Among abnormals : the queer sexual politics of Germany's Weimar Republic, 1918-1933 / by Laurie Marhoefer.
This is a study of the politics of non-normative sexualities under the Weimar Republic, Germany's first parliamentary democracy, which was founded in the aftermath of World War I and toppled by the Nazis. In chapters analyzing political struggles over media with sexual content, lesbian subcultures, eugenic sterilization, women's sex work, venereal disease, men's sex work, and male homosexuality, I argue that progressive reforms of laws on non-normative sexualities during the Weimar period went hand in hand with increasing state interference in the lives of a small group of sexual outsiders. Reforms such as the 1927 deregulation of women's sex work and the 1929 vote in a Reichstag committee to repeal Paragraph 175, Germany's law against male homosexual sex, are not simply evidence of an increasingly tolerant attitude toward non-normative sexualities, they are also evidence of a shift in how Germans, particularly progressives, expected the state to manage sexualities. I analyze the role played in new forms of state management of sexualities by ideas of the biological origins of sexualities (from eugenics to sexology), by related concepts of ability and disability, by discourses of race, class, and gender, and by activists for homosexual emancipation.
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