- Female Same-sex Desires: Conceptualizing a Disease in Competing Medical Fields in Nineteenth-century Europe
- Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences
- Oxford University Press
- Volume 67, Number 1, January 2012
- pp. 7-35
- View Citation
- Additional Information
This article examines the ways in which female same-sex desires were represented across a range of nineteenth-century European medical writings. While recognizing the conceptual innovations of the late-nineteenth-century psychiatric idea of "sexual inversion," it argues that the category of "sexual invert" was positioned alongside other medical representations of same-sex desires, such as gynecological descriptions of women with hypertrophy of the clitoris and socio-cultural analyses of the tribade-prostitute. These representations complicate current historical accounts of sexual inversion, which emphasize conceptual ruptures within the history of medicine.