Global Sexual Science and the Secularization of Christian Marriage
This chapter examines how monogamy was imagined as a facet of human nature, and thus for a secularization of Christian marriage, by reading the works of Richard von Krafft-Ebing and Havelock Ellis. In particular, it analyzes narratives that emerge about monogamy in Krafft-Ebing's Psychopathia Sexualis and Ellis's Sex in Relation to Society, volume 6 of his Studies in the Psychology of Sex. Both Krafft-Ebing and Ellis claimed that monogamy marked the superiority of European societies—either because it was rooted in Christianity or because it was “natural.” Using the specter of Islam, Krafft-Ebing operationalizes monogamy as the distinguishing feature between the subjects of sexual science for whom sexual normality (and pathology) are even possible from the always already degenerate. For Ellis, the meaning of monogamy is not Christian religious doctrine enshrined in law. The chapter also considers sexuality in relation to discourses of evolutionism in sexology.
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