Male Heterosexuality and Prostitution During the Great War

TitleMale Heterosexuality and Prostitution During the Great War
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsMakepeace, Clare
JournalCultural and Social History
Date Published03/2012

British soldiers' heterosexual lives during the Great War remain an understudied area. This article explores soldiers' brothel visits in France, their reasons for attending the "licensed brothels" (maisons tolérées), and how their visits varied according to the soldiers' marital status and rank. It then considers how warfare may have transformed heterosexual behaviour, particularly with regard to the use of amateur or professional prostitutes. Finally, the evidence is used to draw insights into peacetime conceptions of masculinity. Whilst it reveals the limited influence of the uxorious ideal, this article also suggests that extramarital intercourse was not an essential component of masculinity.

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