Heinrich Kaan (Russian: Генрих Каан; 8 February 1816 – 24 May 1893) was a 19th-century physician known for his seminal contributions to early sexology. Different sources identify him as Ruthenian (an ethnic group living in what is now Belarus and Ukraine) or as Russian. He was the personal physician to the Czar.
8 February 1816|
Vienna, Austrian Empire
24 May 1893 (aged 77)|
- Not to be confused with book of the same name by Richard von Krafft-Ebing (1886) that is considered more influential
Kaan is primarily known for an early scientific approach to sexology i.e. a scientifically based theoretical study of sex as opposed to earlier fields of erotology—the more practical study of lovemaking. He published his main work Psychopathia Sexualis in 1846 in Leipzig in Latin. A direct translation of the title is Psychopathies of Sexuality. In this work he reinterpreted the Christian sexual sins as diseases of the mind.
Until then, concepts like deviation, aberration, and perversion were interpreted in a theological context as "false" religious beliefs or heresy. Kaan's novel idea was to turn them into medical concepts, to reinterpret them as mental diseases. Physicians and psychiatrists after him were quick to take up these ideas - a process which collectively is referred to as the medicalization of sin in cultural history. It is also referred to as "degeneracy theory".
Kaan's work was within the "onanism literature" tradition of his time. To Kaan, masturbation was at the root of all sexual disorders, deviations and unnatural lusts as it involved extravagant fantasies. He also considered heterosexual intercourse as psychopathological, if it comprised sexual fantasies. His main goal was to fight such sexual psychopathies, above all masturbation.
Michel Foucault referred to Kaan's work in his mid-1970s lectures on the discourse of the nature of normality and abnormality. According to Foucault Kaan's work was the first medical text exclusively devoted to the study of sexuality. However, Foucault recognized it as a symptom of a shift in the discourse on sexuality, rather than necessarily an influential work in itself. Scholars have acknowledged Kaan's contributions, relative to those of Richard von Krafft-Ebing and Sigmund Freud.
Michel Foucault said during a course of lectures he did in 1974-75 at the Collège de France, that the Psychopathia Sexualis” (1844) “was the first treatise of psychiatry to speak only of sexual pathology but the last (monograph) to speak of sexuality solely in Latin”
- Ehle, Evelyn (2008). Unmoral, Krankheit oder Naturphänomen? Homosexualitätskonzepte im wissenschaftlichen Sexualitätsdiskurs zwischen 1830 und 1915. GRIN Verlag. p. 24. ISBN 978-3-638-91622-6.
- Foucault, Michel; Valerio Marchetti; Antonella Salomoni; Arnold Ira Davidson; Graham Burchell (2003). Abnormal : lectures at the Collège de France, 1974-1975. Verso. p. 374. ISBN 978-1-85984-539-4. see pp 233–234 which is not merely passing mention, Kaan's work is identified as "the first text". Kaan is mentioned at some 15 other occasions in that book
- Gutmann, Philipp (1998). Zur Reifizierung des sexuellen im 19. Jahrhundert: der Beginn einer scientia sexualis, dargestellt anhand dreier Texte von Hermann Joseph Löwenstein, Joseph Häussler und Heinrich Kaan. Peter Lang. ISBN 978-3-631-33686-1. Note: this is a 1998 doctoral thesis that provides a historical perspective of the work of three nineteenth-century authors on sexuality (Hermann Joseph Löwenstein, 1823, Joseph Häussler, 1826, and Heinrich Kaan, 1844). The thesis provides the first full translation of the works of Lowenstein and Kaan from Latin into German - a great service as "Kaan's often quoted book" is linguistically inaccessible to many. (Text from book review in Hauser 2000:143)
- Hauser, Renate (2000). "Book Reviews - Zur Reifizierung des Sexuellen im 19. Jahrhundert. Der Beginn einer Scientia sexualis, dargestellt anhand dreier Texte von Hermann Joseph Lowenstein, Joseph Haussler und Heinrich Kaan". Medical History. 44 (1): 143. doi:10.1017/S0025727300066321.
- Kaan, Heinrich (1844). Psychopathia sexualis. Voss. p. 124.
- Largier, Niklaus; Graham Harman (2007). In praise of the whip: a cultural history of arousal. Zone Books. p. 526. ISBN 978-1-890951-65-8. only snippet views, but Kaan's work appears[original research?] to be discussed over pages 435-437, and there is a verbatim quote on p 437.
- Leibbrand-Wettley, Annemarie (1971). Medizin und "sexualwissenschaft". Bayerische Landesärztekammer (Bayerische Akademie für Arbeitsmedizin und Soziale Medizin). Kaan's work is discussed in this book.
- Leibbrand-Wettley, Annemarie; Werner Leibbrand (1972). Formen des Eros: Kultur- und Geistesgeschichte der Liebe. K. Alber. ISBN 978-3-495-47256-9.
- Money, John; Margaret Lamacz (1989). Vandalized lovemaps: paraphilic outcome of seven cases in pediatric sexology. Prometheus Books. ISBN 978-0-87975-513-3.
- Sigusch, V (2002). "Richard von Krafft-Ebing. I.Krafft-Ebing zwischen Kaan und Freud. II.Bericht über den Nachlass und Genogramm.". Z Sexualforsch. 15: 211–247 und 341–354. doi:10.1055/s-2002-36631. (ref 29 in this publication)
- Weber, Philippe (2008). Der Trieb zum erzählen: Sexualpathologie und Homosexualität, 1852-1914. Transcript Verlag. p. 378. ISBN 978-3-8376-1019-2. see pp 51–52, p51, a scholar Tardieu is quoted for questioning (the topic is masturbation, homosexuality, etc.) if "these [sexual] vices have other causes than plain spoiled moral or if it is some sort of sexual psychopathy, a term in which he is indebted to Kaan" (own translation from German). In footnote 40 Kaan work was referred to analysis by Foucault in his discouse analysis on abnormality, on p 84 Kaan work is compared with Krafft-Ebing's
- Weiß, Volker (5 November 2007). Eine weibliche Seele im männlichen Körper. Archäologie einer Metapher als Kritik der medizinischen Konstruktion der Transsexualität (Dr. Phil. dissertation). FB Politik- und Sozialwissenschaften, Freie Universität Berlin.
- Wettley, Annemarie; Werner Leibbrand (1959). Von der "Psychopathia sexualis" zur Sexualwissenschaft. Stuttgart: Enke. Kaan's work is discussed in this book. (note: Annemarie Wettley later married Werner Leibbrand (both are medical historians) and she changed her name to Annemarie Leibbrand-Wettley)
- Sigusch, Volkmar (2003). "Heinrich Kaan - der Verfasser der ersten "Psychopathia sexualis". Eine biografische Skizze" [Heinrich Kaan - the author of the first "Psychopathia sexualis". A biographical draft.]. Zeitschrift für Sexualforschung (in German). Stuttgart - New York: Georg Thieme Verlag. 16 (2): 116–142. doi:10.1055/s-2003-40685. ISSN 0932-8114.
- "Archive for Sexology". Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Archived from the original on 2009-08-31. Retrieved 2009-05-26.
- "The Birth of Sexology". The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction, Inc. Retrieved 2009-05-26.
- Money and Lamacz 1989:20
- Annemarie Leibbrand-Wettley, Werner Leibbrand 1972:425
- Kaan 1844
- Haeberle, Erwin J. (October 2008). "Archive for Sexology,. Das 19. Jahrhundert, Stand: 13" (in German). Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Archived from the original on 21 June 2008. Retrieved 27 May 2009.
- Weiss 2007, p129, 05_TEIL2-4.pdf
- Ehle 2008:8 footnote 17
- Foucault et al.
- Sigusch 2002
- McLemee, Scott (5 October 2016). "Sex on the Brain". Inside Higher Education. Inside Higher Education. Retrieved 5 October 2016.
- Hauser 2000