A History of Condoms from Animal to Rubber

Promotion for safe sex by the Connecticut Department of Health Services / Wellcome Collection, Creative Commons Condoms have been with us for thousands of years, but the original condoms probably weren’t all that good for safe sex. Though tortoiseshell, animal intestine and linen have all been used to make them, it was Charles Goodyear’s discovery[…]

The Social Effect of the Law on Prostitutes in Ancient Rome

Roman mosaic / Photo by Alberto Fernandez Fernandez, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Wikimedia Commons Prostitution quickly became a popular source of income and pleasure for the Roman population, but it seemed to be viewed dichotomously. By Lauren Weisner / 12.01.2014 Prostitution quickly became a popular source of income and pleasure for the Roman population, but it seemed[…]

Gender Fluidity and Sexual Identity in the Medieval and Renaissance Eras

Bible, about 1280–90, Bologna, Italy. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Ms. Ludwig I 11, fol. 248v; National Coming Out Day (NCOD) Logo created and donated by Keith Haring to the Human Rights Campaign. Human sexuality and gender identity are complex topics, and our understanding of each is continually expanding and deepening.    By Dr. Bryan C. Keene (left)[…]

The Hijras of Ancient to Modern India

The uniqueness of Hijras lies not only in their existence beyond social structure but also in Indian society’s historical acceptance of that position. By Sibsankar Mal / 03.29.2018 PhD Candidate in Population Studies Sukumar Sengupta Mahavidyalaya (Keshpur) College Introduction A hijra named Geetu, dancing at a hair shaving ceremony in Delhi / Photo by Whitney[…]

Like a Virgin? The Medieval Origins of a Modern Ritual

The medieval – and modern – Catholic practice of consecrating women as virgins who has lost their virginity. By Dr. Katherine Harvey / 07.20.2018 Wellcome Trust Research Fellow Birkbeck College University of London Although well-behaved women seldom make history, they do sometimes make the news. Over the past few days, numerous news outlets have reported on a[…]