Jinan University Press, Suqian Intermediate People’s Court and the Suyu District People’s Court #homophobia scmp.com
A Chinese court has upheld a ruling that a textbook description of homosexuality as “a psychological disorder” was not a factual error but merely an “academic view”.
Ou Jiayong, who also uses the name Xixi, said the court’s decision about what constituted a “factual error” was “random and baseless”.
In 2016, during her first year of study at the South China Agricultural University in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, Xixi came across a psychology textbook that described being gay as a mental disorder.
The 2013 edition of Mental Health Education for College Students, published by Jinan University Press, listed homosexuality under “common psychosexual disorders” – along with cross-dressing and fetishism. It stated that homosexuality “was believed to be a disruption of love and sex or perversion of the sex partner”.
In 2017, Xixi sued the publisher of the textbook, and online retailer JD.com that stocks it, demanding that it remove the reference and publicly apologise. She said the book was “poor quality work” as the statement was wrong, with no scientific basis to back it up.
Late last year, the Suyu District People’s Court in Suqian ruled in favour of the publishing house, saying that the opposing views of Xixi and the publisher were due to differences in opinion rather than a factual error.