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Inscriptions, bodies and selves in nineteenth-century hermaphrodite case histories

An adolescent girl is mocked when she takes a bath with her peers, because her genitals look like those of a boy. A couple visits a doctor asking to ‘create more space’ in the woman for intercourse. A doctor finds testicular tissue in a woman with appendicitis, and decides to keep his findings quiet. These are just a few of the three hundred European case histories of people whose sex was doubted during the long nineteenth century that this book draws upon. The book offers a refreshingly new perspective on the relation between physical sex and identity over the long nineteenth century. Rather than taking sex, sexuality and gender identity as a starting point for discussing their mutual relations, it historicizes these very categories. Based on a wealth of previously unused source material, the book asks how sex was doubted in practice—whether by lay people, by hermaphrodites themselves, or by physicians; how this doubt was dealt with; what tacit logics directed the practices by which a person was assigned a sex, and how these logics changed over time. The book highlights three different rationales behind practices of doubting and (re)assigning sex: inscription, body and self. Sex as inscription refers to a lifelong inscription of a person in the social body as male or female, marked by the person's appearance. This logic made way for logics in which the truth of inner anatomy and inner self were more significant.

A Postcolonial Geography

The operation of the British model of imperialism was never consistent, seldom coherent, and far from comprehensive. Purity campaigns, controversies about the age of consent, the regulation of prostitution and passage and repeal of contagious diseases laws, as well as a new legislative awareness of homosexuality, were all part of the sexual currency of the late Victorian age. Colonial governments, institutions and companies recognised that in many ways the effective operation of the Empire depended upon sexual arrangements. They devised elaborate systems of sexual governance, but also devoted disproportionate energy to marking and policing the sexual margins. This book not only investigates controversies surrounding prostitution, homosexuality and the age of consent in the British Empire, but also revolutionises people's notions about the importance of sex as a nexus of imperial power relations. The derivative hypothesis, which reads colonial sexuality politics as something England did or gave to its colonies, is illustrated and made explicit by the Indian Spectator, which seemed simply to accept that India should follow English precedent. In 1885, the South Australian parliament passed legislation, similar to England's Criminal Law Amendment Act, which raised the age of consent from 13 to 16 and introduced a series of restrictions and regulations on sexual conduct. Richard Francis Burton's case against the moral universalism and sex between men are discussed. 'Cognitively mapping' sexuality politics, the book has traced connections between people, places and politics, exploring both their dangers and opportunities, which revolve in each case around embroilments in global power.

2 EARLY SEX REASSIGNMENTS AND THE ABSENCE OF A SEX OF SELF self, subject and identity In the previous chapter, I tried to determine the rationale behind the category of sex in view of the fact that it was apparently not self-evident that a doctor should examine the body if someone’s physical sex was in doubt. As the case histories show, after the initial sex assignment at birth, sex became so intricately interwoven into the social, moral and legal fabric, that doubts about an individual’s sex affected the entire community. Policies of containment therefore seem

in Doubting sex

7 SEX ASSIGNMENT AROUND 1900. FROM A LEGAL TO A CLINICAL ISSUE from diagnostic judgement to clinical adjustment Until the last quarter of the nineteenth century, the role of physicians in cases of doubtful sex mainly had to do with making decisions in cases in which a doubtful sex had caused social, moral or legal disorder. In such cases, the doctor primarily played a role as an expert witness in a conflict about rights. Even if no court was involved, a physician could play the role of an arbiter in moral or social conflicts. As we will see below, his power was

in Doubting sex

This book considers the policy of the George W. Bush administration towards issues such as abortion, sex education, obscenity and same-sex marriage. It suggests that, although accounts have often emphasised the ties between George W. Bush and the Christian right, the administration's strategy was, at least until early 2005, largely directed towards the courting of middle-ground opinion. The study offers a detailed and comprehensive survey of policy making; assesses the political significance of moral concerns; evaluates the role of the Christian Right; and throws new light on George W. Bush's years in office and the character of his thinking.

International norms and domestic policy change

On 1 October 1989, eleven gay male couples gathered in the registry office of Copenhagen's city chambers to take part in a civil ceremony, entering into a newly established entity called a registered partnership (RP). This book examines same-sex unions (SSU) policy developments western democracies and explains why the overwhelming majority of these countries has implemented a national law to recognise gay and lesbian couples. It presents an overview of recent developments in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) politics as well as the academic literatures that seek to interpret and analyse these developments. The study discussed adds to constructivist work on the international human rights regime, which has been a prominent focus of the literature. The book also examines the processes of international policy diffusion. It traces the development of a soft-law norm for relationship recognition within the broader European polity and illustrates how dissemination of this norm taken by transnational LGBT rights activists and supportive policy elites. The book presents in-depth case studies of Germany, the Netherlands, Canada and the US to tease out the extent and causal mechanisms by which the SSU norm has influenced policy debates. It looks at the ways in which the SSU norm has shaped policy discourse about relationship recognition. The book examines why countries with broadly similar parliamentary structures, party systems, levels of religiosity and confessional heritages have adopted different models of SSU policies. Finally, it inspects how much the European SSU norm has affected policy debates in Canada and the US.

An anthology of literary texts and contexts

This book is an anthology of selections from works dealing with same-sex love, desire, sexual acts, and relationships during the period 1550-1735 in early modern England. It presents religious and moral writings, pseudo-medical writings, criminal pamphlets, travel writings, and letters on same-sex desire. The condemnation of male and female same-sex sexual acts is embedded in the earliest Christian theology. The early modern medical, pseudo-medical, and anatomical texts in Latin are surprisingly reticent about the physiological and anatomical aspects of homoerotic sexuality and desire. Canon law had long condemned male same-sex sexual acts. The 1533-34 statute in England forbade male same-sex sexual acts but ignored female same-sex intercourse. English travel narratives dealing with the sexual customs of other cultures often present sexual licentiousness as endemic, sometimes touching specifically on sodomy and tribadism. The most detailed presentations of same-sex erotic relationships in non-European cultures are those relating to Turkey and the Turkish seraglio. Familiar letters, such as between James I and VI, could reveal personal secrets and be radically transgressive in their emphasis on fostering love and desire. The book discusses homo-sexual subculture during 1700-1730, translation of Latin and Greek texts, and numerous literature representing male and female same-sex erotic relationships. The largely 'socially diffused homosexuality' of the seventeenth century changed profoundly with 'clothes, gestures, language' connoting 'homosexuality'. The book shows how literary genres of male same-sex and female-sex desires such as Shakespeare's Sonnets, and Catherine Trotter's Agnes de Castro allow the modern reader to chart changes in their representation.

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The globalisation of an idea

Kollman 04_Tonra 01 03/12/2012 12:41 Page 65 4 Same-sex unions: the globalisation of an idea 1 This chapter examines same-sex unions policy developments in eighteen western democracies and utilises this broad-based analysis to address the study’s three over-arching empirical questions: (1) How can we explain the wave of SSU policy adoption that has occurred across western democracies since 1989? (2) Why have a minority of western democracies failed to adopt such laws or been laggards in doing so? (3) Why have adopter countries implemented different models of

in The same-sex unions revolution in western democracies

TBA_C03.qxd 08/02/2007 11:20 AM Page 74 3 Gay rights, same-sex marriage and AIDS As the 2000 presidential election approached, George W. Bush’s gubernatorial record in Texas gave rise to mixed feelings among gay and lesbian campaigners. It seemed to have a contradictory character. At times, Bush and some of the other Republican governors appeared to be differentiating themselves from the Christian right by downplaying moral concerns and condemning the politics of ‘divisiveness’ (see pages 63– 4). In April 1999, Bush refused to join those Senate Republicans

in The Bush administration, sex and the moral agenda
International socialisation across the pond?

Kollman 06_Tonra 01 03/12/2012 12:45 Page 143 6 Same-sex unions in Canada and the United States: international socialisation across the pond? This chapter examines the extent to which processes of international socialisation have shaped debates about same-sex relationship recognition in Canada and the US despite their greater distance – both geographic and political – from the European polity in which the SSU norm first appeared. Perhaps because of these distances very little of the burgeoning literature on US and Canadian LGBT politics has examined the ways

in The same-sex unions revolution in western democracies