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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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(p.245) Epilogue
The World of Prostitution in Late Imperial Austria

Nancy M. Wingfield

Oxford University Press

Austria-Hungary’s defeat in the war was a juncture in long-term historical processes rather than a decisive break with the past in matters of morality. Bureaucratic transition did not necessarily parallel political transition, so there was no dramatic change in the regulation of prostitution in the states of the defunct Monarchy. Most legislation changed regulation only piecemeal in the first months and years after the war, incorporating various forms of control, which reflected attitudes about sexuality, particularly, women’s. Public attention to prostitution continued—anxiety about venereal disease and public hygiene, trafficking, public morals—yet with a modern inflection. Middle class, often female, reformers had more political power in the interwar “democracies” and accomplished change they could only dream about at the turn of the century. Finally, the scientific turn in understanding race and nation infected professional thinking about both the regulation of commercial sex and the women who engaged in it.

Keywords:   abolition, Austria, Czechoslovakia, military, prostitution, Romania, successor state, venereal disease, Yugoslavia

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