Women 's Gender And Gender Roles

Decent Essays
In terms of the heterosexual majority, respectability applied deeply to women and their gender roles as wives, because it was the way to distinguish between good and "oversexed women" (Kushner 9/25/15). The characteristics of women consisted of being pious, pure and religious, as they were the moral superiors to men (Kushner, 9/25/15). This moral superiority linked to the idea that Cott presents of female passionlessness, which was the result of subsequent lack of " sexual aggressiveness" (Cott 1987: 220). Passionlessness however was not simply a gendered characteristic it played a vital sexual as the controlling factor over hyper sexual husbands (Cott 1978: 235). The very structure of Victorian marriages relied on women 's passionlessness because it supported women 's demure and respectable nature in society, while also keeping men under control and containing sexuality to the home (Kushner, 9/25/15). The concept of respectability not only shaped how women and men acted in both sexual and non sexual ways but outlined the ways proper marriages ought to function. In order to understand the re-rise to conservatism in the mid- twentieth century post-war America, one must consider the influence of Sexology on society. Sexology which is the study of sexuality, behavior, functions, and identity gained importance between the late ninetieth century and the early twentieth in the West. During this time Sexologists like Krafft-Ebbing, Kinsey, and Ulricks, studied sexual
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