By Sean Brady (auth.)
This publication is a part of a brand new iteration of historic study that demanding situations winning arguments for the clinical and criminal development of male gay identities in overdue 19th and early twentieth-century Britain. British society couldn't tolerate the dialogue essential to shape scientific or criminal innovations of 'the homosexual'. the improvement of masculinity as a social prestige is tested, for its effect in shaping societal attitudes in the direction of intercourse and sexuality among males and fostering resistance to any form of reputation of those phenomena. Imperatives to strengthen masculinity as a social prestige precluded public acceptance of the life of intercourse and sexuality among males, even in phrases that have been opposed and pejorative.
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Additional info for Masculinity and Male Homosexuality in Britain, 1861–1913
60 It is this context of British perceptions of its moral and political pre-eminence in the world in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries that offers the best potential to examine British concepts of sex between men in this period. In the British perception of masculinity, any social toleration of sex between men not only undermined masculinity as a social status in the metropolitan space of mainland Britain, but also threatened the cultural self-perception of pre-eminence in the wider world.
62 Given the legal status of bastardy after 1834, women were imperilled by premarital pregnancy and could only be rescued by recognition of the pregnancy by the father, through marriage. Men may have had rights over women in the late nineteenth century, but this predominance did not remain unchallenged. The social purity movements of the 1870s and 1880s specifically attacked male lust and power over women’s lives and bodies. 63 In the 1870s and 1880s, campaigns were mounted to repeal the notorious Contagious Diseases Acts.
This course of action guaranteed that the issue of freedom of the press, and the ‘evil’ that prompted this debate, would be kept firmly out of the newspapers. Rosebery’s instincts on the matter were well founded. Newspapers shied away from reporting such cases, indicating that most of the public preferred not to be confronted with the issue. Also, the authorities could and did use the obscene libel laws to prosecute a publication that contravened prevailing standards of taste. Havelock Ellis’ study, Sexual Inversion, was a scientific treatise on the subject of sex between men similar to Continental publications in this field.