The Physician and Sexuality in Victorian America

Overview

Although the middle class operated on a double standard, Victorian men faced enormous expectations and restrictions similar to the proscriptive role assigned Victorian women. John S. Haller, Jr., and Robin M. Haller cover the resulting nervous ailments common to Victorians, in addition to marriage and sexual relationships, proper hygiene, prostitution, and drug addiction, thus illuminating the ways doctors in Victorian America - ostensibly exponents of reason and science - became chauvinists, ready fountains of ...
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Overview

Although the middle class operated on a double standard, Victorian men faced enormous expectations and restrictions similar to the proscriptive role assigned Victorian women. John S. Haller, Jr., and Robin M. Haller cover the resulting nervous ailments common to Victorians, in addition to marriage and sexual relationships, proper hygiene, prostitution, and drug addiction, thus illuminating the ways doctors in Victorian America - ostensibly exponents of reason and science - became chauvinists, ready fountains of pronouncement and champions of manly burdens and womanly limitations. In one of the few sexual studies to deal with both genders, the authors reject the stereotypical view of Victorian sexuality. Discounting the popular dictum of the Victorian period as an aberration in the ascent of women to greater sexual freedom, they posit prudery as a mask behind which women sometimes gained greater freedom of person.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
The authors detail the social history of the medical profession-- including doctors, homeopaths, and eclectics--and its moral influence on 19th-century sexuality. They examine the ways in which professionals dealt with physical and psychological complaints and such issues as marriage, hygiene, prostitution, drug addiction, corsets, and contraception. The bibliography lists primary sources including pamphlets and articles from the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Includes b&w illustrations. First published in 1974. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780809320097
  • Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press
  • Publication date: 9/11/1995
  • Edition description: 1st Edition
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

John S. Haller, Jr., holds a dual appointment as a professor of history at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and a professor of medical humanities at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Springfield.

Robin M. Haller is a professional freelance indexer.

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