The Pitfalls of Political Correctness in Writing Sexual History: Politics and the Study of Sexual Science. An exchange between Harry Oosterhuis and Ralph Leck

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This review article rebuts central claims put forward by Ralph Leck in his book Vita
Sexualis: Karl Ulrichs and the Origins of Sexual Science (2016) and addresses fundamental issues about the role of presentist political concerns in writing the history of sexual science. Leck’s book exemplifies the dubious trend among scholars in the history of sexuality and gay and lesbian studies to smuggle
a presentist and politically correct agenda into their interpretation and assessment of the past. The fabrication of such a “usable” history may serve the identity politics that nowadays sways (and poisons) the political and cultural agenda in the United States (and increasingly in Europe as well), but it comes with the risk of hampering our historical understanding.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalH-Net Reviews in the Humanities and Social Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 14 Nov 2018

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