There is a good working consensus in queer theory (the analysis and deconstruction of compulsory heteronormativity) and gay studies (the history of homoerotic identities) that the concept of homosexuality is an invention of the late nineteenth century, as is heterosexuality. There is evidence of same-sex bonding throughout human history, which may be manifest in official institutions such as the convent or the military, as well as in public associations such as the so-called English molly houses (early eighteenth century) or private gatherings. Yet there is little evidence that this bonding can be called an “identity” in the sense of the in-depth psychological analysis that is one of the master discourses instituted in the nineteenth century. Rather, as Michel Foucault has famously stated, before the end of the nineteenth century, there is a history of sexual doing, or history of sexual acts, while after the invention of homosexuality and...

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