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How a declining population influenced reproductive and sexual health policy in Germany.
During the late nineteenth century the city of Berlin developed such a reputation for lawlessness and sexual licentiousness that it came to be known as the "Whore of Babylon." Out of this reputation for debauchery grew an unusually rich discourse around prostitution. In Berlin Coquette, Jill Suzanne Smith shows how this discourse transcended the usual clichés about prostitutes and actually explored complex visions of alternative moralities or sexual countercultures including the “New Morality” articulated by feminist radicals, lesbian love, and the “New Woman.” Combining extensive archival research with close readings of a broad spectrum of texts and images from the late Wilhelmine and Weimar periods, Smith recovers a surprising array of productive discussions about extramarital sexuality, women's financial autonomy, and respectability. She highlights in particular the figure of the cocotte (Kokotte), a specific type of prostitute who capitalized on the illusion of respectable or upstanding womanhood and therefore confounded easy categorization. By exploring the semantic connections between the figure of the cocotte and the act of flirtation (of being coquette), Smith’s work presents flirtation as a type of social interaction through which both prostitutes and non-prostitutes in Imperial and Weimar Berlin could express extramarital sexual desire and agency.
Contests over Berlin's streets in the interwar period reveal the fragility of consumer capitalism, urban order, and liberal democracy.
An unprecedented examination of the ways in which the uninhibited urban sexuality, sexual experimentation, and medical advances of pre-Weimar Berlin created and molded our modern understanding of sexual orientation and gay identity. Known already in the 1850s for the friendly company of its “warm brothers” (German slang for men who love other men), Berlin, before the turn of the twentieth century, became a place where scholars, activists, and medical professionals could explore and begin to educate both themselves and Europe about new and emerging sexual identities. From Karl Heinrich Ulrichs, a German activist described by some as the first openly gay man, to the world of Berlin’s vast homosexual subcultures, to a major sex scandal that enraptured the daily newspapers and shook the court of Emperor William II—and on through some of the very first sex reassignment surgeries—Robert Beachy uncovers the long-forgotten events and characters that continue to shape and influence the way we think of sexuality today. Chapter by chapter Beachy’s scholarship illuminates forgotten firsts, including the life and work of Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld, first to claim (in 1896) that same-sex desire is an immutable, biologically determined characteristic, and founder of the Institute for Sexual Science. Though raided and closed down by the Nazis in 1933, the institute served as, among other things, “a veritable incubator for the science of tran-sexuality,” scene of one of the world’s first sex reassignment surgeries. Fascinating, surprising, and informative—Gay Berlin is certain to be counted as a foundational cultural examination of human sexuality. From the Hardcover edition.
This book is the first comprehensive analysis of eugenics in North America focused on the second half of the twentieth century. Based on new research, Randall Hansen and Desmond King show why eugenic sterilization policies persisted after the 1940s in the United States and Canada. Through extensive archival research, King and Hansen show how both superintendents at homes for the 'feebleminded' and pro-sterilization advocates repositioned themselves after 1945 to avoid the taint of Nazi eugenics. Drawing on interviews with victims of sterilization and primary documents, this book traces the post-1940s development of eugenic policy and shows that both eugenic arguments and committed eugenicists informed population, welfare, and birth control policy in postwar America. In providing revisionist histories of the choice movement, the anti-population growth movement, and the Great Society programs, this book contributes to public policy and political and intellectual history.
Although “entanglement” has become a keyword in recent German history scholarship, entangled studies of the postwar era have largely limited their scope to politics and economics across the two Germanys while giving short shrift to social and cultural phenomena like gender. At the same time, historians of gender in Germany have tended to treat East and West Germany in isolation, with little attention paid to intersections and interrelationships between the two countries. This groundbreaking collection synthesizes the perspectives of entangled history and gender studies, bringing together established as well as upcoming scholars to investigate the ways in which East and West German gender relations were culturally, socially, and politically intertwined.
Through a blend of history and historiography, Gender, Sex and the Shaping of Modern Europe provides a clear and concise introduction to gender history in the region. The detailed examples and engaging language make this a useful overview for students not only of gender history, but also of European history more widely, as considerations of gender illuminate our understanding of historical change and individual experience. In six thematic chapters that cover democracy and capitalism, imperialism and war, the authors explain how gender roles were socially constructed and how they influenced political and economic developments during the period. This new edition has been thoroughly re-edited and expanded to take account of ongoing methodological innovation and recent scholarship in the field. The book also includes a brand new chapter on sexuality in the 21st century and extended material on: · Scandinavia · The Mediterranean · Alternative Sexualities · Women's history and femininity Gender, Sex and the Shaping of Modern Europe is a key text for all students of gender history and the history of modern Europe in general.

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