Dangerous Sexualities: Medico-Moral Politics in England by Frank Mort

By Frank Mort

Risky Sexualities takes a glance at how our rules of healthiness and sickness are associated with ethical and immoral notions of intercourse. starting within the 1830s, Frank Mort relates his social old narratives to the sexual offerings and chances dealing with us now.
This long-awaited moment version has been completely up-to-date to incorporate new discussions of eugenics, race hygiene and social imperialism within the overdue 19th and early 20th centuries. With a brand new and prolonged bibliography, creation and illustrations, this moment variation brings a vintage into the twenty first Century.

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Extra info for Dangerous Sexualities: Medico-Moral Politics in England Since 1830

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The absence of any desire for self-improvement was ascribed to the fact that prisoners were ‘inured to misery, by the depravity of their minds; and vice rooted in their hearts’. 32 This early equation between physical deterioration and a depressed moral condition was not just based on the empirical inquiries of doctors and physicians. It also had its intellectual foundations in the Hartleian and Lockean forms of materialism prevailing among reforming and philanthropic groups of the period. Mind and body—the domain of mental and moral behaviour and physical functioning—were equally material according to the philosopher David Hartley.

God had granted men the power of rational inquiry to explain the harmonious organisation of the world. Archdeacon William Paley’s Natural Theology, 1802—subtitled ‘Evidences of the existence and attributes of the deity collected from the appearances of nature’—was still required reading for all students at Oxford and Cambridge in the 1830s. 53 Trees, flowers, plants, animal life and the providential organisation of human society all displayed the hand of the great architect of nature. 25 DANGEROUS SEXUALITIES This was the dominant Anglican conception of scientific inquiry.

The introduction is not in the business of providing a general theory, either of sexuality, or of professional experts. Indeed, the book as a whole argues that such concepts can only be grasped within historically specific structures, ranging from the detailed and the immediate to problematics pitched at a much higher level of abstraction. Nevertheless, we are concerned with providing a self-conscious account of the politics and theories which have informed the making of our history. Two influences have been paramount.

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