The Long Sexual Revolution: English Women, Sex, and Contraception, 1800-1975

Synopsis

In this book Hera Cook traces the path of sexuality in England, and shows how its route was determined by the gradual exertion of control over fertility. Most sexual activity had major economic and social costs, the most fundamental of which was the physical cost of children upon women'sbodies. Around 1800 birth rates reached historical heights. Using a combination of demographic and qualitative sources, Dr Cook examines the connection between the struggle to lower fertility and the increasing repression of sexuality throughout the nineteenth century. Contraception became aviable option in the early twentieth century. The book charts the resulting slow relaxation of attitudes to sexuality and the remaking of heterosexual physical behaviour, culminating in the sexual revolution of the 1960s.