Gays and Lesbians in Early 20th Century America

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Santa Clara University History Professor Nancy Unger talked about gays and lesbians in early 20th century America. Professor Unger said that prior to this time homosexuality was rarely discussed or even acknowledged, however, interest in Sigmund Freud and the new field of psychology brought sexuality into popular discussion. She also argued the culture began to place more emphasis on masculinity, with figures such as President Theodore Roosevelt leading the way. Professor Unger argued that as a result, gay men and lesbians were considered deviants from this cultural ideal and became subject to prejudice and stereotyping.