CONCLUSIONS AND QUALIFICATIONS

CONCLUSIONS AND QUALIFICATIONS - CONCLUSIONS AND...

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CONCLUSIONS AND QUALIFICATIONS These data indicate that beginning in the Middle Ages an elaborate system of social controls and ideologies resulted in the substantial imposition of monogamy in large areas of Western Europe. As Herlihy (1985) notes, 'The great social achievement of the early Middle Ages was the imposition of the same rules of sexual and domestic conduct on both rich and poor. The King in has palace, the peasant in his hovel: neither was exempt' (p. 157). Nevertheless, the system was by no means completely egalitarian. There is evidence that for a positive association between wealth and reproductive success throughout pre-industrial Europe. Fertility rates of British ducal families remained above the average at least until the end of the 19th century and there was no general decline in fertility from the 14th to the 19th century, but rather an increase in fertility in the 18th century followed by a decline in the 19th century which paralleled trends occurring in the general population. British peers tended to have large families compared to commoners and that the fertility of dukes' daughters remained higher than commoners well into the 19th century. As a result of institutionalized controls on reproduction, non-monogamous Western sexuality has
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CONCLUSIONS AND QUALIFICATIONS - CONCLUSIONS AND...

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