Passions of the Cut Sleeve: The Male Homosexual Tradition in China

Bret Hinsch, Author University of California Press $45 (256p) ISBN 978-0-520-06720-2
Harvard scholar Hinsch's careful study belies the official Chinese notion that homosexuality is a recent import from the decadent West. Using literary, ethnographic and historical sources, he demonstrates that male homosexuality was relatively open and tolerated through most of China's dynasties. Contrary to the accepted image of the rigid Confucian family that permitted only marriage-based sex, Hinsch's broad canvas encompasses same-sex relationships between members of different generations and social classes. Bisexuality was even more widespread than exclusive homosexuality; same-sex marriages for both men and women were institutionalized. Although very little documentation survives on lesbian life in China, Hinsch summarizes the existing information in an appendix. Homosexuals in contemporary China, he observes, live in isolation and fear of legal prosecution. This revealing study fills a major gap. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/01/1990
Release date: 08/01/1990
Genre: Nonfiction
Portable Document Format (PDF) - 256 pages - 978-0-520-91265-6
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-0-520-07869-7
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