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Transnational Flows of Knowledge and the Legalisation of Homosexuality in Interwar Poland (10.2022)

Open Access
Author(s)
Kamil Karczewski
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1017/S0960777322000108
Type of publication
Article / Artikel / Artykuł
Abstract

The article demonstrates how the transnational flows of sexual knowledge created a consensus among medical and legal experts for the decriminalisation of homosexual acts in the Polish Criminal Code of 1932. This happened despite the absence of any significant activism that would demand such a reform in Poland. The German movement's goal to repeal the notorious anti-homosexual paragraph 175 of the German Penal Code was ultimately brought to fruition in Poland but not in Germany. The medical and legal knowledge spread through imperial networks and became useful for the new Polish nation-state in its search for identity and distinctiveness. The novelty of the reform ideas created in German-speaking countries led Polish legal experts to consider their adoption a perfect opportunity for the new nation-state to prove its modernity. Additionally, an authoritarian setting in Poland after 1926 allowed the decision makers to shut out the Church and parliament from the legislative process.

From the publisher's website.

Disciplines
Gender studies History
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