Evelyn Hooker UP083

Evelyn Hooker (née Gentry, September 2, 1907 – November 18, 1996) was an American psychologist most notable for her 1957 paper "The Adjustment of the Male Overt Homosexual" in which she administered several psychological tests to groups of self-identified male homosexuals and heterosexuals and asked experts to identify the homosexuals and rate their mental health. The experiment, which other researchers subsequently repeated, argues that homosexuality is not a mental disorder, as there was no detectable difference between homosexual and heterosexual men in terms of mental adjustment.

Her work argued that a false correlation between homosexuality and mental illness had formed the basis of classifying homosexuality as a mental disorder by studying only a sample group that contained homosexual men with a history of treatment for mental illness. This is of critical importance in refuting cultural heterosexism because it argues that homosexuality is not developmentally inferior to heterosexuality. Her demonstration that it is not an illness led the way to the eventual removal of homosexuality from the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.