"delinquent, disorderly and diseased females": regulating sexuality in Second World War St. John's, Newfoundland

Haywood, Ruth (2002) "delinquent, disorderly and diseased females": regulating sexuality in Second World War St. John's, Newfoundland. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

During the Second World War, Newfoundland was in a strategic location. By 1942 there were over 15,000 Canadian and American service personnel in the colony. Some of the relationships that developed between these servicemen and Newfoundland women led to marriage - some did not. In St. John's the number of lone mothers sharply increased. Many women were arrested on disorderly behaviour charges, and Chinese cafe owners were also suspected of involvement in the sex trade. Health officials' fears of rising rates of venereal disease (VD), were exacerbated by the anxieties of the military. Forced treatment was permitted under existing legislation, and a lock hospital was inaugurated to incarcerate non-compliant VD patients. With the introduction of penicillin, the use of Sydney Hospital ended and it became a home for delinquent girls. The discourse of disease transformed sex-trade workers into a source of social pollution, and sexually-active young women were accused of sharing sex-worker status. Due to the triple threat of illegitimacy, prostitution, and VD, young women became the site of a moral panic over 'sex delinquency'.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/1237
Item ID: 1237
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 199-218
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > History
Date: August 2002
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador--St. John's
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Women--Newfoundland and Labrador--St. John's--Sexual behavior; Single mothers--Newfoundland and Labrador--St. John's; Prostitution--Newfoundland and Labrador--St. John's

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