Sex and the Gender Revolution, Volume 1

Heterosexuality and the Third Gender in Enlightenment London

Randolph Trumbach

Sex and the Gender Revolution, Volume 1
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Randolph Trumbach

528 pages | 3 maps, 37 tables | 6 x 9 | © 1998
Cloth $50.00 ISBN: 9780226812908 Published December 1998
A revolution in gender relations occurred in London around 1700, resulting in a sexual system that endured in many aspects until the sexual revolution of the 1960s. For the first time in European history, there emerged three genders: men, women, and a third gender of adult effeminate sodomites, or homosexuals. This third gender had radical consequences for the sexual lives of most men and women since it promoted an opposing ideal of exclusive heterosexuality.

In Sex and the Gender Revolution, Randolph Trumbach reconstructs the worlds of eighteenth-century prostitution, illegitimacy, sexual violence, and adultery. In those worlds the majority of men became heterosexuals by avoiding sodomy and sodomite behavior.

As men defined themselves more and more as heterosexuals, women generally experienced the new male heterosexuality as its victims. But women—as prostitutes, seduced servants, remarrying widows, and adulterous wives— also pursued passion. The seamy sexual underworld of extramarital behavior was central not only to the sexual lives of men and women, but to the very existence of marriage, the family, domesticity, and romantic love. London emerges as not only a geographical site but as an actor in its own right, mapping out domains where patriarchy, heterosexuality, domesticity, and female resistance take vivid form in our imaginations and senses.

As comprehensive and authoritative as it is eloquent and provocative, this book will become an indispensable study for social and cultural historians and delightful reading for anyone interested in taking a close look at sex and gender in eighteenth-century London.
List of Illustrations
Part One: Introduction
1. Extramarital Relations and Gender History
2. Reputation and Identity
Female Honor: A Wife, a Widow, or a Maid
Male Honor: Adultery, Sodomy, and Masturbation
Part Two: Prostitution
3. Male Libertinism
Gentlemen and the Religion of Libertinism
The Simple Libertine
4. Prostitution: Numbers and Topography
The Number of Prostitutes
Bawds and Bawdy Houses
5. The Prostitute's Life
Recruitment into Prostitution
The Prostitute's Trade
6. Prostitution Sentimentalized
Domesticity and the Brothel
The Prostitute Redeemed, 1750-90
7. The Foul Disease
Incidence and Prophylaxis
Cures: Rape, the Lock Hospital, and Wifely Toleration
Part Three: Illegitimacy and Rape
8. Courtship or Libertinage
St. Luke's Chelsea
St. Margaret's Westminster
St. Leonard's, Shoreditch
St. Botolph's, Aldgate
9. Shame and Rape
Maintaining a Woman's Reputation
Infanticide: Delay and Denial
Can a Woman Be Raped?
Part Four: Adultery and Violence in Marriage
10. Violence in Marriage
Sexual Domination and the New Marriage
Violence, Adultery, and the Established Marriage
The Incarcerated Wife and the Remarrying Widow
Marital Violence and the Poor
11. Desertion and Incompatibility
The Deserted Spouse
The Incompatible Spouse
12. Romance and Adultery
Romantic Love and Divorce, 1750-90
Adultery and Domesticity in the 1790s
Bibliography of Primary Sources
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