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date: 22 April 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This essay discusses the history of criminalized sexuality, primarily focusing on the ways in which this subject was dealt with in Europe between the sixteenth and twentieth century. It concentrates on three main themes within this field: the question of what constituted condoned and proscribed aspects of sexuality in this period, prostitution, and crimes relating to reproduction. In emphasising the cultural, geographic, and temporal specificities of how and why types of sexual and reproductive behavior might be labelled as either “normal” or “deviant,” such as same-sex desire or terminating a pregnancy, the essay cautions against making generalizations about sexuality and crime in particular regions or time periods and ultimately questions whether sexuality is a useful category of analysis.

Keywords: Homosexuality, prostitution, abortion, infanticide, sodomy, bestiality

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