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Kaplan, D.M. (1962). A Minority. A Report on the Life of the Male Homosexual in Great Britain. By Gordon Westwood. London: Longmans, Green and Co., Ltd., 1960. Pp. xii+216 $7.00.. Psychoanal. Rev., 49D(4):126-127.
(1962). Psychoanalytic Review, 49D(4):126-127
A Minority. A Report on the Life of the Male Homosexual in Great Britain. By Gordon Westwood. London: Longmans, Green and Co., Ltd., 1960. Pp. xii+216 $7.00.
Review by: Donald M. Kaplan
The literature of homosexuality is fabulous in the worst sense. A creditable study is rare, and when one does appear, it is exceedingly welcome. Westwood's report on homosexuality for the British Social Biology Council invites confidence on every score: It is modest, reasonable, self-critical, and learned without pontification. The non-British reader will, of course, have to bear in mind the report's strong cultural variable, but he will still derive considerable instruction from it.
Westwood's aim is to provide factual information about the homosexual in the community, and, in this, his aim is at the rudiments of a scientific inquiry into homosexuality which, he contends, is yet to be made. Indeed, it is Westwood's sense that at this point our knowledge of homosexuality is still not developed sufficiently for any sort of decent classification of the varieties of homosexuality, let alone for hypothesizing about its origins and vicissitudes. Those familiar with Evelyn Hooker's irresistible psychometric studies of homosexuality, which discredited a rash of “established” diagnostic procedures and which concluded with a plea for a cultural, rather than an exclusively clinical or psychological, approach to homosexuality, or with the famous Wolfenden Report, will recognize the good company Westwood's view here keep.
The sample for Westwood's study was 127 self-acknowledged male homosexuals, a non-clinical, non-penal group largely of Londoners of numerous professions and occupations.
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