Early Gay History - GayHistory BeforeStonewall Katz(1995)

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Gay History Before Stonewall
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Katz (1995) “The Construction of Heterosexuality” throughout history This is not the same as homosexuals existing  throughout history Being able to identify couples is a new phenomenon  For example, ancient Greeks talked of “sexual  essences” – predilections for sexual taste, not  categories based on sexual attraction
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There is a tribe in Papa New Guinea  where a rite of passage is for adolescent  boys to perform fellatio on an adult man. Is this “gay”? Difference between action and what we  would call gay
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Behavior vs. Identity “…[the opportunity to] live in a gay  neighborhood, work in a gay business, and  participate in an elaborate experience that  includes a self-conscious identity, group  solidarity, a literature, a press, and a high  level of political activity.  In modern, Western,  industrial societies, homosexuality has  acquired much of the institutional structure of  an ethnic group” (Rubin, 1993). Not everyone acts on their attraction
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Katz (1995) “The Construction of Heterosexuality” The “homosexual” is a relatively new concept It is only since the late 19th century that we have a  category for “homosexuals” Before the 1890’s there was only appropriate and  inappropriate sex Gay sex was a taboo to heterosexual fornication. Anything  that couldn’t result in children Field of sexology-same sex attraction or fetishes  Importantly, this means that the “heterosexual”  is also a new concept
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The medical Invention of the Hetero and  Homo Sexual (Katz, 1995) By the 1890’s the idea of “the sexual instinct” was  beginning to be replaced by “the different-sex  pleasure ethic” Scientists and the general public began to believe  that men and women were naturally attracted to  each other – beyond a need to procreate The earliest known use of the word heterosexual  in the U.S. was in an 1892 article by Kiernan It was not used to describe normal sex, but  perversion This definition was common throughout the 1920’s
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Early Gay History - GayHistory BeforeStonewall Katz(1995)

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