|Title of host publication||The International Encyclopedia of Human Sexuality|
|Editors||Patricia Whelehan, Anne Bolin|
|Publisher||John Wiley and Sons Ltd|
|Number of pages||71|
|Publication status||Published - May 2015|
Sexual and gender diversity has existed in Europe since ancient times, with variations across countries and historical eras being shaped by forces such as migration, conquest, and religion. Some types of homosexual relations were important in ancient Greek and Roman societies. However, during the medieval to modern period many European countries introduced laws against people who engaged in same-sex sexualities; this was fuelled by a mixture of religious dogma, nationalist traditionalism, and (after 1800) pseudo-scientific study. People who engaged in same-sex sexual behavior were murdered in large numbers during the Catholic Inquisition and, much later, during the Nazi era. As a contrast to patterns of persecution, local cultures of gender and sexual diversity evolved in various European countries, and during the twentieth century these formed a basis for LGBT rights organizing, which was also influenced by other factors such as the civil rights movement and student protests.