Deviancy, Sexuality and the Psy-Disciplines at the University of Toronto

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Edwards, Matthew Robert Gwilym




University pedagogy enabled theorization about sexual deviancy to pass as self-evident knowledge in postwar Canada. By integrating psychological, psychiatric and psychoanalytical textbooks into several programs after the Second World War, the University of Toronto became a unique source of local accreditation for these disciplines' professed knowledge about homosexuality. Clinical education at the university's medical school similarly modelled racist and ableist intake procedures ostensibly evaluating specific homosexuals' capacity to benefit from psychoanalysis. This, coupled with the extensive circulation of psy-disciplinary discourse among students, demonstrates the University of Toronto's local influence as a site of legitimation for medicalized, 'rehabilitative' authority over marginalized communities. This approach would consistently be considered progressive and effective by university-educated, middle-class Canadians throughout the 1940s-1970s. The extensive embrace of 'rehabilitative' ideals in postwar Canada would impact both state violence and the resistance strategies of activist organizations like the University of Toronto Homophile Association.


Canadian History
Education - History of
History of Science




Carleton University

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Theses and Dissertations

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