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The World of Prostitution in Late Imperial Austria$
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Nancy M. Wingfield

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198801658

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198801658.001.0001

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Reforming Prostitution in Post-Riehl Vienna

Reforming Prostitution in Post-Riehl Vienna

(p.47) 2 Reforming Prostitution in Post-Riehl Vienna
The World of Prostitution in Late Imperial Austria

Nancy M. Wingfield

Oxford University Press

Demands for vice police reform resulted in an Austrian-wide re-examination of regulation. This chapter analyzes Viennese debates over prostitution to demonstrate that the regulationists in the police headquarters and the Lower Austrian provincial government dominated the conversation about prostitution in Vienna, and thus policy in Austria until the end of the Monarchy, despite ongoing, scattered calls for more thoroughgoing reform. While government officials sought to protect public health and morals, police officials’ main concern initially was preventing a repetition of the Riehl scandal. Proposals involving increased police surveillance of brothels and prostitutes, which reflected the state’s ongoing scrutiny of a particular class of female citizens long categorized as “idle” or “criminal,” were quickly instituted. Other proposed changes were made more slowly or not at all.

Keywords:   abolition, brothel, clandestine prostitution, necessary evil, vice police, public health, regulation, tolerated prostitution, venereal disease, Vienna

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