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Sex, politics and society : The regulation of sexuality since 1800.

Weeks, Jeffrey (1983) Sex, politics and society : The regulation of sexuality since 1800. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.94723) (KAR id:94723)


This work is, in essence, a discussion of the forces that have organised and regulated sexuality within a particular historical period (roughly the period of industrial capitalism) in a particular geographical and political area (Great Britain, and chiefly that part south of Scotland) Its working premise, set out in some detail in Chapter 1, is that 'sexuality' is not an unproblematic natural given, which the 'social' works upon to control, but is, on the contrary, an historical unity which has been shaped and determined by a multiplicity of forces, and which has undergone complex historical transformations. The argument revolves around three broad issues: the meaning given to sexuality in Victorian society; the construction of sexuality as an area of social concern, scientific investigation and reforming endeavour in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; and the place of sexuality in twentieth-century consciousness and social policy. In tackling these questions I am aware that I have ignored other domains of interest, and have bypassed other questions that might fruitfully have been discussed. My excuse is that my aim has been a modest, but I believe vitally important, one: to delineate the forces, ideas and social practices that have elevated sexuality into a prime focus of social concern over the past two hundred years.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.94723
Additional information: This thesis has been digitised by EThOS, the British Library digitisation service, for purposes of preservation and dissemination. It was uploaded to KAR on 25 April 2022 in order to hold its content and record within University of Kent systems. It is available Open Access using a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-commercial, No Derivatives ( licence so that the thesis and its author, can benefit from opportunities for increased readership and citation. This was done in line with University of Kent policies ( If you feel that your rights are compromised by open access to this thesis, or if you would like more information about its availability, please contact us at and we will seriously consider your claim under the terms of our Take-Down Policy (
Uncontrolled keywords: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
SWORD Depositor: SWORD Copy
Depositing User: SWORD Copy
Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2023 13:48 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2023 13:48 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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