Crimes of Passion and Psychiatry in Early Twentieth-Century Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences
- Oxford University Press
- Volume 77, Number 2, April 2022
- pp. 131-157
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This article examines how early twentieth-century crime of passion trials constructed medical insanity and criminal responsibility by litigating varied interpretations of masculine decision making. Specifically, it looks at how defense lawyers used and applied psychiatric knowledge to their clients' benefit and how psychiatrists, in turn, (re)asserted control over that knowledge by condemning its misuse. The way that these medico-legal narratives played out in the courtroom during crime of passion trials, and in the public discourses that surrounded them, ultimately brought a smoldering competition between distinct understandings of modern masculinity into sharp focus.