chapter  7
20 Pages


Dave King
WithMedical perspectives and technology*

Before 1910 a variety of terms were applied to cases in which crossdressing in some form was involved (Ellis, 1928). Sometimes an already existing diagnostic term was used, perhaps fetishism or one of the many terms used to refer to what would later be seen as homosexuality, ‘sexual inversion’, ‘contrary sexual feeling’, ‘homo mollis’. Sometimes cases were seen as combinations of various categories: ‘effemination with fetishism’, ‘sexual inversion with complete sexual anaesthesia’. And there were also attempts to create new diagnostic categories, ‘gynomania’, ‘psychical hermaphroditism’, ‘sexo-aesthetic inversion’. There seems, however, to have been little general agreement about the terms to be utilised or their definition. These terms can be seen as the beginnings of an attempt to impose a new form of order on the world.