Homosexuality in Nineteenth-Century Literature Defining Homosexuality - Essay

Defining Homosexuality

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

Havelock Ellis

SOURCE: "The Theory of Sexual Inversion," in Sexual Inversion, 1897. Reprint by Arno Press, 1975, pp. 128-40.

[When sexologist Havelock Ellis first published Sexual Inversion in 1897, his study became one of the standard authorities in English on the subject. Considered a highly scientific and generally sympathetic perspective for its time, Ellis's work presents the view that most homosexuals are the product of an inborn condition that inverts their gender identities, coupling male personalities with female bodies and vice versa. Although largely discredited among professionals today, Ellis's theory still resonates in popular stereotype, and...

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