Added: February 4, 2017 – Last updated:February 4, 2017


Author: Eivind Myhre

Title: Farlige menn

Subtitle: Mannlighet, seksualforbrytelser og sinnssykdom 1895–1940

Thesis: Avhandling for graden philosophiae doctor, Norges teknsik-naturvitenskapelige universitet

Year: 2016

Pages: 160pp.

ISBN-13: 9788232619504 (print) – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat | ISBN-13: 9788232619511 (online) – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat

Language: Norwegian

Keywords: Modern History: 19th Century, 20th Century | European History: Norwegian History | Research: History of Psychiatry


Links: BIBSYS Brage (Free Access)


Abstract: »The thesis is an empirical study of male insane sex offenders admitted to Kriminalasylet and Reitgjerdet asylum in Trondheim in the period 1895–1940. The study is based mainly on a source material consisting of 95 patients who had committed various kinds of sexual crimes. The thesis focuses on a patient group, which there exists little or no historical studies on either nationally or internationally. The study's main purpose is to identify the patients who had committed sexual crimes and focuses on three key aspects related to these patients: masculinity, dangerousness and castration. The aspect of masculinity is the most central and constitutes an important overarching approach. The thesis consists of a synthesising chapter and three published articles that separately focuses on the three aspects mentioned above. The aspects remains relevant in today's society and many of the same issues still exists.
The first article explores how patients who had committed sexual crimes can be understood in the context of the norms of masculinity in the period 1895–1940. The article shows that almost all of the sex offenders were men who contrasted the most norms of masculinity. The analysis shows that the patients to a small degree had permanent and stable work and family relationships before they were admitted to Kriminalasylet and Reitgjerdet. In addition, the majority of sex offenders can be described as 'unacceptable' men because of the sexual crimes they had committed. A minority of the patients was described as homosexual, but there is no basis for saying that they were treated differently than the other patients. The article argues that the term 'unmanliness' seems more relevant to analyze the source material if it is added a double and alternative meaning - in the sense of 'inhumanity', as a contrast against the norms of humanity and not only against masculinity norms. The second article addresses the sex offenders, which was formally declared as dangerous and sentenced to securing. The analysis shows that a major factor in the assessment of dangerousness was associated with the type of sexual crimes the patients had committed. Patients who had committed sexual crimes against minors were most often declared as dangerous or sentenced to securing. It can be argued that patients who had committed this kind of sexual crimes both were considered and understood as the most dangerous of the sex offenders. Declarations of dangerousness and securing convictions may be described as disciplinary measures but can also be seen in the perspective, which deals with the women's movement's desire to protect society against dangerous male sex offenders. This can further be understood as a natural part of the women's rights movement, in a period of a growing public opinion against sexual crimes and a stronger women's movement. On the another hand, it can be interpreted as a moral panic, where parts of the women's movement and media rhetorically portrayed sex offenders as 'inhuman' and 'animals'. The article shows that the psychiatrists instead tried to 'humanize' the sex offenders and treat them on an equal basis with the rest of the patients, even though they had committed serious and unacceptable crimes. The third article examines the practice, which is about physical castration. The article shows that there is not found examples of patients who were castrated against their own will, but in several patient casebooks, there is also not found any kind of formally consent. Many of the surgeries were conducted after the patient’s own initiative, but how much coercion and volunteerism that was present in each case is a complex issue that cannot be easily answered. The analysis demonstrate that the main cause of the surgeries was attempting to remove or diminish the sexual drive among the sex offenders, but castration was also conducted on several types of patients for various medical reasons. The article argues that castration was a way to construct an 'accepted masculinity', which was 'undangerous' and posed no risk to society.
Overall, the study shows that several of the male insane sexual offenders wanted to portray themselves as more 'acceptable' and 'undangerous' men, in hopes of a freer and better existence. The synthesis in the thesis brings in the perspective of 'domestication'. The treatment the patients received, that including 'work treatment', can be interpreted as an attempt to adapt patients to a more 'responsible' and 'proper' masculinity, which had better preconditions to manage life outside the institutions. The patient casebooks also shows that several of the patients which became castrated took the initiative to change in terms of what can be described as a 'selfdomestication', which can be interpreted as an attempt to make themselves 'undangerous' and 'tame' their own sexual drive.« (Source: BIBSYS Brage)


  Forord (p. 1)
  1. Innledning (p. 7)
    Problemområde og sentrale aspekter (p. 7)
    Kriminalasylet og Reitgjerdet asyl (p. 9)
    Sentrale samfunnsendringer og levekår (p. 13)
  2. Seksualforbryternes demografi og bakgrunn (p. 19)
    Alder, sivil status og geografisk opprinnelse (p. 20)
    Oppvekstforhold (p. 20)
    Stilling og yrkestittel (p. 21)
    Liggetid og innleggelser (p. 22)
    Diagnoser (p. 22)
    Lovovertredelser og domfellelser (p. 22)
    Kastrering og sterilisering (p. 24)
    Tilstand ved utskrivelse og etterfølgende oppholdssted (p. 24)
    Oppsummering og sammenligningsgrunnlag (p. 25)
  3. Tidligere forskning og nærliggende kontekst (p. 31)
    Klassifiseringen av seksuelle avvik (p. 32)
    Strafferettslige forhold og debatten om seksualforbryterne (p. 35)
    Spørsmålet om kastrering (p. 39)
  4. Tilnærminger til psykiatrihistorie og teoretiske perspektiver (p. 45)
    Tilnærminger til psykiatrihistorie (p. 45)
    Teoretiske perspektiver (p. 50)
  5. Kildebruk og metode (p. 55)
    Utgangspunktet for avhandlingen (p. 55)
    Pasientjournalenes utforming og oppbygging (öp. 56)
    Utvelgelsen og bruken av kildematerialet (p. 58)
    Kildekritiske vurderinger (p. 60)
    Forholdet til empiri og teori (p. 63)
    Forskningsetiske retningslinjer og utfordringer (p. 66)
  6. Oppsummering og sammenstilling av artiklene (p. 69)
    Artikkel 1. De uakseptable mennene. Mannlighet og sinnssyke seksualforbrytere i Norge fra 1895 til 1940 (p. 69)
    Artikkel 2. «De er jo også mennesker». Farlighet, avhumanisering og mannlige sinnssyke seksualforbrytere 1895–1940 (p. 70)
    Artikkel 3. The Construction of an Accepted Masculinity: Castration in High Security Psychiatric Institutions in Norway 1923–1945 (p. 71)
    Sammenstilling (p. 72)
    Referanser (p. 79)
    Nettkilder (p. 91)
  7. De uakseptable mennene. Mannlighet og sinnssyke seksualforbrytere i Norge fra 1895 til 1940 (p. 93)
    Institusjonene og det empiriske utvalget (p. 95)
    Normer for mannlighet rundt 1900 (p. 96)
    Arbeidets betydning (p. 98)
    Familieliv og nære relasjoner (p. 100)
    Beskrivelser av homoseksualitet (p. 102)
    Umannlige seksualforbrytere? (p. 105)
    Konklusjon (p. 106)
    Noter (p. 107)
    Litteratur (p. 108)
  8. «De er jo også mennesker». Farlighet, avhumanisering og mannlige sinnssyke seksualforbrytere i Norge 1895–1940 (p. 111)
    Institusjonene og det empiriske utvalget (p. 113)
    Avgrensing og samfunnsmessig kontekst (p. 115)
    Forståelser og vurderinger av farlighet i pasientjournalene (p. 118)
    Drapet på Grünerløkka (p. 121)
    En risiko med to potensielle sider? (p. 124)
    Uskadeliggjøring av de farlige og abnorme (p. 125)
    En avvikende og kjønnet farlighet? (p. 128)
    Konklusjon (p. 131)
    Noter (p. 133)
    Referanser (p. 134)
  9. The Construction of an Accepted Masculinity: Castration in High Security Psychiatric Institutions in Norway 1923–1945 (p. 137)
    Introduction (p. 137)
    Definitions and Previous Research (p. 137)
    Theoretical Approaches (p. 138)
    The Institutions and the Selection of Patient Casebooks (p. 139)
    Castration before 1934 (p. 141)
    The Sexual Morality Discourse and the Norwegian Sterilization Act of 1934 (p. 142)
    Negotiations of Masculinity: Voluntary or Coercion? (p. 144)
    Towards a New Masculinity: Eliminating the Sexual Drive? (p. 148)
    Different Areas of Application: A Surgery just for Sex Offenders? (p. 149)
    Normality and Desires: A Treatment for ‘Abnormal Sexuality’? (p. 152)
    Conclusion: The Construction of an Accepted Masculinity (p. 154)
    References (p. 157)

Wikipedia: History of Europe: History of Norway | Psychiatry: History of psychiatry