glbtq: an encyclopedia of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender & queer culture
social sciences
special features
about glbtq


   member name
   Forgot Your Password?  
Not a Member Yet?  

  Advertising Opportunities
  Permissions & Licensing
  Terms of Service
  Privacy Policy





social sciences

Alpha Index:  A-B  C-F  G-K  L-Q  R-S  T-Z

Subjects:  A-E  F-L  M-Z

Karsch-Haack, Ferdinand (1853-1936)  
page: 1  2  3  

For Karsch-Haack, same-sex love is "a complete analogue" of "heteroerotic" love except with regard to procreation. This difference, however, cannot warrant anti-homosexual discrimination, since propagation is not the invariable result of the heterosexual instinct. The distinction between sexuality and procreation constitutes an essential premise of Karsch-Haack's libertarian endeavors.

Unresolved Tensions

Sponsor Message.

His emancipatory intentions notwithstanding, Karsch-Haack developed his ethnological and historical arguments within the essentialist schemes of binomic sexuality as developed in the Western tradition. Symptomatically, he assumes the existence of essentially different tasks and roles for men and women that are determined by their specific "sexual nature" [Geschlechtsnatur]. His most relevant treatises presuppose the binomial categories of male and female, as well as the resulting combination of men and women in heterosexual and homosexual relations.

In spite of such assumptions, however, Karsch-Haack contends throughout his work that nature has more needs and impulses than "human philosophy" could ever dream of. He was convinced that in the realm of the sexual, nature never leaves room for the simply "unnatural." Thus, the copiousness of "sexual intermediaries" [sexuelle Zwischenstufen] between the "normal" man and the "normal" woman should be understood as corresponding to the general design in nature, even as the very existence of such "intermediaries" questions and destabilizes the classificatory schemes commonly used in Western discourse.

J. Edgar Bauer

  <previous page   page: 1  2  3    

Contact Us
Join the Discussion
Related Entries
More Entries by this contributor
A Bibliography on this Topic

Citation Information
More Entries about Social Sciences

   Related Entries
social sciences >> Overview:  Ethnography

Beginning in the 1960s increasing numbers of ethnographers have conducted research on glbtq issues, spurred by the premise that studies of diverse sexualities are crucial to understanding human behavior and culture.

social sciences >> Overview:  Etiology

The earliest etiologies--or theories of causation--of homosexuality date from European antiquity, but the search for a universal etiology has intensified as homosexual behavior has come under the scrutiny of science.

social sciences >> Overview:  Homosexuality

The term "homosexuality," coined in 1869, with "heterosexuality" as its opposite, has led to a binary concept that oversimplifies the complexity of human sexual behavior.

social sciences >> Overview:  Third Sex

The relative popularity of the term "third sex" to refer to homosexuals is closely connected to its use by some of the most prominent representatives of the early homosexual rights movement in Germany.

social sciences >> Ellis, Havelock

Henry Havelock Ellis--British psychologist and writer--was one of the first modern thinkers to challenge Victorian taboos against the frank and objective discussion of sex.

social sciences >> Frederick the Great

The homosexuality of Frederick the Great of Prussia was an open secret during his reign, yet some historians have attempted to deny it or to diminish its significance.

social sciences >> Hirschfeld, Magnus

German-born Magnus Hirschfeld deserves recognition as a significant theorist of sexuality and the most prominent advocate of homosexual emancipation of his time.

social sciences >> Krafft-Ebing, Richard von

The carefully detailed case studies of nineteenth-century psychiatrist Richard von Krafft-Ebing shed light on the sexual habits of a wide spectrum of men and women.

literature >> Mackay, John Henry

The Scottish-German John Henry Mackay, who wrote in German, dedicated himself to the cause of gaining sympathetic recognition of man-boy love.

social sciences >> Paragraph 175

Paragraph 175 was the German law prohibiting sex between men; strengthened by the Nazis, it was the statue under which homosexuals were sent to concentration camps.

social sciences >> Ulrichs, Karl Heinrich

Nineteenth-Century German activist Karl Heinrich Ulrichs was both the first modern theorist of homosexuality and the first homosexual to "come out" publicly.


Bleys, Rudi. The Geography of Perversion: Male-to-male Sexual Behaviour outside the West and the Ethnographic Imagination, 1750-1918. New York: New York University Press, 1995.

Bagemihl, Bruce. Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1999.

Damm, Jens. "Ferdinand Karsch-Haack." Who's Who in Gay and Lesbian History from Antiquity to World War II. Robert Aldrich and Gary Wotherspoon, eds. London: Routledge, 2000. 238-39.

_____. "Reminiszenz an Ferdinand Karsch-Haack: Der Blick auf fremde Kulturen als Mittel zur Toleranz in der eigenen Gesellschaft." Verqueere Wissenschaft. Ursula Ferdinand, Andreas Pretzel, and Andreas Seeck, eds. Münster: Lit-Verlag, 1998. 281-300.

Keilson-Lauritz, Marita. Die Geschichte der eigenen Geschichte: Literatur und Literaturkritik in den Anfängen der Schwulenbewegung am Beispiel des Jahrbuchs für sexuelle Zwischenstufen und der Zeitschrift Der Eigene. Berlin: Verlag rosa Winkel, 1997.

Schmidtke, Sabine. "Schriftenverzeichnis Ferdinand Karsch(-Haack)s (1853-1936)." Capri: Zeitschrift für schwule Geschichte No. 31 (December 2001): 13-32.


    Citation Information
    Author: Bauer, J. Edgar  
    Entry Title: Karsch-Haack, Ferdinand  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
    Publication Date: 2004  
    Date Last Updated September 9, 2006  
    Web Address  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2004, glbtq, inc.  


This Entry Copyright © 2004, glbtq, inc. is produced by glbtq, Inc., 1130 West Adams Street, Chicago, IL   60607 glbtq™ and its logo are trademarks of glbtq, Inc.
This site and its contents Copyright © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  All Rights Reserved.
Your use of this site indicates that you accept its Terms of Service.