Sexuality In The 19th Century

822 Words4 Pages
Carl Degler argues that the popular literature regarding marriage and sexuality do not create an accurate portrait of the actual sexual tendencies of 19th century women. The publications created by William Acton suggest that women are naturally devoid of sexual desire and healthy women might only feel some desire during menstruation. Furthermore, he noted that unlike men who were habitually bound to experience the temptation of sex, women who felt the same were unnatural exceptions. Although, as Degler points out, many medical writers of the time were not concerned with disseminating facts and instead intended to set the sexual doctrine for the era. As a result, the writings of those like Acton are not representations of the feelings of women…show more content…
Women of the Victorian Period were much more interdependent on each other for emotional sustenance and gratification, which appears to be a result of the cultural implications of living during this time. Since women were considered to be born into the female world and men into the male equivalent, their lives were segregated by sex. Resulting from this was an overwhelming tendency to form deep and intimate connections between other female companions and relatives. Furthermore, the prevalence of female domesticity meant that young girls were inclined to have mutually close relationships with their mothers because of the maternal need to prepare daughters for married…show more content…
As a result, the greatly intimate relationships among heterosexual women have been diminished in society. Furthermore, the shift in gender roles and the predominant end of arranged marriages has caused a decrease in the need for mothers to prepare their daughters for the past consequences of married life. Still, women retain a great deal of support from their female friends and mothers. However, the emotional support system of women, and men for that matter, is much broader than it had been in the 19th Century. For example, marriages are encouraged to be between two people who have a loving and emotional connection between each other, similar to the relationship close female friends had in the Victorian era. Allowing women to seek fulfilling marriage partners has allowed women to find greater emotional support and love in marriage that had to be previously sought in relationships with other

More about Sexuality In The 19th Century

Open Document