The topic of homosexuality has often aroused strong opinions among the public and professionals alike. In a study organised by the journal Modern Medicine in 1969, 17, 741 physicians in the USA responded to a questionnaire. Of those who stated their speciality, 8% were psychiatrists, 26% general practitioners and 10% general surgeons. Questions sought opinions on abortion, legalisation of marijuana, legalisation of homosexual practice and other topics; 92% of psychiatrists [n 2,041] were in favour of legalising homosexual practices. The three specialities least in favour were general practitioners 59% [n 6,927], general surgeons 59% [n 2,580] and orthopaedic surgeons 58% [n 731]. The sample was self-selected and this may have introduced a respondent bias. The data were collected nearly 20 years ago when homosexuality was still seen as a psychiatric illness in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manuals I and II.
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