Social History for Every Classroom


Social History for Every Classroom

menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

A Psychiatrist Warns Against Allowing LGBTQ+ People to Serve

In 1917, the U.S. military implemented the Articles of War, which detailed the rules and regulations of the military. Article 93 associated homosexuality with serious crimes such as manslaughter and burglary. The military’s decision to bar LGBTQ+ service members was supported by testimony from a growing group of psychologists who viewed LGBTQ+ people as having an impairment or disorder that made them unfit to serve in the military. This document, written by Dr. Albert Abrams, was published in a medical journal in order to argue for the exclusion of LGBTQ+ service members.

Military authorities…saw the corruption that must necessarily ensue among the soldiery if [homosexuality] were not summarily suppressed…Homosexuality must be confronted as a fact, and not as a theory. In recruiting the elements which make up our invincible army, we cannot ignore what is obvious and which will militate against the combative prowess of our forces in this war and the deterrent post-bellum influences. From a military viewpoint, the homosexuals is not only dangerous, but ineffective as a fighter… It is imperative that homosexualists be recognized by the military authorities.

Source | Abrams, Albert. “Homosexuality: A Military Menace.” Medical Review of Reviews 24 (1918): 528.
Item Type | Article/Essay
Cite This document | “A Psychiatrist Warns Against Allowing LGBTQ+ People to Serve,” SHEC: Resources for Teachers, accessed October 1, 2023,

Print and Share