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THE HOMOSEXUAL IN COURT
MANFRED S. GUTTMACHER
Am J Psychiatry 1956;112:591-598.
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Chief Medical Officer, Supreme Bench, Baltimore, Md.

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Abstract

I believe that we are justified in making certain deductions as to the attitudes of the judges of the criminal courts of Baltimore in the cases of homosexual and heterosexual offenders. For the most part, the same general trends can be seen in regard to both types of offense.1. During the past 25 years, the courts have come to consider sex offenders as individuals who should be referred to the medical office for a psychiatric report.2. There appears to be little variation in the attitudes of the 7 judges, who have been in the Baltimore Criminal Courts during the past 3 years, toward the various sex offenses.3. Sexual offenses entered into willingly by 2 adults are viewed benignly, unless public affront is involved or unless one of the individuals is an aggressive prostitute.4. Sexual offenses by adults with children are viewed rather benignly if the adults are beyond 55, they are treated much more harshly if the offender is in the younger age group.5. Sexual crimes of violence, whether they involve children or adults, are treated as very serious offenses.6. Incest is considered one of the more grievous sex offenses.7. Exhibitionism is considered an offense of very minor importance.8. The disposition of sexual offenders is in agreement with the recommendations in the medical office's psychiatric reports in well over 90% of the cases.9. There appears to be no real difference in the attitudes of the Judges of the Criminal Courts of Baltimore toward homosexual and heterosexual offenders.

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