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It is not a Society for human beings but for virgins: The Girls' Friendly Society membership eligibility dispute 1875-1936

Richmond, Vivienne. 2007. It is not a Society for human beings but for virgins: The Girls' Friendly Society membership eligibility dispute 1875-1936. Journal of Historical Sociology, 20(3), pp. 304-327. ISSN 09521909 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

The Girls' Friendly Society is a neglected social purity organisation whose exclusive focus on female chastity differed from the rescue work and condemnation of the sexual double standard favoured by most of the social purity movement. The Society's rules restricted membership to virgins and prompted a sixty-year dispute about Christian forgiveness, exposing philanthropic rivalry and clerical division. The virginity policy was maintained throughout the moral challenges presented by sexology, eugenics, birth control, sex education and post-war emancipation, and competition from the Girl Guides, cinema and dance halls. Only rapidly declining membership forced the Society to abandon the policy in 1936.

Item Type:

Article

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6443.2007.00314.x

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

History

Dates:

DateEvent
September 2007Published

Item ID:

1623

Date Deposited:

12 Mar 2009 15:41

Last Modified:

27 Jun 2017 10:31

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/1623

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