Advertisement

Queer 1950s pp 77-93 | Cite as

Cross-Generational Relationships before ‘the Lesbian’: Female Same-Sex Sexuality in 1950s Rural Finland

  • Antu Sorainen
Chapter
Part of the Genders and Sexualities in History book series (GSX)

Abstract

Finland’s role on the edge of Europe was a complicated one in the 1950s. World War Two had split the Scandinavian community, and the Nordic countries had ended up on different sides during the war. Finland not only was attacked by the Soviet Union in 1939, but it also attacked the Soviet Union itself and fought with and against Germany from 1941 to 1944, whereas Sweden had remained neutral; Denmark and Norway had been occupied by the Nazis; and Iceland, the Faroes and Greenland had been controlled by American and British troops. The two lost wars against the Soviet Union meant that Finland had to comply with harsh armistice demands and had lost ten per cent of its territory. Twelve per cent of the entire population were displaced and resettled within the new borders in 1944 and 1945. The bloody civil war in 1918 left a deep mark on the national psyche, and the urbanisation process only took place from the late 1950s onwards. Finland also differs sharply from other Nordic countries in regard to its language, culture and history. The distinctiveness of Finland’s national history shaped the development of sexuality debates in the country, which, unlike other European contexts, are distinguished by the fact the language of sexology had not yet entered the Finnish public sphere in the 1950s.

Keywords

Police Officer Sexual Relation Penal Code Sexual Drive Harsh Punishment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 4.
    See, for example, A. Sankar, ‘Sisters and Brothers, Lovers and Enemies: Marriage Resistance in Southern Kwantung’, in E. Blackwood, ed., Anthropology and Homosexual Behavior (New York: The Haworth Press, 1986), 69–81.Google Scholar
  2. 10.
    J. Lölström, ‘The Social Construction of Homosexuality in Finnish Society from the Late 19th Century to 1950s’ (Unpublished PhD thesis, Department of Sociology: University of Essex, 1994); K. Mustola and J. Rydström, ‘Women and the Laws on Same-Sex Sexuality’, in K. Mustola and J. Rydström, eds, Criminally Queer, 41–60; A. Sorainen, ‘The Power of Confession: The Role of Criminal Law and Court Practices in the Production of Knowledge Concerning Sexuality between Women: Finland in the 1950s’, in J. Lölström, ed., Scandinavian Homosexualities, 117–138;Google Scholar
  3. A. Sorainen, ‘Foreign Theories and Our Histories: The Emergence of the Modern Homosexual and Local Research on Same-Sex Sexualities’ in Journal of the Finnish Anthropological Society, 24.3 (1999), 61–74.Google Scholar
  4. 33.
    Sorainen, ‘Foreign Theories’, 121; B. Honkasalo, Suomen rikosoikeus, yleiset opit II osa [Finnish Criminal Law, general part II] (Helsinki: Suomalainen Lakimiesyhdistys, 1960), 71.Google Scholar
  5. 44.
    A. Sorainen, ‘Moral Panic! The Figure of the Paedophile and Sexual Politics of Fear in Finland’, in S. V. Knudsen, L. Lölgren-Mårtenson and S. Månsson, eds, Youth, Gender and Pornography (Copenhagen: Danish University of Education Press, 2007), 189–203.Google Scholar
  6. 47.
    I. Anttila, Alaikäisiin kohdistuneet siveellisyysrikokset ja niiden tekijät. Kriminologinen tutkimus [Sex Offences on Minors and their Perpetrators. A Criminologicial Research] (Helsinki: Suomalaisen Lakimiesyhdistyksen julkaisuja A-sarja, No 50, 1956), 30–31.Google Scholar
  7. 48.
    Bauer, H., ‘Theorizing Female Inversion: Sexology, Discipline, and Gender at the Fin de Siècle’, Journal of the History of Sexuality, 18.1 (2008), 85.Google Scholar
  8. 49.
    English was generally not comprehended amongst academics or the majority of the Finns until the 1960s or 1970s. See A. Sorainen, ‘Siveellisyys ja seksuaalisuus Suomen rikosoikeustieteessä’ [‘Decency and Sexuality in the Finnish sexual criminal science’], in T. Pulkkinen and A. Sorainen, eds, Siveellisyydestä seksuaalisuuteen — poliittisen käsitteen historia [From Decency to Sexuality-History of aPolitical Concept] (Helsinki: Finnish Literature Society, 2011).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Heike Bauer and Matt Cook 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antu Sorainen

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations