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The Pathologisation of Homosexuality in Fascist Italy

The Case of 'G'

  • Book
  • Open Access
  • © 2019

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  • Demonstrates how psychiatry was used as a tool of repression and persecution of homosexuality in fascist Italy
  • Explores the connections between families, the police and the medical professionals in implementing this form of repression
  • Utilises archival material that have never been used in historical research before

Part of the book series: Genders and Sexualities in History (GSX)

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Table of contents (8 chapters)


About this book

This open access book investigates the pathologisation of homosexuality during the fascist regime in Italy through an analysis of the case of G., a man with "homosexual tendencies" interned in the Collegno mental health hospital in 1928. No systematic study exists on the possibility that Fascism used internment in an asylum as a tool of repression for LGBT people, as an alternative to confinement on an island, prison or home arrests. This research offers evidence that in some cases it did.

The book highlights how the dictatorship operated in a low-key, shadowy and undetectable manner, bending pre-existing legislation. Its brutality was - and still is - difficult to prove. It also emphasises the ways in which existing stereotypes on homosexuality were reinforced by the regime propaganda in support of its so-called moralising campaign and how families, the police and the medical professionals joined forces in implementing this form of repression.

Authors and Affiliations

  • Independent Scholar, Roma, Italy

    Gabriella Romano

About the author

Gabriella Romano is an independent scholar from Italy. She received Wellcome funding for her MRes at Birkbeck, University of London, UK, and was awarded full Wellcome funding for her PhD. Previous publications include I Sapori della Seduzione (2006) and Il mio nome è Lucy (2009).

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: The Pathologisation of Homosexuality in Fascist Italy

  • Book Subtitle: The Case of 'G'

  • Authors: Gabriella Romano

  • Series Title: Genders and Sexualities in History

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Palgrave Pivot Cham

  • eBook Packages: History, History (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2019

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-030-00993-9Published: 13 December 2018

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-030-00994-6Published: 29 November 2018

  • Series ISSN: 2730-9479

  • Series E-ISSN: 2730-9487

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XIII, 110

  • Number of Illustrations: 2 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: History of Italy, Cultural History, Gender and Sexuality, History of Science, Social History

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