Download Female Sexual Inversion: Same-Sex Desires in Italian and by Chiara Beccalossi PDF

By Chiara Beccalossi

An exam ofhow girl same-sex wishes have been represented in quite a lot of Italian and British clinical writings, 1870-1920. It indicates how the psychiatric classification of sexual inversion was once located along different scientific principles of same-sex wants, akin to the virago, tribade-prostitute, fiamma and gynaecological reasons.

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Additional resources for Female Sexual Inversion: Same-Sex Desires in Italian and British Sexology, c. 1870-1920 (Genders and Sexualities in History)

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59 The (male) professional classes were fiercely protective of the autonomy of the individual, although this liberal approach applied more to men than to women. 60 In the mid-nineteenth century, a series of legal changes gave British women new rights and several significant pieces of legislation dealing with aspects of sexual conduct were passed. These were partly the result of attempts to tidy up and consolidate the inherited mass of criminal legislation, but also reflected the increasingly secularised regularisation of moral conduct, formerly under the sway of the Church.

This document listed the principal ideological misconceptions of the time, and called Catholics to reject supposedly widespread notions such as people’s freedom to profess whatever religion they thought best, or that even non-Catholics might go to heaven. It also indicated that the Pope was entitled to exert temporal power over his own state, and no dissension on this matter would be tolerated; Church and state should not be separated; and that the Pope did not agree with progress, or modern liberal civilisation.

These figures might overlap, so it was possible for a physician to describe a tribade-prostitute who was also an invert, or to discuss a nymphomaniac with abnormal genitals who had sexual relations with women, or a sexually inverted fiamma. By the end of the nineteenth century, diagnosing a person with sexual inversion meant the physician would have been influenced by a combination of socio-cultural, physical, and psychological approaches to same-sex desires. Sexual inversion had become multilayered, and at the same time multiple images embodied different ideas of female same-sex desires.

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