Victorian-era women enjoyed making love, according to earliest sex survey
Middle-class women of the era seemed quite willing to blame their husbands when their love lives failed to meet their own expectations, according to the candid accounts that lay unread for decades in a university archive.
While public morality frowned upon discussion of female sexuality, the records show that in private couples took a much more open approach.
The illuminating personal testimonies were obtained from what is believed to be the first ever sex survey, begun 50 years before the US biologist Alfred Kinsey conducted the interviews that led to his acclaimed reports on sexual behaviour.
The research was a personal project of Dr Clelia Duel Mosher, a hygiene academic and early feminist who persuaded 45 women to fill out intimate questionnaires on their experiences of sex, marriage and contraception.
Between 1892 and 1920 the survey was completed by 45 women – mostly middle-class college and university graduates – providing modern historians with a unique insight into the secret romantic appetites of a generation raised with Victorian values.
The results show that most women knew little about sex before marriage, with some admitting that they only picked up the facts of life by observing the habits of farm animals.
comments powered by Disqus
- Shipwreck Found Under World Trade Center Traced Back To Colonial Era Philadelphia
- Bob Dallek in the NYT gives a rave review of John Dean's history of Watergate cover-up
- Ex-President George W. Bush Authors Book About His Father
- Tears, and Anger, as Militants Destroy Iraq City’s Relics
- Europe notes 100th anniversary of World War I
- Why Benny Morris is both right and wrong
- Professor Ilan Pappé: Israel Has Chosen to be a 'Racist Apartheid State'
- History Professor: Convicted Cop Killer Mumia Should Be Celebrated Like Martin Luther King Jr. in Schools
- Robert Drew, Cinema Verite Documentarian, Dies at 90
- Rick Perlstein: “Ronald Reagan absolved America almost in a priestly role not to have to contend with sin. The consequences are all around us today”