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Writer on Sodomy and Prostitution in Eighteenth-Century London

Project id 1014532
Subject area Biology
Document type Essay
Words 2092
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Sodomy and prostitution had similar public status at eighteenth-century London, and are vices who have likely existed since the humans began residing in collective societies. Social and legal senses of these two acts, or lifestyles, have varied considerably through time and culture. The legal and societal perceptions of sodomy and prostitution at eighteenth-century London were analyzed extensively by Randolph Trumbach of Baruch College, City University of New York and written about in his post "Sex, Gender, and Sexual Identity in Modern Culture: Male Sodomy and Female Prostitution in Enlightenment London." Enlightenment London has been a vital time in societal development since the ideas of marriage, sex, gender, and identity were all changing. Trumbach's thesis is that "although perhaps it doesn't look so at first, it is very possible that this fear of man passivity and the newest sodomitical function that it had produced in the first Enlightenment was also a result of the anxieties induced by the new ideal of nearer, romantic, more practically equivalent relationships with women" (Trumbach, 106). The definition of union was changing in London during the eighteenth-century. Marriage was no longer only a relationship for procreation and family equilibrium. Marriage was now anticipated to be relationships of love and closeness, which put men and women on closer sexual ground. This affected men sexual identity because men felt as though they had a sexual outlet in which they were not required to be romantic, which resulted in outlets like prostitution or sodomy. However, as gender and gender perceptions were shifting, prostitution and sodomy played key roles in the design of their male sex identity. Before 1750, men, notably those in aristocratic positions, were kn...

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