British Sexuality Double Standard

British Sexuality Double Standard - Week 3(9/15-9/17...

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Week 3 (9/15-9/17) Victorianism and Its Enemies – Prudery, Double Standard, and Prohibited Sexualities Paragraph Notes The Double Standard (Thomas) Throughout history male and female similar sexual behaviors, known as the double standard, resulted in different outcomes for each sex; this conflict can be seen throughout Europe and has continuously affected political, economic, and social aspects of societies throughout time o This sexual discrimination has been deeply rooted in history and while its origins are not exact, the idea of double standard has existed for centuries Thomas explores the relations of men and women and how their actions over time have effected and shaped laws and institutions o He offers a historical background that shaped this stereotype including the effects of gender roles and their transformation over time and how the law sided with this idea o Analyzes historical evidence to offer potential origins to the double standard o Main concern is to question various aspects of the double standard and provide possible solutions Argues that political, social and economic factors throughout history help shape each other o Social – prostitution – became norm for unmarried women o Economic/political – divorce favored by men and women couldn’t get divorced just based on adultery From Henry 1 to George IV most of the Kings of England kept mistresses and their examples were followed by many subjects o Women were educated on these behaviors and should have recognized that the double standard was in the nature of things Prostitution – widespread view that a class of fallen women were needed to keep the rest of the world pure o Prostitution was widespread in England throughout the whole medieval and modern times Regarded as universal and inevitable and received a good deal of official sanction from the state The most horrible aspect of this state of affairs lay in the different standards applied to the prostitutes themselves and the men who used them
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One sex the offense is a matter of gain; other it is an irregular indulgence of natural impulse Such indulgence was made possible by law Divorce – periods when divorce and remarriage were allowed, adultery was valid grounds for divorce – but wife rarely can seek divorce solely on the grounds of a similar offense of her husband o Anglo-Saxon times – males were punished – not because unfaithful to his wife – but for violating the rights of another husband Divorce was possible at the will of either spouse but cases of adultery discretion was exercised in favor of the husband – clear operation of double standard o After the Norman Conquest all matrimonial cases came under the jurisdiction of the
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