Journal of Homosexuality

Published by Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Online ISSN: 1540-3602
Print ISSN: 0091-8369
It is argued that being out to heterosexuals is a result of structural and individual conditions permitting one to be out, rather than a late stage in a process of coming out. The concept of coming out is largely applicable to the transition to adulthood while having little applicability to adult homosexuals. Data on 1,556 gay men are presented showing the relationships of being out to heterosexuals with income, type of occupation, area of residence, sexual orientation of friends, and individual non-conformity. These data show that much variation in being out can be explained by these factors rather than a stage of the coming out process.
Theory and research concerning sexual orientation has been restricted in its scope and influence by the lack of clear and widely accepted definitions of terms like heterosexual, bisexual, and homosexual. In an attempt to better demarcate and understand the complexities of human sexual attitudes, emotions, and behavior, the Klein Sexual Orientation Grid (KSOG) was developed and administered. The KSOG is composed of seven variables that are dimensions of sexual orientation, each of which is rated by the subject as applying to the present, past, or ideal. Analysis of the data from subjects who filled out the KSOG in Forum Magazine indicated that the instrument was a reliable and valid research tool which took into consideration the multi-variable and dynamic aspects of sexual orientation.
Until now, the reactions of gay and bisexual populations have been largely overlooked in response to terror and disaster. This study assesses risk-taking behaviors in gay and bisexual men two weeks before and after the 9/11 attacks in Manhattan. For the purposes of this study, risk-taking behaviors include drug use and unprotected anal sex. These behaviors and associated desires were examined in relation to race/ethnicity, age, geographic location, and HIV status, within and across time. The results of this study demonstrate that HIV status may be a pivotal demographic feature in understanding risk-taking behaviors post disaster. No changes in drug use were reported pre and post 9/11. However, there was an increase in risky sexual behaviors in relation to serostatus, with HIV-positive men reporting a higher number of sexual partners post 9/11. In contrast, the number of sexual partners remained constant in HIV-negative men. There was also an interaction effect, demonstrating that HIV-positive men were more likely than HIV-negative men to act on their desire for sex. Thus, as a population already faced with the prospect of death, HIV-positive men may be a population more vulnerable in the face of terror and disaster.
An extensive survey of the research literature on sexual orientation was undertaken for the purpose of determining how sexual orientation had been conceptually and operationally defined and how research subjects had been identified and selected. Two hundred-twenty-eight articles from 47 different journals were analyzed. Sexual orientation, it was found, was conceptually defined in 28 studies and operationally defined in 168. In 196 studies respondents were identified on the basis of the settings in which they were found. Because of the great variation in both conceptual and operational definitions, it was almost impossible to determine with certainty the theoretical frameworks used in the studies. The wide divergency in the definitions of sexual orientation, the investigators conclude, is symptomatic of an underlying conceptual confusion.
The standard history of antihomosexual legislation states that lesbian acts were not punished by medieval or later laws. This essay challenges this view by documenting capital laws since 1270 in Europe and America. A major influence was Paul's condemnation in Romans I, 26. By 1400, the lex foedissimam, an edict of the Emperors Diocletian and Maximianus, issued in 287, was interpreted to justify the death penalty. Executions took place in Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland, and Spain. A brief survey of presently known male deaths in Europe and the Americas, which number about 400, also is included. This study draws on canon law and the commentaries of such jurists as Cino da Pistoia, Saliceto, López, Gómez, Farinacio, Cotton, Carpzow, Sinistrari, de Vouglans, and Jousse. It also discusses the records of a German trial of 1721, published elsewhere in this issue, that also led to the execution of a woman.
This ethnographic study is focused upon the lifestyles of white, suburban, middle-class homosexuals. Interview data on some two dozen individuals obtained in the spring of 1982 was increasingly supplemented and supplanted by continued field observation and other techniques of data-gathering through the summer of 1985. The data on the coming-out experiences were largely congruent with models of homosexual identity formation, especially those of Plummer (1975) and Troiden (1979). As expected, older subjects generally progressed through coming-out stages at a slower pace than their younger counterparts. The middle-class orientation and the suburban socio-cultural environment were also seen as inhibiting homosexual identity formation. The advent of AIDS seemed to have little obvious impact on behavior until the last months of the study. Suburban homosexuals in this study were strongly oriented to their work and career-building, to suburban home ownership, and to obtaining a long-term love relationship with another male. Suburban homosexuals were also strongly individualistic and assimilationist, rather than oriented towards collective action or organizational membership based on shared sexual identity. While the fortunes of the two friendship groups differed, friendship bonds among suburban homosexuals compare favorably with male friendships in the general population. The findings in this study suggest that suburban homosexuals, like many other Americans, are finding suburban life increasingly attractive and that the lure of large cities and gay ghettos has faded.
Between 1968 and 1969, Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau sparked a controversy surrounding his liberal government's passage of Bill C-150, which not only decriminalized homosexual acts between consenting adults in private, but also polarized supporters of natural law and positive law. What tipped the balance in favor of a more secular analysis of homosexuality? In the post-World War II era, three events were particularly relevant to the successful passage of Bill C-150: the Kinsey (1948) studies, Britain's Wolfenden Report (1957), and the Supreme Court of Canada case Klippert v. The Queen (des Rivieres & Shipley, 1967). However, the Liberals, Conservatives, Social Credit Party, and the Ralliement Creditistes were all influenced by the social construction of inversion, openly expressing a Judeo-Christian natural law bias during Debates of the House of Commons (1968-69). Nonetheless, it was the Liberals that were identified as forces within Canadian politics that could separate legalism from moralism, even while retaining personal moral stances against homosexuals. It is this paradox that is often forgotten when discussing liberal policy in Canada during the late 1960s.
This essay investigates the homoerotic connotations present in the so-called treatises on love, a popular philosophical and literary genre of the Italian Renaissance. The referential text of this sixteenth- century genre is Marsilio Ficino's De amore (1484), a deeply innovative interpretation of Plato's Symposium. Focusing on the initial section of Ficino's text, Maggi highlights some important structural differences between the De amore and the Symposium. Moreover, by comparing Ficino's Latin text with his own subsequent Italian translation (Sopra lo amore, 1544), Maggi examines how Ficino interprets some key terms such as appearance and splendor. The second part of the essay studies Cesare Trevisani's L'impresa (1569), a later treatise on love with an explicit homoerotic foundation.
The Archives of the Bastille in the Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal include hundreds of police reports, none of them currently available in English or even in print, about male same-sex relations in Paris during the first half of the eighteenth century. The documents translated here, interrogations of eight men arrested in 1715, provide information about networks and prostitution, age and class, surveillance and deception in the sodomitical subculture of the capital.
In 1891, Dr. F. C. Müller of Alexandersbad published in Friedreich's Blätter für gerichtliche Medizin und Sanitätspolizei a transcription from the Prussian State Archives of a trial of two lesbians that took place in Halberstadt in 1721. The records, translated here, describe in lively detail the religious life, wanderings, and lesbian relations of Catherina Margaretha Linck. Linck was tried for committing sodomy with her lover, Catherina Margaretha Mühlhahn. The trial documents also reveal with some particularity the legal questions raised by lesbian relations in the early eighteenth century with regard to moral theology, Saxon law, and physiological theories.
The journals recorded by Captain James Cook and his associates on Cook's Third Voyage of discovery (1776-1780) include extensive eyewitness accounts and analyses of the Hawaiian people and their culture-the first to be made by Europeans and Americans. Among these are several reports of young men called aikane, who were attached to the court or train of the ali'i (chiefs), and whose functions were sexual, social, and political. Among these aikane were several who acted as intermediaries between the sailors and the Hawaiians, and whose influence and conduct profoundly affected the course of events at Kealakekua Bay, where Cook was killed in February, 1779. The information contained in these materials suggests that such Hawaiian same-sex relationships are more important than currently accounted for in accepted theories of Hawaiian ethnohistory.
A stratified random sample of 750 males aged 18 to 27 in Calgary, Canada included questions on sexual activity and orientation. A computerized response format (established as a good method for eliciting sensitive personal data) ensured anonymity. Three measures of homosexuality were employed: (1) voluntary, same-gender sexual contact from age 12 to 27: 14.0%; (2) overlapping homosexual (5.9%) and/or bisexual (6.1%) self-identification: 11.1%; and (3) exclusive (4.3%) and non-exclusive (4.9%) same-gender sexual relationships in past 6 months: 9.2%. On the basis of one or more of the three often overlapping measures, 15.3% of males reported being homosexual to some degree. CES-D depression scores did not differ significantly for sexually active homosexual (mean 14.6), bisexual (mean 15.7), and heterosexual (mean 13.7) males. The elevated depression scores for celibate homosexual (mean 27.1) and heterosexual (mean 23.6) males permit various interpretations, but are not supportive of beliefs and related institutional policies recommending or requiring that young adult homosexual males be celibate.
This article explores the reasons for and nature of homosexual tourism over the last 180 years, and how the nature of homosexual tourism is undergoing a change.
In 1826, twenty-two-year-old Jeffrey Withers, later a judge in the South Carolina Court of Appeals and a delegate to the conferences that established a provisional government for the Confederacy, wrote two letters to his young friend, Jim Hammond, who would attain prominence as governor, member of congress, senator, and major apologist for slavery. The letters discussed homosexuality in a guilt-free manner. The author suggests that this nonchalance may have been typical of this class and race in the antebellum South. The author's account of the difficulties surrounding his efforts to publish the Withers/Hammond letters provides historians with useful advise on how to deal with archivists when printing sensitive material.
In 1860, the Danish fairy tale writer (whose fairy tales are perhaps primarily for grown-ups) met Karl Maria Kertbeny--who is supposed to have coined the term "homosexual" (first used in a private manuscript in 1868). The meeting caused immense despair in Andersen; yet what happened has remained a mystery. A careful study of Andersen's fairy tales and papers, however, provides a clue to an answer. The article deals with the horrors of being labelled; but it also discusses labelling as merely a minor part of what goes on in the making of the modern homosexual. Above all, Andersen's moods seem important and identifiable to us as homosexuals; more generally, they seem stirringly close to postmodern existence.
Constituting what may be called "a community of spinsters," Norwegian middle-class unmarried woman played an important role in undermining and destabilizing the heterosexual cultural matrix during the period 1880-1920. In their anti-sexuality, self-sufficiency and hatred of men the spinsters challenged the heteronormativity of the period, and their queerness still presents a challenge to the harmony-oriented, heteromormative Norwegian women's history.
Homosexual acts between women were criminalized in Finland in the 1889 Penal Code which also criminalized men's homosexual acts for the first time explicitly in Finnish legislation. The inclusion of women in the Penal Code took place without much ado. In the article it is argued that the uncomplicated juxtaposing of men and women was due to the legacy of a cultural pattern where man and woman, as categories, were not in an all-pervasive polarity to each other, for example, in sexual subjectivity. A cultural pattern of low gender polarization was typical of preindustrial rural culture, and it can help us apprehend also certain other features in contemporary Finnish social and political life, for example, women obtaining a general franchise and eligibility for the parliament first in the world, in 1906. A modern image of "public man" and "private woman" was only making its way in Finnish society; hence, there was not much anxiety at women's entry in politics, or, for that matter, at their potential for (homo)sexual subjectivity becoming recognized publicly in criminal law.
The attitudes of the Dutch socialist left toward homosexuality are examined, drawing upon a wide range of sources. At the end of the nineteenth century, a political debate on prostitution heightened social interest in sexuality in its diverse forms. Medical literature on sexual perversion was another starting point for the growing discussion of homosexuality. These debates were joined by Dutch socialists of divergent opinions. Whereas some of them wanted to acknowledge the right of homosexuals who were born that way to express themselves, only one exceptional author defended the right to homosexual sex. But most socialists were prejudiced against homosexuality and generally endorsed Frank van der Goes's proposal to eliminate homosexual behavior while accepting the notion of an inborn homosexual orientation.
The author discusses Argentinean construction of homosexuality from 1900 to 1950 in the context of the raging debate of the essentialists versus social constructionists. The history of sexual inverts is discussed with reference to early sexologists. After a broad exploration of sexual inversion, the author turns to the Argentinean doctors who distinguish between acquired and congenital inverts. There was much resistance to the medical and legal establishments as there were autobiographies written by inverts, who subverted the medical views of the day. Finally, Bao concludes that there was, indeed, an Argentine construction of homosexuality, and that there were similarities between Buenos Aires and other large European cities. It is also noted that at the beginning of the twentieth century, there was a developed Argentine subculture of inverts who had meeting places, fashion, sexual tastes, and customs.
The formation of lesbian and gay identity and community in the Connecticut River Valley of western Massachusetts was greatly shaped by social changes and trends in gender ideology which originated outside the region. Safe and supportive space for the exploration of homosexual identity was limited and limiting, as gay and lesbian residents turned to homoerotic communities away from the area to try to come to terms with and act out their same-sex desires. Gay men and lesbians in the Valley began to generate self-affirming and politically oriented institutions, however, within the context of the radical political culture of the 1960s.
This essay explores the historical process in which homosexuality became an object for pastoral, medical, and mental health care in the Dutch Catholic community during the twentieth century. The confrontation between a moral-religious approach and the professional (medical and psychological) treatment of homosexuality is the central issue. In a continuing dialogue and a process of changing power relations between clergymen, physicians, psychiatrist, psychologists, and pedagogues as well as Catholic homosexuals themselves, homosexuality was transformed from sin and pathology into a psychological and social problem that could be treated in pastoral and mental health care. The changing attitudes of Catholics towards homosexuality can be explained in the context of the changing relations between religion on the one hand and health care on the other hand. Current viewpoints resulting from sociohistorical studies on the development of the medical and welfare professions have concluded that religion lost importance in modern society because physicians, psychiatrists, psycho-therapists, and social workers not only created new areas of intervention in people's private lives, but also took over the traditional tasks of the church in the field of charity and pastoral care. Medical anamnesis, psychoanalysis, and psychotherapy took the place of confession and pastoral care, thus the argument runs, and remission of sins and redemption were replaced by health and welfare. However, especially in the case of the development of the Dutch welfare state, there was a more complicated interplay between changing religious values and professional strategies. In the Netherlands professional health care and welfare institutions often were organized in a religious context and it is difficult to make a clear differentiation between religious and moral discourses on the one hand and medical and psychological ones on the other hand. Moreover, professional interventions did not take the place of pastoral care; it appears that pastoral care for homosexuals gained ground and was intensified after medical and psychological definitions of homosexuality had found acceptance in the Catholic community. Professional strategies did not supersede religion, but rather contributed to a moral re-orientation and a new pattern of Christian values and appreciations in the field of sexuality.
Laura Bragg, a member of the first graduating class at Simmons College, journeyed to Charleston as a New Woman in 1909. As the first woman director of a major scientific museum in the United States, Bragg transformed the Charleston Museum into a public education institution and became an innovative leader in museum education. This article documents Bragg's contributions within the context of antebellum culture where the Southern Belle was placed on a Victorian pedestal and Boston marriages were an unknown phenomenon. Using extensive and hitherto unpublished correspondence, the authors detail Bragg's lesbian relationships and describe her network within the homosexual male community during the era of the Charleston Renaissance.
The Dutch homosexual movement is one of the oldest and most influential in the world. The aim of this article is to describe how this success can be explained both by some specific characteristics of Dutch society and ideologies, strategies, and tactics as developed by the gay movement. Although it is always risky to make a comparison with other countries and the homosexual movements there, I try to point out briefly some distinct differences and similarities.
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