Nineteenth-century European psychiatry on same-sex desires: Pathology, abnormality, normality and the blurring of boundaries

Beccalossi, Chiara (2010) Nineteenth-century European psychiatry on same-sex desires: Pathology, abnormality, normality and the blurring of boundaries. Psychology & Sexuality, 1 3: 226-238. doi:10.1080/19419899.2010.494896


Author Beccalossi, Chiara
Title Nineteenth-century European psychiatry on same-sex desires: Pathology, abnormality, normality and the blurring of boundaries
Journal name Psychology & Sexuality   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1941-9899
1941-9902
Publication date 2010-09-01
Year available 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/19419899.2010.494896
Volume 1
Issue 3
Start page 226
End page 238
Total pages 13
Place of publication Abingdon, England
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Abstract By interrogating the intellectual foundations of the normal and pathological within nineteenth-century European psychiatry, this article illustrates the extent to which same-sex desires were located on the borderline between the normal and the pathological. First, this article analyses the early-nineteenth-century French and British medical concepts of folie raisonnante, monomania and moral insanity, and their relationship with medical ideas of same-sex desires. It then considers mid-nineteenth century degeneration theory and the introduction of the category of sexual inversion in German psychiatry in the late 1860s. Finally, it deals with the late-nineteenth-century medical discussion about the presence of a latent bisexuality in all human beings at both embryological and psychological levels, and the impact that such debates had on psychiatric discourses about same-sex desires. It is argued that understanding same-sex desires in terms of mutually exclusive categories of the pathological and the normal fails to appreciate the unstable and fluid notions of sexual 'abnormality' and 'pathology' within the nineteenth-century European psychiatric debates.
Keyword Nineteenth-century European psychiatry
Same-sex desires
Normal
Abnormal
Pathological
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Online publication date: 6 August, 2010.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
Centre for the History of European Discourses Publications
 
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Created: Wed, 09 Feb 2011, 08:21:01 EST by Ms Chiara Beccalossi on behalf of Centre for History of European Discourses