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Updated February 01, This black-and-white photograph of a medical container fitted with a long plastic tube might appear, at first glance, innocuous. But it's a penile plethysmograph: Dubbed a "penis lie detector", it was used by a Sydney-based psychiatrist who conducted gay aversion therapy sessions in the late s and s.

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The application of Neil McConaghy's homemade device — and how it was received by the public, researchers and LGBTIQ activists — reveals a great deal about changing attitudes towards homosexuality in Australia. In an era where homosexuality was not only classified as a medical disorder, but illegal in Australia, Dr McConaghy was a major proponent of aversion therapy.

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While a lie detector gauged emotional fluctuation, the penile plethysmograph worked through a more physiological mechanism. The moving images could include anything from naked men and women to — puzzlingly — trains arriving or leaving a station, ducks and swans in a pond in London's Hyde Park, or people crossing bridges on the Thames.

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Inas an inpatient in a psychiatric ward in Sydney, Mr LoSchiavo undertook aversion therapy three times a day for a week.

Mr LoSchiavo was warned by some friends not to sign up for the voluntary aversion therapy, but he was incapable of registering their dissent.

Six months after the week-long treatment, he was due to return for a treatment 'booster', but says by that stage he'd had enough. Alongside the plethysmograph, Dr McConaghy used apomorphine and electric shocks for the conditioning part of the treatment: Dr McConaghy used these aversion therapy techniques not to convert his patients, but to inhibit what were then deemed "deviant" desires.

Her mission, in addition to educating church groups and school groups, was to try and convince Dr McConaghy that "the biggest problem homosexuals faced was Nude dark male doctor homosexual when dr their homosexuality but people's reaction to it". While Dr Willis found that direct lobbying to Dr McConaghy was fruitless, the tide of public opinion on the effectiveness of the treatment was changing.

Kate Davison points out that at the end of his career, Dr McConaghy also doubted the effectiveness of aversion therapy, and the Pavlovian theories that founded it. Another reason was that he was affected by the gay liberation movement. Dr McConaghy died inbut if Fabian LoSchiavo could speak to him today, he says he would still have a few questions.

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I think I'd understand that he, for his own reasons, was caught up with this understanding of psychiatry. First posted February 01, More stories from New South Wales.

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Labor feels confident enough of a resentful mood about inequality in the electorate that it is prepared to put it into defined policy and take it to voters. Dr Neil McConaghy's homemade penile plethysmograph measured changes in penis volume.

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From electroshocks to religious 'cure camps': Survivors share reality of gay conversion therapy. Gay conversion therapy's deep roots in Australia.