Nelson logo
spacer
About Us Contact Us Order Information Site Map Find Your Rep Careers
spacer
Visions Community Site

Module 47

Regulating Sexuality in the Early 20th Century: The Moral, the “Normal”, and the Deviant

Cynthia Comacchio

This module is concerned with the ideas and, especially, the ideals that characterized public discourses about sexuality at the turn of the 20th century, with particular attention to the concept of “moral regulation”, reform campaigns to that end, and the ways in which the prescriptive literature demonstrates the class, gender and racial prejudices of the time—especially as these promoted eugenics—while seeking to reinforce middle-class white Euro-Canadian Christian values. Approaches to the history of sex/sexuality are also briefly outlined. The primary sources are visual and textual examples of the nature of these discourses are drawn from some of the most popular writers on the subject.

Primary sources:

  1. Photo: “Workers with God, WCTU Banner”, 1890    page 7
  2. Photo: “The Two Paths—What Will the Girl Become?”, 1903, John Gibson    page 8
  3. Document: What a Young Man Ought to Know (1897), Sylvanus Stall    page 9
  4. Document: What a Young Girl Ought to Know (1905), Dr. Mary Wood-Allen    page 10
  5. Document: In Times Like These (1915), Nellie McClung    page 11

Secondary sources:

1. Governing Unwed Mothers in Toronto at the Turn of the Twentieth Century, Karen Bridget Murray.   page 13

2. Embodying Delinquency: Boys’ Bodies, Sexuality, and Juvenile Justice History in Early-Twentieth-Century Quebec, Tamara Myers.    page 28

 

Introduction

List of Modules -- 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50