Sex, Citizenship, and the Nation in World War II Britain

TitleSex, Citizenship, and the Nation in World War II Britain
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1998
AuthorsRose, Sonya O.
JournalAmerican Historical Review
Volume103
Issue4
Pagination1147-1176
Date Published10/1998
Abstract

Examines the significance of the rather widespread public apprehension about the sexual indiscretions of British women and girls during World War II. Anxiety about female sexuality was associated with the arrival in Britain of large numbers of soldiers from the United States. Their presence brought issues of nationality and race into public consciousness, exaggerating popular concern about the war's effect on sexual morality. The contemporary meanings of those fears are assessed by examining how they were articulated in public discourse. Discussions about sexual promiscuity were framed by the constructions of the nation and ideas about citizenship that emerged during the war. In particular, the idea of the nation as a unified whole in which individuals sacrificed their private interests for the public good was a contemporary version of "civic virtue" stemming from the pre-liberal tradition of civic humanism or civic republicanism.

URLhttp://www.jstor.org/stable/2651201
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92017679

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