Chapter

The Regulation of Male Homosexuality in Revolutionary and Napoleonic France, 1789–1815

Michael David Sibalis

in Homosexuality in Modern France

Published in print November 1996 | ISBN: 9780195093032
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199854493 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195093032.003.0005

Series: Studies in the History of Sexuality

The Regulation of Male Homosexuality in Revolutionary and Napoleonic France, 1789–1815

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This chapter examines the history of the regulation of male homosexuality in France during the period from 1789 to 1815. Consensual sexual relations between adults of the same sex has been legal in France for two centuries and this is usually attributed to the influence of Jean-Jacques-Régis de Cambacérès as second consul and then arch chancellor under Napoleon Bonaparte's government. However, Napoleon's government never showed itself particularly tolerant of homosexual activity and it was determined to enforce the highest moral standards in France. Though the law no longer penalized “crimes against nature”, the government never hesitated to take repressive action against pederasts and sodomites.

Keywords: homosexuality; France; consensual sexual relations; Jean-Jacques-Régis de Cambacérès; Napoleon Bonaparte; pederasts; sodomites

Chapter.  10756 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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