Prosecution of female same-sex offenders between 1730-1811 in the Dutch Republic
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In this thesis the question will be answered why women, between 1730 and 1811 in the Dutch Republic, were less likely to be convicted for same-sex offenses than men. Moreover, it will be discussed what sodomy actually entailed and if women were included in this term, and secondly why these female convictions were so late in comparison to the male convictions. In the eighteenth century male sodomites were increasingly prosecuted because of a changing perception of gender. The ‘one-sex model’ in which male sodomites could sleep with both boys and women evolved into a ‘two-sex model’ wherein the effeminate sodomite failed to act according to the two genders: male or female. In the case of the Dutch Republic sodomites were accused of causing the downfall of the Republic and with their hedonistic behaviour bringing down the wrath of God on them. Literature suggests that female same-sex acts were not perceived as that damaging. Other reasons for the lack of female same-sex convictions was the absence of one central law code, the different definition people in the Dutch Republic gave to the word sodomite and the difficulty to prove that someone was a sodomite.