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Olli Stålström defends freedom of speech in the Tampere Municipal Court on December 3, 1999
· Dec 3, 1999

Bieber is alive and well and lives in Finland!
· Aug 8, 1996

 
Olli Stålström defends freedom of speech in the Tampere Municipal Court on December 3, 1999

FinnQueer Editorial Team (Jussi Nissinen, Tom Heikkinen, Mikko Tuomela)

The following is the full text of Olli Stålström's cross-examination in the Tampere Municipal Court on December 3, 1999. Stålström was charged with the crime of libel for using quotation marks in the word expert ("expert") of a psychoanalytical psychiatrist, whose text the defendant had shown to be outdated. The prosecution demanded that the dissertation be confiscated and that the author pay damages exceeding the defendant's combined savings and property. Stålström's defence counsel Matti Wuori, MP, questioned the defendant in front of the judge and the jury. Matti Wuori is the leading human rights lawyer in Finland. After two years of police interrogation and an eight-hour court session the Tampere Municipal Court decided on December 18, 1999 that the defendant is not guilty. Since the prosecution did not appeal the case to a higher court, the verdict of not guilty became final the on the last day of the old millennium, December 31, 1999.

LISTEN TO THE CROSS-EXAMINATION (In Finnish)

This deposition was taped, transcribed and published with the permission of the presiding judge, (Ms.) Mirja-Leena Mäkinen. Editors of FinnQueer have added subtitles, literature references and photos.

* * *


[alexander.jpg]
Czar Alexander III ("The
Tyrant") enacted the book-burning
law in 1889

Legal Counsel Matti Wuori: Can you please briefly tell the court what originally led to the choice of this research approach and to the fact that a doctoral dissertation - the highest scientific thesis - deals with this theme? What is the background of this piece of research?


[wuori.jpg]
Legal counsel Matti Wuori defending Olli Stålström

Defendant Olli Stålström: Your Honour, Members of the Jury. My first academic degree in a Master of Science in Computer Engineering, which is relevant insofar as I have written my dissertation with the help of computer-assisted qualitative methods.

Secondly, when I met professor Elina Haavio-Mannila in a scientific connection in 1978, she encouraged me to study sociology. I started my studies of sociology under her guidance and because she specialised in sexuality, I studied sociology and social psychology as well as subjects on sexuality under the guidance of professor Haavio-Mannila.

This developed into an idea to study prejudices towards homosexuality within medicine and psychiatry. I was helped by the fact that my other professor of sociology, Martti Grönfors, who specialises in the sociology of deviance, was my superior when I was teaching and doing research at the University of Kuopio.

As a result, in 1993 I started to write my thesis and I wanted to study the history of the illness model of homosexuality, its historical roots and how it had disappeared. It was deleted from the American classification DSM-III in 1973, from the classification used in Finland in 1981 and from the ICD-10 in 1996 when Finland ratified that classification.


[ollinyt.jpg]
Defendant Olli
Stålström

What is important in this connection is that the illness model of homosexuality has also been discarded in psychoanalytic theories where it has been most deeply imbedded. Various psychoanalytic associations have taken a stand against this sickness label. That was the main message of the concluding section of my dissertation. Ali major organisations in Germany, England and especially the United States, and - after the approval of my dissertation - even by the International Psycho-Analytical Association (IPA), founded by Sigmund Freud himself, have distanced themselves from the illness model.

The theme of my dissertation is "The end of the sickness label of homosexuality. With that I mean that it is not a "disorder of sexual behaviour" or a "perversion" according to psychiatry. Neither is it a "disorder of sexual behaviour" or "perversion" according to psychoanalysis.

Matti Wuori: So this is particularly a sociological study. It is not in any way a medical, psychiatric or psychoanalytic study?

Olli Stålström: This is a cross-disciplinary study. My subject is the sociology of medicine. My supervisor of psychiatric theory were Diana Miller, MD, a psychoanalyst and professor of psychiatry at UCLA and Jack Drescher, a New York psychoanalyst, working on a book manuscript on the psychoanalytic illness model of homosexuality. He has submitted an expert testimony statement to this court.

Your honour, may I briefly describe the method of my research in this connection?

Co-operation with the leading producers of new information in the world

Olli Stålström: First I found out via the Internet which scientists in the world today represent top research within psychoanalysis particularly in relation to the sickness label of homosexuality. I have co-operated for almost two decades with my colleague Michael W. Ross, professor of public health at the University of Texas at Houston.

In this connection I found Diana C. Miller, professor of psychiatry at UCLA who is a psychoanalyst. I have personally met her in connection with this study in Los Angeles and Paris. She has sent me several books and articles and by exchanging our materials we simultaneously worked on our manuscripts. She was writing a book on the end of psychoanalytic sickness label of lesbianism (Magee and Miller 1997). We have exchanged dozens of email messages.

Another person with whom I co-operated was Jack Drescher, a leading expert in the American Psychoanalytic Association and he has also submitted his expert statement to this court session. I started co-operation with him in San Diego and we exchanged materials and ideas. At the same time we worked on our manuscripts. He was writing his book on the changes in psychoanalytic theory on gay males (Drescher 1998).


[martti.jpg]
Olli Stålström's sociological
supervisor, professor
Martti Grönfors

At the same time, on one of my trips to the United States, I co-operated with professor Terry Stein who has co-edited a 1000-page "Textbook of homosexuality and mental health" in 1996. I exchanged materials and ideas with professor Stein. Terry Stein is an important person because he is the author of the entry on homosexuality to the next edition of Kaplan & Sadock's Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry (2000), its seventh edition to be published in January 2000. In fact, I ordered a copy by express airfreight for this court session but there has been some delay at the publisher's end. Terry Stein has written a statement on the Weilin + Göös article, which is included in the documents reviewed in this court session.

The difference between the complainant and myself is that I have co- operated with those persons who are today formulating new theory and writing new textbooks. In contrast, the complainant appeals, first of all, to outdated information. In addition, she is mistaken about the author of her sources! In her letter to [the editor] Hilkka Opas on December 4, 1995 the complainant appeals to Kaplan & Sadock and claims that the author of the text is Kaplan. This is untrue. Kaplan was only one of the editors of this 2000-page textbook, not an author of the text on homosexuality.

Kaplan no longer writes anything because he is dead.

I protest against appealing to petrified dogma

The previous edition of Kaplan & Sadock of 1995 contained an article by the psychoanalyst Warren Gadpaille (1995) who is known for the fact that he refuses to accept any new information. He does the same thing as the complainant - as I have admitted in my written statements - that in one place he briefly notes that homosexuality is not a disorder in the sense of ICD-10. But then - most of the article is old psychoanalytic labelling, which gives a general impression that he considers homosexuality a disorder.

The author of the old edition of Kaplan & Sadock, Warren Gadpaille writes with small print that homosexuality in not a disorder in the sense of international classifications, but after that he writes long passages of psychoanalytic speculation. He claims that a disease can be quite unsymptomatic - like hallucinations. One does not realise that they are disorders although they are disorders! Then he ends with a claim that heterosexuality is the "species-norm".

Another authority the complainant appeals to is the Finnish psychiatric textbook Achté-Alanen-Tienari: Psykiatria (1991), which includes the same semantic trick. Its text on homosexuality has originally been taken from the 1967 edition of Kaplan & Sadock Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry (Bieber 1967). Ali editions (1971 - 1991) of the Achté et al. psychiatry textbook basically reproduce the notorious pathologising view on homosexuality originally published by the psychoanalyst Irving Bieber in 1962.


[mike.jpg]
Professor Michael W. Ross
for the defence

Achté does the same trick: in some sentences he notes that homosexuality is not a disorder in the sense of the official classification of disorders. But after that - most of the text is psychoanalytic pathologising labelling. Homosexuality is called a "deviation", Achté compares homosexuality with mental disorders and lists all kinds of accidents and disorders that he claims can be connected with it.

If I may summarise and compare this with the complainant's own text: it is quite true - and I have said this in my letter to the publisher Weilin + Göös - that in one place, after all perversions, very briefly and hidden under the title "Ego-dystonic sexual preference" the complainant notes that homosexuality is not a disorder in the sense of formal classifications. But then - this actual main text "Normal and disturbed sexuality" is very harsh towards homosexuality. The complainant writes that all sexual behaviour where the orgasm is attained in other than heterosexual intercourse is perverse.

"Perversion" is a dirty swearword

First I would like to discuss the term "perversion" in this court of law. I have analysed that term in my dissertation and it originally comes from Krafft-Ebing who was one of the main classifiers of the 19th century. He used two terms as synonyms: "Perversion" and "Entartung". The word "Art" in German means "species". "Entartung" means degeneration from the species. This term "Entartung" is the same as Hitler's troops used of people they labelled subhuman.

I would argue that the term "perversion" is a stigmatising swearword. The complainant further resorts to a semantic trick by defining homosexuality as an "object disorder" [this is the literal translation of the Finnish word "kohdehäiriö" for the translation of the ICD-10 term "disorder of sexual preference"] because in her opinion the object of sexuality is wrong in homosexuality in the same way as the object is wrong in paedophilia and zoophilia.

I would argue that these are ungrounded comparisons. I consider them outrageous, possibly even libellous.

In my dissertation I have criticised the term "perversion" as follows: "In this form the term 'perversion' is one of the most aggressive and coarsest labels in the language which Freud 's biographer Peter Gay (1990) calls "character assassination" practised by certain psychoanalysts.

The English-language Random House' Dictionary (Urdang (ed.) 1968) defines the word "perverse" as follows: "a) wilfully determined not to do what is expected or desired; contrary, b) petulant, cranky, c) persistent or obstinate in what is wrong, d) turned away from what is right, good, or proper".

The Latin dictionary (Streng 1997) gives the etymology of the word "perversion" as follows: "distorted", "twisted", "backward", "wrong", "insane", "evil". The complainant continuously argues in her letters to the publisher that she only reproduces the prevailing opinion in Finnish psychoanalysis. This may be true to the extent that - as I have shown in my dissertation with 560 references - that the psychiatric labelling by the leading Finnish psychoanalysts (Kalle Achté, Veikko Tähkä, Tor-Björn Hägglund, Lars-Olof Schalin) have labelled homosexuality with such term of character assassination for the past quarter of a century. Their psychoanalytic authorities have long been Irving Bieber and Charles Socarides in theories of homosexuality.

Today's American psychoanalysts know that these authorities have been discarded in the United States a long time ago. Therefore I have asked several members of the American Psychoanalytic Association to submit expert testimonies in this court of law.

The fact that Finnish psychoanalysts keep repeating old dogmatic statements does not, however, make them right. They may be the prevailing dogma in Finland – as the complainant claims – but nevertheless they are outdated. I argue that in science appealing to status quo is not acceptable. I consider it dangerous that one is sued in the court of law in today's Finland for criticising prevailing dogma.

The dissertation is part of international scientific discourse

Matti Wuori: This question has caused heated international debate. How does your dissertation relate to this international debate?

Olli Stålström: First of all, in my dissertation I have reported this debate. It is true that emotions have been running high on both sides. Some psychiatrists, especially psychoanalysts, have never accepted the fact that homosexuality was deleted from the category "disorders of sexual preference".

In the 1970's certain psychoanalysts started to fight against this change. They appealed to the same terms as the complainant in this court, that homosexuality is a "disorder" and "perversion". I have complete chapters in my dissertation for the psychoanalysts Bieber, Socarides, Rado and their Finnish representative Achté.

Matti Wuori: How does your dissertation relate to the changes in the classification of diseases? Has something taken place in the United States and Europe that was not yet visible in Finland and necessitated your critique?

Olli Stålström: That is the very reason I decided to write my thesis and publish it as a general book in Finnish, because Finland has lagged behind the rest of nevertheless they are outdated. I argue that in science appealing to status quo is not acceptable. I consider it dangerous that one is sued in the court of law in today's Finland for criticising prevailing dogma.

"Disorder of sexual preference" is a disciplinary disease

Finally I reply to the charge that I take certain words out of context. The central term in my dissertation is the Finnish word "kohdehäiriö" (official translation of the ICD-10 term "disorder of sexual preference"). As the complainant herself admits, she is in the committee that translates ICD-10 into Finnish. Therefore she should be especially aware of the fact that this is not just any word. It is a category name for a classification, which defines mental disorders.

In the same way there are certain words in the law book, which define crimes, such as "theft", "murder" etc. These are words, which must never be used of innocent persons. Otherwise one becomes guilty of slander, that is, groundlessly accusing someone of committing criminal acts. In the same way, I argue, category terms of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) must not be used of mentally healthy persons. They are terms for mental diseases.

The general heading of this category in English is "Disorders of adult personality and behaviour" (F60-F69). The Latin equivalent used in the Finnish classification is "perturbationes mentis et modi se gerendi". The term "gerendi" is derived from the Latin "gero" meaning "obey", "behave", "please", "obey orders" (Streng 1997, 314). Thus the term in Finnish implies "bad behaviour", "not obeying orders". The subclass of this is F65 ("disorders of sexual behaviour").

I insist that a term for a class of mental disease, such as "kohdehäiriö" ("disorder of sexual preference") must not be used of healthy persons! However, the complainant uses this term of homosexuals. I have criticised that labelling in strong terms. This is my most serious remark to the text in Weilin + Göös medical handbook.

The dissertation is part of international scientific discourse

Matti Wuori: This question has caused heated international debate. How does your dissertation relate to this international debate?

Olli Stålström: First of all, in my dissertation I have reported this debate. It is true that emotions have been running high on both sides. Some psychiatrists, especially psychoanalysts, have never accepted the fact that homosexuality was deleted from the category "disorders of sexual preference".

In the 1970's certain psychoanalysts started to fight against this change. They appealed to the same terms as the complainant in this court, that homosexuality is a "disorder" and "perversion". I have complete chapters in my dissertation for psychoanalysts Bieber, Socarides, Rado and their Finnish representative Achté.

Matti Wuori: How does your dissertation relate to the changes in the classification of diseases? Has something taken place in the United States and Europe that was not yet visible in Finland and necessitated your critique?

Olli Stålström: That is the very reason I decided to write my thesis and publish it as a general book in Finnish, because Finland has lagged behind the rest of the world for a quarter of a century. In my book I have criticised the texts of certain psychoanalysts who adamantly refuse to acknowledge international development.

This has created international attention. I was invited by members of the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychoanalytic Association to their conferences in 1996 and 1997 in Madrid and San Diego to speak about a country where homosexuality is still classified as a "perversion" and "disorder" although, as I repeatedly show in my dissertation that the American Psychiatric Association deleted this label from its classification already in 1973. Even the American Psychoanalytic Association which traditionally represented a conservative view, has during the past few years - I would say specifically during the time Dr. Ralph Roughton presided the working group on homosexuality distanced itself from the pathologising view. Dr Roughton has sent an expert statement on this subject to this court of law.

Today the American Psychoanalytic Association has taken a stand against discrimination of homosexuality both in the general society and in working as a psychoanalyst. By this they actually imply that homosexuality may be considered normal if such a person qualifies as a psychoanalyst.

I have continuously followed this field and I have submitted an article to a Finnish academic textbook, which will be published next month [January 2000]. In this article I report that even the IPA founded by Sigmund Freud himself took a stand a couple of months ago against labelling homosexuality as a disorder of perversion.

I would like to add that the main theme of my dissertation is psychoanalysis, which has been the difficult school of thought. I have reviewed several textbooks of the history of psychoanalytic thought and I have analysed at least a dozen various psychoanalytic schools. There are all kinds of psychoanalytic schools. Few of them have labelled homosexuality as a "perversion" or "disorder" in the first place.

As a summary, I am presenting to the court, as evidence, my texts to the forthcoming academic textbooks (Stålström 2000) and (Stålström and Nissinen 2000) which indicate that homosexuality is not a psychiatric disorder and not even a psychoanalytic disorder.

Matti Wuori: What is this textbook?

Olli Stålström: Sociologist Jukka Lehtonen is editing it. He asked that I do not reveal the name of the book because it will be published next month.

Matti Wuori: Is it an academic textbook?

Olli Stålström: It is an academic textbook and will be published in January 2000. But at this stage the editor wishes that its title not be published. But I will submit the text of my article to the judge in this court of law. [Editors's note: This text was published in Lehtonen, Jukka (ed.) (2000) Homo fennicus, Helsinki: Ministry of Social Affairs, in January 2000]

No personal grudge against the defendant

Matti Wuori: Did you know the complainant Kaija Eerola earlier? Have you known her or had anything to do with her before this polemic?

Olli Stålström: No. Not before this. After I warned Weilin + Göös about the mistakes in its text, she did give me a phone call.

Matti Wuori: But before this episode, did you have any personal contact with Dr Eerola, any reason to take a certain attitude toward her as a person?

Olli Stålström: No. Nothing.

Matti Wuori: I assume that when you have criticised her view and her terms in a polemical and pointed manner, this is because of your differences of opinion about scientific arguments. Is there any other reason why you have criticised her text?

Olli Stålström: My main reason is that she did not correct her mistake...

Matti Wuori: But that was partially the publisher's fault, which they have admitted. Did you have any reason to criticise Dr. Eerola personally or is this a question of scientific disagreement?

Olli Stålström: As I already said, I did not know Dr. Eerola before this court case in any way except for the fact that she made a very heated phone call after the defence of my dissertation.

Matti Wuori: And before that you did not have anything personal to do with the complainant?

Olli Stålström: Nothing before that.

Weilin + Göös did not let its author correct her own text

Matti Wuori: Have you any reason whatsoever to despise or hate Dr. Eerola or feel any positive or negative feelings toward her?

Olli Stålström: As far as her personality, nothing. But I have to mention the phone call she made in connection with my oral defence. She behaved so irrationally that she could not explain... she kept repeating all the time that I am criticising a text, which she has not approved herself. I tried to ask what she means by that but she was so agitated that she could not explain. Therefore I had to ask the publisher in writing what had happened.

Then she was emotional about the inverted commas in the word expert meaning her. I replied that I find these emotions distasteful and that I will remove the inverted commas from the second edition if she stops yelling at me. I removed the inverted commas from the word expert from the second edition one year before this court case.

The police investigation record revealed that the complainant Eerola actually had tried to correct her text according to my suggestions but the publisher Weilin + Göös refused to let her correct her own text.

The criminal investigation unit of the Helsinki Police have found a letter of apology sent to Eerola on November 28, 1997 by Riitta-Liisa Kuosmanen, Department Head of Weilin + Göös. Ms Kuosmanen apologised that the publisher had not let Eerola correct her own text before publication. Ms Kuosmanen wrote that Weilin + Göös takes full responsibility for what has happened.

But before this I have had nothing to do with or grudge against the complainant Eerola. In fact, I have nothing to do with this quarrel. It is a problem between the complainant Eerola and the publisher Weilin + Göös!

Matti Wuori: Did this take place after your defence of your thesis?

Olli Stålström: After my defence.

Matti Wuori: You have been charged in this court of law with deliberately and libellously insulting the complainant. Have you any reason for attempting to do this?

Olli Stålström: No. I must emphasize that the complainant does not seem to understand the scientific notation. When I write "Eerola (1996)" in my dissertation, it means - according to all methodology textbooks - that I criticise a text whose author has been this person in that year.

A critic has no way of knowing that the person whose name has been designated as the author, has not approved the text published in her name.

I repeat that I have nothing to do with this matter. It is a quarrel between the complainant Eerola and the publisher Weilin + Göös.

Scientific notation has been misconstrued as a personal attack

Matti Wuori: Do I understand you correctly that in the connection of this scientific notation it does not make any difference whether you have referred to "Tuppurainen", "Tappurainen" or "Eerola" or anyone whose texts you criticise? [Translator's note: These fictitious Finnish names correspond to the American practice of referring to "anyone" by "John Doe"].

Olli Stålström: That is correct.

Publishing the complainant's aggressive statement

Matti Wuori: Another question. You have also been charged in the report to the police that you have referred to a private written statement by Eerola in your dissertation. Why did you do this? What do you think of this as a scientific reference?

Judge Mirja-Leena Mäkinen: Please specify your question!

Matti Wuori: This relates to the sub note on page 236 in the defendant's book.

Olli Stålström: This is an important matter of principle, which I checked with my lawyer Ulf Månsson before publishing my thesis. Emotions run high in these matters and therefore I have had to check several questions with my lawyer beforehand.

I received a very angry and aggressive statement from the Weilin + Göös stating that they refuse to correct the text by appealing to psychoanalysts Achté and Warren Gadpaille, I interpreted this as an admission that the complainant Eerola, in reality, still considers homosexuality a disorder in the same way as Achté (Irving Bieber), although she now claims something totally different in public. I argue that I have an ethical duty and right as a critical sociologist to investigate the phenomena I study in depth and show, using all legal means, the negative attitudes behind the surface which then show as terms "perversion" and "disorder".

I asked my lawyer about the legal status of this letter. My lawyer assured me that once the publisher Weilin + Göös has handed me this statement, it has ceased to be a private letter and it has become a public document. I can briefly and elliptically refer to its main content but I'm not allowed to publish long literal quotations because then I would violate Dr. Eerola's copyright to her own letters.

I plead not guilty of the crime of libel

Thus, I have briefly made clear the fact that the complainant's authorities, after all, represent the pathologising views of Achté et al. (1991) [Bieber et al. 1962] and Kaplan & Sadock's author Warren Gadpaille (1995), although the complainant now tries to deny this in public.

Those who are experts in psychiatry know that there has been strong criticism against the texts of Achté, Bieber and Gadpaille ever since the 1970's, and now they are the ideologists of the so-called reparative therapy movement to try to stop legal equality. I have long chapters in my dissertation documenting this fact.

Your honour, members of the Jury, I plead not guilty of the crime of libel. I reject all financial demands for compensation by the complainant as unfounded. I have only published scientific critique of the complainant's text in a scientific dissertation.


References

Achté-Alanen-Tienari (Editors) (1991) Seksuaalitoiminnan häiriöt (Disorders of sexual behaviour) in Achté et al. (Eds.) Psykiatria (Psychiatry), 6th edition, Juva; WSOY, sivut 355-395.

Cabaj, Robert P. and Stein, Terry (Editors)(1996) Textbook of homosexuality and mental health. Washington DC: American Psychiatric Press.

Bieber, Irving, Dain, Harvey J., Dince, Paul R., Drellich, Marvin G. Grand, Henry G., Gundlach, Ralph, H., Kremer, Malvina W., Rifkin, Alfred H., Wilbur, Cornelia, B., and Bieber, Toby (1962) Homosexuality. New York NY: Basic Books.

Drescher, Jack (1998) Psychoanalytic therapy and the gay man. Mahwah NJ: The Analytic Press

Eerola, Kaija (1996) "Seksuaaliset vähemmistöt" ("Sexual minorities") in Suomalainen lääkärikeskus (Finnish Medical Centre). Osa 2. Porvoo: Weilin + Göös, sivut 395-401.

Gadpaille, Warren J. (1995) Homosexuality and homosexual activity. In Kaplan & Sadock (eds.)

Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry. Sixth edition. Baltimore MD: William and Wilkins, sivut 1321-1333.

ICD-10 (International Classification of Disorders) in Finnish: Tautiluokitus [Finnish edition]. Rauma: National Research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health (STAKES).

Krafft-Ebing, Richard von (1886) Psychopathia sexualis. Augsburg: Matthes & Seitz Verlag.

Magee, Maggie and Miller, Diana C. (1997) Lesbian lives. Psychoanalytic narratives old & new. Hillsdale NJ: The Analytic Press.

Stein, Terry: Entry "Homosexuality" in Sadock, Benjamin (ed.) Comprehensive textbook of psychiatry, «Seventh edition, Philadelphia PA: William & Wilkins, published in January 2000)

Streng, Adolf V. (1997) Latinalais-suomalainen sanakirja (Latin-Finnish dictionary). Helsinki: Suomalaisen kirjallisuuden seura.

Stålström, Olli (2000) Taistelu määrittelijän vallasta: homouden leimojen loppuja (The power of the stigmatizer: ending the sickness classification of homosexuality). In Lehtonen, Jukka (Ed.) (2000) Homo Fennicus - changing views on male homosexuality and bisexuality. Helsinki: Ministry of Health and Welfare: Reports of Women's Studies 1/1999.

Stålström, Olli and Jussi Nissinen: SETA: Finnish Gay and Lesbian Movement's fight for Sexual and human Rights.- In Lottes, Ilsa and Kontula, Osmo (Editors) (2000) New Views on Sexual Health. The Case of Finland. Helsinki: The Population Research Institute, The Family Federation of Finland.

Urdang, Lawrence (editor-in-chief) (1972) Th« Random House College Dictionary. New York NY: Random House.



 
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