Sophus Thalbitzer (1871–1941) was a Danish psychiatrist and medical doctor specializing in manic depressive psychoses. He successfully influenced Danish legislation on homosexuality towards decriminalization in 1933. Although Thalbitzer never married in his life, there are no sources to support the hypotheses that he was homosexual or bisexual. In 1912 Thalbitzer became consultant at the St Hans Women's Hospital near Copenhagen. In 1923 Thalbitzer became a member of the Advisory Board of Directors of the Scientific-Humanitarian Committee. In 1924 and 1925 he published two articles on homosexuality, successfully influencing Danish criminal legislation with his 'scientific' defence of the lowering of homosexual age of consent from 21 to 18.
Thalbitzer specialised in manic-depressive psychoses. In 1912 he was appointed consultant at the St Hans Women's Hospital near Copenhagen. Through two articles on homosexuality, published in juridical journals in 1924 and 1925, Thalbitzer successfully influenced criminal legislation on homosexuality in Denmark. His well timed intervention, ‘on behalf of science’, provided legitimation for the lowering of the age of consent in the Civil Criminal Code of 1930 from the proposed 21 years to 18 years and for not making prostitution a criminal offence for the person who pays the prostitute. Thalbitzer, who claimed that his opposition to the proposed clauses of the bill was shared by ‘all Danish psychiatrists’, had not previously published anything on homosexuality or sexology. In his two articles he now deployed the words ‘science’ and ‘scientists’ with impressive frequency. He completely identified himself with the tactics and the sexual politics of the Wissenschaftlichhumanitäre Komitee (WHK), the dominant organisation of homosexual emancipation in Germany, and referred to Magnus Hirschfeld's Die Homosexualität des Mannes und des Weibes (1914) as the generally accepted standard volume on homosexuality, that is, he dressed up his emancipatory position and his juridical politics as scientific fact and expertise by posing as the disinterested spokesman for homosexuals.
It was not generally known that Thalbitzer in 1923 had become a member of the Advisory Board of Directors (Obmänner) of the WHK. Thalbitzer was not married. There are no sources supporting a hypothesis that Thalbitzer may have been a homosexual.
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