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Global History of Sexual Science, 1880-1960$
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Veronika Fuechtner, Douglas E. Haynes, and Ryan M. Jones

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780520293373

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520293373.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 26 July 2021

Monogamy’s Nature

Monogamy’s Nature

Global Sexual Science and the Secularization of Christian Marriage

Chapter:
(p.97) Four Monogamy’s Nature
Source:
Global History of Sexual Science, 1880-1960
Author(s):

Angela Willey

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520293373.003.0005

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.

Keywords:   monogamy, marriage, Richard von Krafft-Ebing, Havelock Ellis, Psychopathia Sexualis, Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Christianity, Islam, sexual science, sexuality

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