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Politiken søndag den 1. Marts 1931

Kønskarakteren og dens Svingninger

Prof. Knud SandKnud Sand (1887-1968), a Danish doctor and a professor of forensic medicine at the University of Copenhagen who researched sex glands and gender transformation and was a proponent of the Sterilization Act of 1929 (Sterilisationsloven af 1929). He was interviewed on Lili Elbe’s case by Politiken (1 March 1931). udtaler sig om abnorme Kønstilstande hos Mennesker.

(01) I Anledning af vor Meddelelse i Gaar om en kendt Kunstners omskiftede Tilværelse har vi henvendt os til vor hjemlige Seksualbiolog, Professor Knud SandKnud Sand (1887-1968), a Danish doctor and a professor of forensic medicine at the University of Copenhagen who researched sex glands and gender transformation and was a proponent of the Sterilization Act of 1929 (Sterilisationsloven af 1929). He was interviewed on Lili Elbe’s case by Politiken (1 March 1931)., hvis Forskninger over Kønsomdannelser og Kønshormoner i det hele er Offentligheden bekendt, og spurgt ham, om saadanne Forhold er almindelige, og hvorledes Udsigterne er til at hjælpe de Mennesker, der i kønslig Henseende afviger fra det normale.

(02) Under vor Samtale udtalte ProfessorenKnud Sand (1887-1968), a Danish doctor and a professor of forensic medicine at the University of Copenhagen who researched sex glands and gender transformation and was a proponent of the Sterilization Act of 1929 (Sterilisationsloven af 1929). He was interviewed on Lili Elbe’s case by Politiken (1 March 1931). bl. a. følgende:

(03) – Hidtil har jeg væsentlig fulgt det Princip hverken at skrive eller udtale mig i Pressen om disse Forhold og Forskninger, der vel næppe endnu er helt saa langt fremme, at de mere indgaaende bør forelægges for Offentligheden; i de senere Aar har jeg dog Indtryk af, at Folk er blevet mere lydhøre for en rigtig Forstaaelse af disse Problemer, end Tilfældet var blot for en seksten-sytten Aar siden, da jeg begyndte mine Arbejder paa dette Felt. Det er da at haabe, at ogsaa det omtalte Tilfælde vil møde Forstaaelse, og da vedkommende Patient nu selv – formentlig for at faa Ro om Sagen – har ønsket denne offentliggjort og dermed forhaabentlig skrinlagt, skal jeg, ganske særlig ogsaa for at berolige Lidelsesfæller af hende, give Deres Blad, som har bragt Meddelelsen, nogle Oplysninger, idet jeg dog af forskellige Grunde ikke ønsker at udtale mig om selve det omhandlede Tilfælde.

(04) Abnorme Kønstilstande hos Mennesker er i Virkeligheden langt hyppigere, end Folk tror. Ikke alene udgør Afvigelserne i selve Kønsdriften, de saakaldte psykoseksuelle Abnormiteter som Homoseksualisme, Biseksualisme o. a. et ikke ringe Procenttal, men selv saadanne Tilfælde, hvor det ogsaa drejer sig om udtalte legemlige Abnormiteter i Henseende til hele Kønssystemets Udvikling, er ikke Sjældenheder. Selv har jeg herhjemme Kendskab til en Række af dem.

(05) I det hele forholder det sig saaledes, at maaske kun ganske faa af os kan karakteriseres som absolut Mænd eller Kvinder; den Kyndige vil oftest kunne paavise et mere eller mindre udtalt Islæt af det modsatte Køn, i legemlig eller psykisk Henseende, svagere eller stærkere prægede Mellemstadier mellem de to Yderpunkter.

(06) For langt de flestes Vedkommende er det jo lykkeligvis saaledes, at dette slet ikke kommer til synligt Udtryk eller faar Betydning for Individets Liv eller sociale Indstilling … Kun naar Abnormiteten er stærkere, indtræder Kalamiteter af den ene eller anden Art.

(07) Misèren stammer i de mest abnorme Tilfælde, de saakaldte hermafroditiske, oftest derfra, at Individets Kønsbestemmelse ved Fødslen er meget vanskelig og Fejltagelser derfor sker baade fra Jordemoderens og Lægens Side – først senere aabenbarer de rette Forhold sig.

(08) En Del af disse Mennesker kommer i Konflikt med de civile eller strafferetlige Love, det er dog lykkeligvis de færreste. Langt flere lever en ensom Tilværelse i Skyhed for deres Medmennesker af Angst for, at Sandheden skal afsløres, og i en stadig Kamp for at dække den. Alt i alt hører de kønsligt Abnorme til de ulykkeligste blandt Mennesker, og der ligger en stor Opgave for Lægevidenskaben i at hjælpe dem.

(09) I disse tragiske Forhold for denne Menneskegruppe er der dog i de sidste Decennier indtraadt en betydelig Ændring til det bedre. Ikke alene er – som allerede nævnt – den almene Forstaaelse af, at det drejer sig om medfødte Abnormiteter, voksende, hvilket ogsaa giver sig Udslag i Lovgivning og Bestemmelser over for disse Menneskers sociale Stilling og derigennem i en Lettelse af deres Kaar, men ogsaa Biologien og Lægevidenskaben har i den sidste Menneskealder klarlagt mange af de herhen hørende Problemer.

(10) Baade fra Udlandet og herhjemme fra kender man da ogsaa Tilfælde, hvor man gennem operative og andre Behandlinger har kunnet hjælpe de seksuelt abnorme, og gennem vor fortsatte Forskning – bl. a. over Seksualhormonernes nærmere Forhold – er der berettiget Haab om at naa yderligere frem, selv om man ikke tør fæste for megen Lid til de sensationelle Meddelelser, der fra Tid til anden fremkommer om Vidunderkure paa dette som paa andre Omraader.

(11) Hvad jeg imidlertid særlig føler Trang til at pointere, er, at det, som disse ulykkeligt stillede Mennesker frem for alt trænger til, er Forstaaelse og Fred for al nyfigen og sensationel Omtale, det være sig Mand og Mand imellem eller offentligt.

(12) Andre medfødte Abnormiteter som Hareskaar, Klumpfødder eller lignende, giver dog ingen Anledning dertil. Var der da ikke endnu mere Grund til at skaane disse af Skæbnen saa haardt ramte Individer, de seksuelt Abnorme?

(13) Ikke alene det omtalte Tilfælde bør nu have Fred. Men alle Spørgsmaal inden for Seksuallæren burde offentlig behandles med en endog
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særlig Forstaaelse, Værdighed og Objektivitet … Det vilde, slutter Prof. SandKnud Sand (1887-1968), a Danish doctor and a professor of forensic medicine at the University of Copenhagen who researched sex glands and gender transformation and was a proponent of the Sterilization Act of 1929 (Sterilisationsloven af 1929). He was interviewed on Lili Elbe’s case by Politiken (1 March 1931). sine Udtalelser, baade lette Tilværelsen for den omtalte ulykkelige Menneskegruppe og det videnskabelige Arbejde med disse Problemer.

Fru LoulouLousie (Loulou) Lassen (1876–1947), a Danish journalist who interviewed the Wegeners and assisted Lili in an early draft of her memoirs

Billedtekst: Prof. Dr. med. Knud SandKnud Sand (1887-1968), a Danish doctor and a professor of forensic medicine at the University of Copenhagen who researched sex glands and gender transformation and was a proponent of the Sterilization Act of 1929 (Sterilisationsloven af 1929). He was interviewed on Lili Elbe’s case by Politiken (1 March 1931)..

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Politiken Sunday 1 March 1931

Sexual Character and its Variations

Prof. Knud SandKnud Sand (1887-1968), a Danish doctor and a professor of forensic medicine at the University of Copenhagen who researched sex glands and gender transformation and was a proponent of the Sterilization Act of 1929 (Sterilisationsloven af 1929). He was interviewed on Lili Elbe’s case by Politiken (1 March 1931). Speaks About Abnormal Sexual States in Humans.

(01) On the occasion of our announcement yesterday, about the changed existence of a well-known artist we have approached our domestic sexual biologist, Professor Knud SandKnud Sand (1887-1968), a Danish doctor and a professor of forensic medicine at the University of Copenhagen who researched sex glands and gender transformation and was a proponent of the Sterilization Act of 1929 (Sterilisationsloven af 1929). He was interviewed on Lili Elbe’s case by Politiken (1 March 1931)., whose researches into gender transformations and sexual hormones in general is familiar to the public, and asked him if such conditions are common and how the prospects are of helping those people who sexually differ from the normal.

(02) During our conversation the ProfessorKnud Sand (1887-1968), a Danish doctor and a professor of forensic medicine at the University of Copenhagen who researched sex glands and gender transformation and was a proponent of the Sterilization Act of 1929 (Sterilisationsloven af 1929). He was interviewed on Lili Elbe’s case by Politiken (1 March 1931). made the following statement among others:

(03) – Till now, I have primarily followed the principle of neither writing nor speaking in the press about these conditions and researches that are hardly quite so far advanced yet that they ought to be presented in greater detail to the public; in recent years, I do, however, have the impression that people have become more open to a real understanding of these problems than was the case only sixteen or seventeen years ago when I started my works in this field. It is to be hoped that also the case in question will meet with understanding, and as the patient herself – presumably to lay the matter to rest – has wanted this made public and thus hopefully dropped, I will, in particular to reassure her fellow sufferers, give your paper, which has brought the announcement, some information, although for various reasons I do not want to address the actual case at issue.

(04) Abnormal gender states in humans are in fact much more frequent than people think. Not only do the deviations in the sex drive itself, the so-called psychosexual abnormalities such as homosexuality, bisexuality et al. constitute a not-small percentage, but even such cases where it is also a question of distinct physical abnormalities with regard to the development of the whole sexual system are not rare. I myself know of a number of them in this country.

(05) On the whole, the reality is that perhaps only very few of us can be characterized as absolute men or women; the expert will most often be able to point out a more or less pronounced element of the opposite sex, physically or mentally, weakly or strongly marked intermediate stages between the two extremes.

(06) For most people this is fortunately not at all visibly manifest nor of importance to the life or social approach of the individual … Only when the abnormality is stronger, do calamities of one kind or another occur.

(07) In the most abnormal cases, the so-called hermaphrodite, the problem stems from the fact that the determination of the sex of the individual at birth is very difficult and for that reason mistakes occur, both on the part of the midwife and the doctor – only later do the true circumstances reveal themselves.

(08) Some of these people come into conflict with the civil or criminal laws, but happily this is a minority. A far greater number live a lonely existence in shyness of their fellow human beings from fear that the truth will be revealed and in a constant struggle to cover it. All in all, the sexually abnormal belong to the unhappiest of people, and for medical science a great challenge lies in helping them.

(09) In these tragic conditions for this group of people a considerable change for the better has occurred in the last decades. Not only – as already mentioned – is the general understanding of the fact that it is a question of congenital abnormalities growing, which is also reflected in legislation and regulations with regard to the social position of these people and in this way in a relief of their conditions, but also biology and medical science have clarified many of the problems pertaining to this in the last generation.

(10) Both from abroad and in this country, cases are known where it has been possible through surgical and other treatments to help the sexually abnormal, and through our continued research – among other things into the more specific details of the sexual hormones– there is legitimate hope of making further progress, even if too much confidence should not be placed in the sensational announcements that from time to time appear about miracle cures in this as well as in other areas.

(11) What I particularly want to emphasize, however, is that what these unfortunate people need above all is understanding and to have some peace from all prying and sensational discussion, be it among the general population or publicly.

(12) Other congenital abnormalities such as a harelip, clubfeet, or the like give no cause for this. Is there then not even more reason to spare these, by fate, so severely affected individuals, the sexually abnormal?

(13) Not only the said case should be left in peace now. But all questions within sexology should be treated publicly with
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particular understanding, dignity and objectivity … That would, Prof. SandKnud Sand (1887-1968), a Danish doctor and a professor of forensic medicine at the University of Copenhagen who researched sex glands and gender transformation and was a proponent of the Sterilization Act of 1929 (Sterilisationsloven af 1929). He was interviewed on Lili Elbe’s case by Politiken (1 March 1931). ends his remarks, make life for the said unhappy group of people and the scientific work on these problems easier.

Mrs. LoulouLousie (Loulou) Lassen (1876–1947), a Danish journalist who interviewed the Wegeners and assisted Lili in an early draft of her memoirs

Caption: Prof. and Doctor of medical science Knud SandKnud Sand (1887-1968), a Danish doctor and a professor of forensic medicine at the University of Copenhagen who researched sex glands and gender transformation and was a proponent of the Sterilization Act of 1929 (Sterilisationsloven af 1929). He was interviewed on Lili Elbe’s case by Politiken (1 March 1931)..