Heterosexuality Didn’t Exist Until the 19th Century

Why Heterosexuality Didn’t Really Exist Until the 19th Century
The history of straightness is much shorter than you’d think.
So where does the term “heterosexual” come from?

 

“Heterosexual” was actually coined in a letter at the same time as the word “homosexual,” [in the mid-19thcentury], by an Austro-Hungarian journalist named Károly Mária Kertbeny. He created these words as part of his response to a piece of Prussian legislation that made same-sex erotic behavior illegal, even in cases where the identical act performed by a man and a woman would be considered legal. And he was one of a couple of people who did a lot of writing and campaigning and pamphleteering to try to change legal opinion on that matter. He coined the words “heterosexual” and “homosexual” in a really very clever bid to try to equalize same-sex and different-sex. His intent was to suggest that there are these two categories in which human beings could be sexual, that they were not part of a hierarchy, that they were just two different flavors of the same thing.

3 thoughts on “Heterosexuality Didn’t Exist Until the 19th Century”

  1. there are two categories in which human beings could be sexual, they are not part of a hierarchy, they are just two different flavors of the same thing.

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