Madness as a magnifying glass of the normal: Italian psychiatry and sexuality c. 1880 –1910

Beccalossi, Chiara (2014) Madness as a magnifying glass of the normal: Italian psychiatry and sexuality c. 1880 –1910. Social History of Medicine, 27 (2). ISSN 0951-631X

Documents
Madness and Sexual Psychopathies- SHM- 2014.pdf
[img]
[Download]
[img]
Preview
PDF
Madness and Sexual Psychopathies- SHM- 2014.pdf - Whole Document

159kB
Item Type:Article
Item Status:Live Archive

Abstract

By focusing on Italian psychiatric debates about sexual inversion this article shows how Italian psychiatrists came to argue that there was no clear-cut boundary between normal sexual behaviour and sexual perversion, and traces the debates and fields of knowledge that contributed to the development of such a position. First, it shows how French psychiatry shaped Italian views on sexual psychopathies. Second, it demonstrates that in Italy, psychiatric research on so-called sexual psychopathies was from its inception part of a wider debate about the blurred boundary between sanity and insanity. Third, it reveals how sexologists embraced various theories of evolution, which implied that sexual perversions were latent in any normal individual. The article argues that despite the fact that in Italy same-sex desires were pathologised in the last three decades of the nineteenth century, historical accounts that emphasise such a pathologisation obscure psychiatric positions that endeavoured to normalise same-sex desires.

Keywords:Italian Modern History, Sexuality, History of Medicine, Homosexuality, Sexology, NotOAChecked
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V380 History of Science
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V145 Modern History 1900-1919
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V144 Modern History 1800-1899
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V340 Intellectual History
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V223 Italian History
Divisions:College of Arts > School of History & Heritage > School of History & Heritage (History)
Related URLs:
ID Code:19036
Deposited On:15 Oct 2015 16:57

Repository Staff Only: item control page