Journal Article

The Politics of Masculinity in the (Homo-)Sexual Discourse (1880 to 1920)

Claudia Bruns

in German History

Published on behalf of German History Society

Volume 23, issue 3, pages 306-320
Published in print July 2005 | ISSN: 0266-3554
Published online July 2005 | e-ISSN: 1477-089X | DOI:
The Politics of Masculinity in the (Homo-)Sexual Discourse (1880 to 1920)

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Masculinity became an important topic of discussion around 1900, not only as reaction to the growing women's movement, but also a result of new developments in the medical and sexual sciences. In the late nineteenth century medical doctors began to take a sustained interest in same-sex sexual relations between men, giving rise to the concept of the homosexual man as feminized and dangerous to the social order. While the medical concept of the ‘third sex’ could also be –and was – used for emancipatory purposes by early advocates of homosexual rights, a group of masculinists rejected these discriminatory characterizations by insisting on their masculinity and arguing that state and society were in fact based on male bonding. These masculinist strategies, which sought to integrate male–male sexuality into hegemonic masculinity, represented resistance against discrimination, but they also served to shore up and modernize hegemonic structures that discriminated against women and Jews.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: European History

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