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IHR History of Sexuality Seminar: Clare Tebbutt (Nottingham Trent University)

24th May 2016 @ 17:15 - 19:30

Medical appeals to sexuality in understanding and policing those who wanted to ‘change sex’ during the 1930s and 1940s 

Clare Tebbutt (Nottingham Trent University)

Part of The History of Sexuality seminar at the Institute of Historical Research (co-organised by our director Dr Jana Funke).

The seminar series is convened by the Raphael Samuel History Centre. All seminars are open to all and there is no need to register in advance. If you have any questions about the seminar please contact Craig Griffiths at:

See the website for more details.

Follow the seminar series on Twitter @ihr_sexuality


In 1930s Britain there were numerous newspaper articles about people whose sex had been reclassified. These stories were informed by endocrinological developments that were challenging sexual dimorphism. L. R. Broster et al, The Adrenal Cortex and Intersexuality (1938) compiled scores of cases of sex variation and journalists drew on Broster’s research. In turn, medics such as Clifford Allen and Norman Haire bemoaned the fact that the press stories were encouraging people to seek medical assistance to determine or to change their sex. The public uncertainty and debate around sex categorisation had implications for how sexuality could be understood. I consider how homosexuality was both denigrated and naturalised as medics strove to interpret sexual desire in relation to somatic sex.


24th May 2016
17:15 - 19:30
Event Categories:


Institute of Historical Research
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IHR Pollard Seminar Room, N301, Third Floor, IHR, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU
Senate House
London, United Kingdom
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