‘Subversive nurses’
in ‘Curing queers’
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This chapter describes the nurses' experiences when bending the rules in regard to administering aversion therapy, and the meaning they attached to the rule-bending behaviours. An examination of the testimonies demonstrates that femininities and masculinities were sometimes used by the subversive nurses to avert the suspicion of their engaging in resistive activities. Anxiety seems a reasonable response to Una Drinkwater's and Elizabeth Granger's subversive behaviours. A key driver in the development of university-based nurse education was Colin Fraser Brockington, Professor of Social and Preventative Medicine at the University of Manchester. Julian Wills's exposure to homosexuals during World War II had a positive effect on his attitude towards the individuals in his care. The mental nurses were deeply suspicious of state registered nurses (SRNs), as senior positions in mental hospitals were often denied to nurses unless they were dual qualified as a SRN and registered mental nurse (RMN).

‘Curing queers’

Mental nurses and their patients, 1935–74


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