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Sexual Politics and Feminist ScienceWomen Sexologists in Germany, 1900-1933$
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Kirsten Leng

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781501709302

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501709302.001.0001

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Troubling Normal, Taking on Patriarchy

Troubling Normal, Taking on Patriarchy

Criticizing Male (Hetero)Sexuality

(p.152) 4 Troubling Normal, Taking on Patriarchy
Sexual Politics and Feminist Science

Kirsten Leng

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines how Johanna Elberskirchen, Rosa Mayreder, and Grete Meisel-Hess engaged scientific knowledge to criticize masculinity and male heterosexuality. Specifically, they argued that human male sexuality contravened and exceeded the demands and requirements of nature, with negative implications for the further development of the species and civilization. They further insisted upon the superiority of female (hetero)sexuality and sought a greater place for women in the governance of sexual life. However, these theorists disagreed on what was required to reform male sexuality and to emancipate women from men’s purportedly oppressive and excessive sexual demands. Indeed, as this chapter demonstrates, not all women sexologists believed that male sexuality could be reformed.

Keywords:   Johanna Elberskirchen, Rosa Mayreder, Grete Meisel-Hess, Masculinity, Heterosexuality, Evolutionary theory, Psychoanalysis, Sexual reform

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