Strong Women, Strong Men. Greek “Homosexuality”and its Context

Sven Klees, Paperback


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Essay from the year 2017 in the subject Sociology – Gender Studies, grade: 1,3, language: English, abstract: This paper aims to offer an explanation for the fact that “homosexuality” as we would label it today, the sexual intercourse between two individuals of the male sex, was condoned – at least in a polis such as Athens – and even developed into some kind of social institution that carried adolescent boys over to manhood. The most difficult thing about conducting an analysis about the ancient Greek world it that is has been interpreted differently and in contradictory ways by different scholars. It is therefore easy to lose one’s way as the evidence in the form of literary works and visual art (usually vases) is contradictory in itself and does not inform straightforward analysis. It will be argued that male-male sexual intercourse is a manifestation of Greek polis’ societies’ rigid division into a “domestic” sphere, in which the leading female figure seems to be the dominant figure and a ‘public’ sphere that was almost exclusively reserved for males. In other words, male-male intercourse is the public domain’s equivalent of male-female intercourse in the the domestic sphere. In a second step, the idea of male-male sexual acts as an in-between stage of boyhood and manhood will be reviewed. This idea has to be accepted as long as there is no strong scientific evidence that contradicts the hypothesis. At least, some objects of visual art are likely to be proof of such a custom. Lastly, article by Lin Foxhall is analyzed and interpreted that although being less recent, offers an alternative to depicting women as generally inferior to their husband. Rather it suggests the opposite, at least with regard to the “domestic” sphere. This perspective is able to show that the two different spheres can offer an explanation of sexual activity between male and female individuals, that is husband and wife, in the “domestic”sphere, and two males in the “public” sphere.


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Binding Type: Paperback
Author: Sven Klees
Published: 05/07/2019
Publisher: Grin Verlag
ISBN: 9783668952980
Pages: 24
Weight: 0.09lbs
Size: 8.50h x 5.51w x 0.05d

Additional information

Weight0.09 lbs
Dimensions8.5 × 5.51 × 0.05 in