Urning

1864: Ulrichs Invents Urnings

Karl Ulrichs published Vindex, the first of twelve pamphlets, in 1864 to defend "Urnings," men who seek other men as sexual partners. Inclusa, his second pamphlet, followed quickly and in it he articulated the first scientific theory of homoerotic desire. Urnings, he wrote, are attracted to other men because they are hermaphrodites of the mind. Even though they have male bodies, their souls are female so they are naturally drawn to male sexual partners. Therefore, laws like 175 that impose criminal penalties on Urnings are unjust.

Ulrichs believed that the Urning disposition is natural and inborn, but doctors like Karl Westphal and later Richard von Krafft-Ebing appropriated his theory and labeled Urningism a mental illness. --Andrew Wikholm http://www.gayhistory.com/rev2/factfiles/ff1864.htm [Sept 2004]

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