Enticing Men to Lechery

Sex Reform, Moral Purity and the ‘Prostitution Question’ Before 1914
  • Lisa M. Todd
Part of the Genders and Sexualities in History book series (GSX)


This chapter uses fin-de-siècle debates on the police regulation of female prostitution to highlight competing views on male and female desire in the years before the First World War. Moral reformers opposed state involvement in extramarital sexual relations; feminists protested the prevalent sexual double standard and socialists warned of the dangers faced by working-class women. Doctors and eugenicists highlighted the detrimental effects of venereal diseases on the national body. In the years leading to August 1914, conversations about sex moved from behind closed doors to the newspapers and meeting halls of the Reich.


Sexual Desire Venereal Disease Sexual Abstinence Sexual Double Standard Extramarital Sexual Activity 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lisa M. Todd
    • 1
  1. 1.University of New BrunswickNew BrunswickCanada

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