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"En ventilartad slemhinneduplikatur af vexlande form": Beskrivningar av mödomshinnan i sexhandböcker 1889-1904
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
2016 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
"A vented mucous membrane duplication of varying shape" : Descriptions of the hymen in sex manuals 1889-1904 (English)
Abstract [en]

This thesis discusses how the hymen is described historically in Swedish sex manuals between 1889-1904, along with descriptions of defloration and chastity. The analysis is based on the assumption that science and gender are social and cultural constructions.  The purpose of this thesis is to examine late nineteenth-early twentieth century’s conceptions of women, sexuality and chastity by discussing this period's descriptions of the hymen in a historical context. This study is concluded by reading and contextualizing sex manuals published in Sweden around the turn of the century.

The conclusion of this thesis is that the hymen is not necessarily viewed as a membrane, although every sex manual writer believe that there is some sort of fold, referred to as the hymen, in virgin females' genitals. However, the hymen is not seen as evidence of women's chastity by the authors because of the assumed occurrence of irregularities in this "fold". Under "normal" circumstances, the hymen is believed to break during a woman's first intercourse which is described as painful (and bloody) by the authors of the sex manuals.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 41 p.
Keyword [sv]
mödomshinna, defloration, kyskhet, heterosexualitet, sexhandböcker, sekelskiftet 1900, Sverige, Seved Ribbing, Oskar Heinrich Dumrath, Sylvanus Stall, William E. Ljungqvist
National Category
History of Ideas
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-123160OAI: diva2:943511
Subject / course
History of ideas
Available from: 2016-06-28 Created: 2016-06-28

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Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies
History of Ideas

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