Introduction

The bibliography provides information on writings dealing with the history of rape, including sexual child abuse, sexual harassment, sexual molestation, child prostitution, forced prostitution, sexual slavery, sexual(ized) violence. The blog informs about calls for papers, forthcoming events and new literature in this field.

January 19, 2013

ART: The satyriasis diagnosis: anti-clerical doctors and celibate priests in nineteenth-century France

Author: Tim Verhoeven
Title: The satyriasis diagnosis
Subtitle: Anti-clerical doctors and celibate priests in nineteenth-century France
Journal: French History
Volume: 26
Issue: 4
Year: December 2012
Pages: 504-523
ISSN: 0269-1191 - eISSN: 1477-4542
Language: English
Full Text: Oxford University Press [Restricted Access]

Abstract: »In the nineteenth century, doctors were an influential and articulate group within the anticlerical movement. This article examines the manner in which anticlerical doctors attacked one of the Catholic Church’s key rites, ecclesiastical celibacy, as a dangerous imposition on the male body. The key to this medical discourse was a condition which has received comparatively little attention from historians, satyriasis. A condition of excessive sexual desire in men, satyriasis was a disorder which, in extreme cases, led to crimes of sexual violence. For anticlerical doctors, the state of abstinence imposed on the clergy was a trigger for satyriasis, as well as two related disorders, masturbation and spermatorrhea. Catholic doctors responded to this argument by refuting the link between celibacy and satyriasis. But with the advent of the Third Republic, the attack on the priest as a sexual predator took on a new prominence in the context of Church-State battles over education and laicisation.« [Source: French History]