Patterns within the Changes

Charles Upchurch

in Before Wilde

Published by University of California Press

Published in print April 2009 | ISBN: 9780520258532
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520943582 | DOI:
Patterns within the Changes

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This chapter discusses that statements from the period, largely recorded in newspaper accounts and trial documents, indicate that there was a substantial public awareness of the new laws and the new practices concerning the policing of sex between men by the early 1830s, with this awareness often created by the newspapers themselves. The reticence of so many to speak on this topic, understanding the social effects of these changes requires identifying the less obvious patterns of enforcement of the laws. The laws regulating sex between men, like almost all laws, were not implemented exactly as written, and discrepancies between the law and actual practice reveal important limits to the state's power and individuals' tacit assumptions about the intent of such laws.

Keywords: public; awareness; sex; men; patterns; enforcement; laws

Chapter.  11581 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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