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State policy, popular discourse, and the silence on homosexual acts in early modern Sweden
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Historical Studies.
1998 (English)In: Scandinavian homosexualities: essays on gay and lesbian studies / [ed] Jan Löfström, New York & London: Haworth Press, 1998, 15-52 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In Sweden, homosexual acts between men were mentioned in secular law for the first time in 1608. Despite the explicit criminalization, very few trials are known from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and the new National Law Code of 1734 contained no sanction at all. The central issue of this essay is how the insignificant number of court cases and the seemingly very limited judicial interest in the issue of sodomy in Early Modern Sweden should be interpreted. The silence of the new law is explained by a shift in the official policy from deterrence to a policy of silence, but the low number of court cases was foremost dependent on a lacking actualization and problematization of homosexual acts in the Swedish popular discourse on sexuality, gender and prestige. Finally, it is argued that this underdeveloped popular discourse probably also corresponded to a meagre and rather restricted sexual practice.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
New York & London: Haworth Press, 1998. 15-52 p.
Keyword [en]
Gay men, Scandinavia, History
National Category
Gender Studies History
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-5801ISBN: 0-7890-0508-5OAI: diva2:145469
Available from: 2007-11-30 Created: 2007-11-30 Last updated: 2014-05-26Bibliographically approved

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Liliequist, Jonas
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