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« Le droit de cité » : sexologie, homosexualité et discours des droits de la personne dans la Pologne socialiste des années 1970


Sextant 37, 2000, pp. 138-149

The right to citizenship: Sexology, homosexuality and the discourse of rights in socialist Poland in the 1970s


The development of LGBT identity and rights in Poland is usually placed in the 1980s when the first queer magazines were published and the first associations were founded. In this paper, I look at processes that set the stage for this development. I argue that sexologists and their texts contributed to the makings of the early discourse of LGBT rights in Poland. I analyze the shift in sexological discourse that occurred in the course of the 1970s. Sexological popular writings from the early 1970s were focused on the suffering of homosexuals and stressed the pathological character of their sexuality. But in between the lines, these articles  referenced gay rights, while texts from the late 1970s were explicit about homosexual emancipation. In this article, I ask why sexologists started to write differently about homosexuality. I point to the patient-oriented character of Polish sexology as well as to political processes related to the Cold War.


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