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The Long Sexual RevolutionEnglish Women, Sex, and Contraception 1800-1975$
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Hera Cook

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199252183

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199252183.001.0001

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English Sexuality in the Twentieth Century: Ignorance, Silence, and Gendered Sexual Cultures

English Sexuality in the Twentieth Century: Ignorance, Silence, and Gendered Sexual Cultures

Chapter:
(p.165) 7 English Sexuality in the Twentieth Century: Ignorance, Silence, and Gendered Sexual Cultures
Source:
The Long Sexual Revolution
Author(s):

Hera Cook (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199252183.003.0008

This chapter provides a summary of changing sexual behaviour and attitudes in the first two thirds of the 20th century. It shows that English sexual mores were shaped by ignorance of physical sexuality and reproduction, the estrangement of the genders, and deep-seated reticence. The contribution of highly sexually active (previously described as promiscuous) heterosexual and homosexual men and women to sexual change was important, but such people remained a minority and the majority of the population limited their sexual activity severely in the interwar period and continued to be sexually conservative well into the post-war period.

Keywords:   sexual ignorance, promiscuity, sexual attitudes, sexual behaviour, sexual change gender, repression

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