LGBT/queer sexuality, history of, Europe

Surya Monro

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionarypeer-review


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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe International Encyclopedia of Human Sexuality
EditorsPatricia Whelehan, Anne Bolin
PublisherJohn Wiley and Sons Ltd
Number of pages71
ISBN (Electronic) 9781118896877
ISBN (Print)9781405190060
Publication statusPublished - May 2015


Dive into the research topics of 'LGBT/queer sexuality, history of, Europe'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this