Vir is an important contribution to the growing field on Latin American homosexuality, adding to this increasingly sophisticated body of historiography in ambitious ways. Based largely on civil court cases against men for male-male sexual activity, this book traces both a social and legal history. Significantly, this is one of the first full-length monographs on homosexuality in colonial Latin America.

The chapters are arranged thematically and within each are contained vignettes or theoretical points. First and foremost, the book examines the prosecution and religious condemnation of homosexuality in the early modern Hispanic context. In the two introductory chapters the authors explains that understanding the Hispanic “construction” of homosexuality requires more than a social or intellectual history; it can only be done if one considers the overall context of scholastic theology, Spanish imperialism, and anti-Semitism. This point seems to be directed at a broader...

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