A term used in a variety of contexts, usually by nationalist movements who want to secede from a larger polity (usually in the form of an empire, but also in a multi-ethnic sovereign state) or as a specific theory opposed to capitalism in Marxist–Leninist discourse, derived from Vladimir Lenin’s work Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism.
castration anxiety
a feature of Sigmund Freud’s theory of the Oedipal Crisis whereby a boy’s realization that not everyone had a penis prompted anxiety that he could lose his. The boy’s recognition of adult male status and possessiveness led to fear that the father would castrate him if he acted on desire for the mother and anticipation of gaining that status later in life.
immoral deviation from the norm that society considers inferior, pathological, and—in relation to evolutionary theory—a retreat from progress.
Edward Carpenter
British activist who advocated on behalf of homosexuals like himself, and for women’s rights, vegetarianism, and socialism. His 1914 Intermediate Types Among Primitive Folk described non-heteronormative genders and sexualities among peoples in tribal and ancient societies as naturally benefiting individuals and society.
The view that every entity has a set of attributes that are necessary to its identity and function.
A term from 1800s New York developed for effeminate working-class men.
hate crime legislation
State and federal laws intended to protect against hate crimes (also known as bias crimes) motivated by enmity or animus against a protected class of persons. Although state laws vary, current statutes permit federal prosecution of hate crimes committed on the basis of a person’s protected characteristics of race, religion, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability.
Havelock Ellis
British physician who co-authored Sexual Inversion in 1897. The medical textbook claimed inversion was an involuntary physiological abnormality of the body based on the authors’ interpretation of cross-cultural examples. Ellis argued that inversion should not be criminalized because it could not be helped.
The belief that heterosexuality, predicated on the gender binary, is the norm or default sexual orientation.
Homophile Movement
Coined by the German astrologist, author and psychoanalyst Karl-Günther Heimsoth in his 1924 doctoral dissertation Hetero- und Homophilie, the term was in common use in the 1950s and 1960s by homosexual organizations and publications; the groups of this period are now known collectively as the homophile movement
Iwan Bloch
a German psychiatrist-sexologist for the repeal of Paragraph 175 who challenged the popular idea that homosexuality was a degeneracy related to the presence of opposite-sex characteristics. His anthropological and historical evidence argued that because same-sex behavior existed around the world, it should be understood as naturally occurring difference.
John Addington Symonds
British literary critic and historian who co-authored Sexual Inversion in 1897. The medical textbook claimed inversion was an involuntary physiological abnormality of the body based on the authors’ interpretation of cross-cultural examples. Symonds was at the forefront of homosexual rights activism in England, where, until 1866, homosexuality was punishable by death. In Symonds’ life and through 1967 British law still criminalized homosexual behavior.
Karl-Maria Kertbeny
an Austro-Hungarian human rights journalist and sexologist who coined the words “heterosexual” and “homosexual” in 1868 as two forms of strong sex drive apart from reproductive goals. Initially both terms included an idea of excessive behavior.
Karl Heinrich Ulrichs
German lawyer in sexology who theorized that male desire for men existed because such men had a female psyche (mind, soul, spirit) and who argued that consensual adult love was a human right
Magnus Hirschfeld
a German physician who advocated for homosexual rights from 1896 through 1935 in his publications, by forming The Scientific Humanitarian Committee in 1897, and by creating a private sexology research institute in 1919 in Germany
nondiscrimination laws
Also anti-discrimination law; refers to legislation designed to prevent discrimination against particular groups of people.
Collective representations of acceptable group conduct as well as individual perceptions of particular group conduct.
Oedipal Crisis
a stage in Sigmund Freud’s theory after infants’ unfocused sexuality and infants’ focus on their mother as the object of desire. Freud posited that both girls and boys passed through an Oedipal Crisis when they came to want a penis. Freud attributed a girl’s rejection of her mother in favor of her father to the girl’s realization that she did not have a penis, being drawn to her father who did. In Freud’s formulation, a boy moved from an active desire for his mother to a passive identification with his father as a result of castration anxiety.
The sexual, romantic or emotional attraction towards people regardless of their sex or gender identity.
Paragraph 175 of the German Imperial Penal Code
a German anti-sodomy law from 1871-1969 that spurred activism for its repeal
In the context of gender, this refers to someone, typically either a transgender person or crossdresser, who is perceived as the gender they wish to present as.
A term various sexologists used regarding sexual behaviors and attractions that were not specifically about reproductive sexuality. Sigmund Freud included as perversions as acts outside of reproduction such as touching and kissing but did so without the condemning attitude Richard von Krafft-Ebing had.
Pertaining to a person or group that does not fall within the gender binary or heterosexuality.
Richard von Krafft-Ebing
a German psychiatrist-sexologist who theorized that anything outside reproductive sex was inferior and immoral deviation. He produced a book categorizing deviance and argued in favor of anti-sodomy laws.
romantic friendship
Also called apassionate friendship or affectionate friendship, a very close but typically non-sexual relationship between friends, often involving a degree of physical closeness beyond that which is common in the contemporary Western societies.
same-gender attraction
Attraction between members of the same gender.
sex assignment
The determination of an infant’s sex at birth.
Sexology is the scientific study of human sexuality, including human sexual interests, behaviors, and functions.
Sigmund Freud
an Austrian founder of psychoanalysis famous for his developmental theory that all individuals passed through mental-emotional stages (including the Oedipal Crisis) that ended with achieving heterosexuality or being diverted to other forms of desire. Freud rejected the ideas that homosexuality was an immoral, criminal condition or that sexuality was innate. He considered people to be innately desiring beings whose desire society directed by prescribing what sexualities were acceptable and preferred.
social construction
A theory of knowledge in sociology and communication theory that examines the development of jointly constructed understandings of the world that form the basis for shared assumptions about reality.
Anal or oral sex.
A modern, pan-Indian, umbrella term used by some Indigenous North Americans to describe Native people in their communities who fulfill a traditional third-gender (or other gender-variant) ceremonial role in their cultures
Karl Heinrich Ulrich’s term from Plato’s Symposium for his 1860s theory that male-male love was biologically inborn and reflected one partner having an internal “female psyche”