What Soldiers Do: Sex and the American GI in World War II France

TitleWhat Soldiers Do: Sex and the American GI in World War II France
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsRoberts, Mary
Number of Pages368
PublisherThe University of Chicago Press
CityChicago, IL

Drawing on an incredible range of sources, including news reports, propaganda and training materials, official planning documents, wartime diaries, and memoirs, this monograph tells the fascinating and troubling story of how the US military command systematically spread and then exploited the myth of French women as sexually experienced and available. The resulting chaos ranging from flagrant public sex with prostitutes to outright rape and rampant venereal disease horrified the war-weary and demoralized French population. The sexual predation, and the blithe response of the American military leadership, also caused serious friction between the two nations just as they were attempting to settle questions of long-term control over the liberated territories and the restoration of French sovereignty.

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