Publications in the 18th-century were anything but kind to the homosexual population. Newspapers created a media frenzy once the prosecutions of sodomites began, feeding public curiosity by giving daily accounts of the trials, convictions and executions of defendants. During a single two year period, newspapers published more than 2,000 reports of trials, arrests and speculations concerning convicted and alleged sodomites. 5

In literature, homosexuals were depicted on the one hand as weak and on the other hand, as dangerous. "If weak and effeminate, they were then the legitimate prey of homophobic violence and the object of scorn and derision. But when practicing their infectious vice they were seen as dangerous monsters whose existence undermined morality and social stability, and whose uncontrolled sexuality threatened to destroy all virtue and corrupt all innocence. In short, the depiction of the homosexual in early modern texts is stereotypical and parodistic, conforming no doubt to some social reality but also making a potent contribution to this social reality, for such exaggerated and distorted characterizations of homosexuality were accepted by society as real and used by homosexuals themselves to construct the materials and rituals of their subculture." 6



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