Homosexuality and University Press

5666 Words Jan 19th, 2013 23 Pages
Homosexuality (male).

Definition Homosexuality refers to sexual behaviors and desires between males or between females. Gay refers to self-identification with such practices and desires, like homosexual, both terms mostly used only for men. Lesbian is its female counterpart. Such definitions have run into major problems, and nowadays the concept “queer” is used to indicate the fluency of sexual practices and gender performances.

Sociological context

Since the 1970s, homosexuality has become the topic of an interdisciplinary specialization variously called gay and lesbian, queer or LGBT studies (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender to which sometimes are added QQI: Queer, Questioning and Intersexual). The field is far removed
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The Dutch physician and homosexual rights activist Lucien von Römer worked with Hirschfeld on sexual statistics. In a survey of 308 Amsterdam students done in 1904, he not only counted the men who identified as homosexual (2%) and bisexual (4%), but as well those who had gay sex during puberty (21%) or homosexual fantasies (6%). In the first Dutch gay novel that appeared this same year, the author Jacob Israël de Haan told how he as a student made fun answering the questions. He already made clear how unreliable such data often are.
Hirschfeld also came with the first urban geography, “Berlin’s Third Gender” (1904) in which he described the city’s gay subculture of bars and parks and the elaborate world of male prostitution. Mainly German books on the history of sexual morality (“Sittengeschichte”) that often included chapters on homosexuality, preceded and influenced the work of later sociologists and historians, like Norbert Elias and Michel Foucault. The work of these psychiatrists who started to give names, definitions and identities to disease, crime and perversion, made possible the work of sociologists creating labeling theory. In many ways, this early research paved the way for what would become a sociology of (homo)sexuality (Schmeidler 1932). The enormous body of work, available mainly thanks to early, prewar German sexology, was largely forgotten when the main location of sex research after World War II moved
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