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'To try and find out what is being done to whom, by whom and with what results': the creation of psychosexual counselling policy in England, 1972-1979

Irwin, R (2009) ''To try and find out what is being done to whom, by whom and with what results': the creation of psychosexual counselling policy in England, 1972-1979.' Twentieth Century British History, 20 (2). pp. 173-197. ISSN 0955-2359

Abstract

Although neglected in recent sexual health policy, psychosexual services were briefly during the 1970s the focus of a reluctant policy initiative by the Department of Health and Social Security. In part, a response to the (ultimately short-lived) optimism generated by the emergence of sex therapy, this policy initiative was also precipitated by the transfer of the Family Planning Association (FPA)'s clinical services into the National Health Service. The Department's policy on psychosexual counselling—a combination of information-gathering and the funding of experimental training schemes—enabled it to avoid making any commitment to the expansion of psychosexual services until responsibility for such decisions could be delegated downwards to a newly created local administrative level of the health service. It also helped to maintain a ‘mixed economy’ of providers of psychosexual services drawn from the statutory and non-statutory sectors, albeit with the National Marriage Guidance Council supplanting the role of the FPA in the voluntary sector. Analysis of this policy reveals how, at a time of rising social expectations about the treatment of sexual problems, the Department successfully averted any significant incursion of sexology and innovative psychological therapies into the health service.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: College of Liberal Arts
Date Deposited: 30 Jan 2013 13:17
Last Modified: 29 Apr 2016 14:11
URI: http://researchspace.bathspa.ac.uk/id/eprint/968
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