THE RISE AND FALL OF HOMOPHOBIA AND SEXUAL PSYCHOPATH LEGISLATION IN POSTWAR SOCIETY

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Abstract

This article examines the reasons behind the rise and subsequent fall of homophobia and sexual psychopath laws in postwar Western societies. Although, in many ways, these concerns can be seen as the antecedents of those underlying current sexual predator legislation, it is argued that the antecedents were themselves the product of a particular formulation of the concept of “risk.” The article illustrates how this risk formulation came to be articulated—and then disarticulated—over these concerns.

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