

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2001 | ISBN: 9780226530437
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226304458 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226304458.003.0005
Henry and Gross and the Study of Sex Offenders, 1937–72

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Segregation has been the traditional form of treatment for known homosexuals in prison communities. Beginning in the late nineteenth century, homosexuals had become the objects of medical and scientific scrutiny. The chief objective of the study presented here was to compare a prison sample with an earlier report of an underprivileged group. Segregating homosexuals was a common practice in prisons, going as far back as the 1910s, the main purpose being to facilitate prison management. The demographics across the two groups were highly consistent; that is, the prison sample, like the previous sample, was composed primarily of young men with limited education and a history of unemployment. The segregated experience of the prison sample was viewed as especially troublesome because it reinforced the feeling of homosexual solidarity and once released from prison, encouraged the ex-inmates to retreat further from society at large. Central to their scheme was the role of psychiatric supervision—a role that fitted into the movement in the interwar period to expand psychiatry beyond the mental institution and into the community.

Keywords: segregation; homosexual; sex offenders; solidarity; scientific scrutiny

Chapter.  12183 words. 

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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