Sommer 1997 Male

Title Information

Author: Matthew H. Sommer

Title: The Penetrated Male in Late Imperial China

Subtitle: Judicial Constructions and Social Stigma

Journal: Modern China: An International Journal of History and Social Science

Volume: 23

Issue: 2

Year: April 1997

Pages: 77-130

ISSN: 0097-7004 – Find a Library: WordCat | eISSN: 1552-6836 – Find a Library: WordCat

Language: English

Keywords: 17th Century, 18th Century, 19th Century, 20th Century | Chinese History | Prosecution: Laws; Types: Same-Sex Rape; Victims: Men

Full Text

Link: SAGE Journals (Restricted Access)

Additional Information

Author: Matthew Sommer, Department of History, Stanford University

Abstract: »Qing dynasty (1644-1911) laws concerning sexual relations sought to protect patriarchal marriage, family order, and social hierarchy. In this system, men were seen as appropriately dominant over women. Sexual penetration was one form that dominance took. Thus, when males engaged in homosexual intercourse the penetrated male lost status while the penetrant did not. Since penetration was seen as the most powerful part of sexual activity, little was said about female homosexual activity.« (Source: Historical Abstracts)


  Legislative History (p. 143)
    Before the Qing (p. 143)
    Early Qing Law: The Transitional Phase (p. 146)
    The Assimilation of Sodomy to Illicit Sexual Intercourse (p.148)
  Evaluating the Penetrated Male (p. 150)
    Relative Legal Status: Masters and Servants (p. 150)
    Liang as Commoner Legal Status (p. 151)
    Liang as Sexual Virtue in Males (p. 152)
    Homicide in the Course of Attempted Rape (p. 153)
    Coercion, Youth, and Powerlessness (p. 154)
  Patterns of Social Practice (p. 159)
    Parallel Hierarchies (p. 159)
    The Adult Male as Penetrant (p. 161)
    The Stigma of Being Penetrated (p. 163)
    Marginalized Males (p. 168)
  Conclusion (p. 170)
  Appendix A: The 1734 Substatute on Sodomy (p. 172)
  Appendix B: Males Who Commit Homicide While Resisting Rape (p. 174)
  Appendix C (p. 176)
  Notes (p. 176)
  References (p. 178)

Added: September 7, 2013 – Last updated: December 20, 2014