Journal article

Historicising contemporary bisexuality

L MacDowall

Journal of Bisexuality | Informa UK Limited | Published : 2009


Contemporary bisexuality has a distinctively modern history that begins in the middle of the 19th century and develops through a matrix of three interconnected definitions, as combinations of biological, psychical, and sexual categories: male/female, masculine/feminine, and heterosexual/ homosexual. Due in part to bisexuality's marginality in theories of sexuality, recent theorisations of bisexuality have often been reluctant to historicise the category of bisexuality itself. However, bisexuality's origins in the 19th century, particularly its relation to Darwinism and theories of evolution, continue to shape how it is articulated in the early 21st century.

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