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 Since I'm finding it hard to pinpoint resources on this:

What was Victorian sex-ed like?  Specifically in the case of an only child, a teenage girl in an upper-class family.  How much would she be expected to know before marriage?  Would she be expected to be told certain things by a mother/other female role model?  Comments from servants?  Did marriage manuals exist then?

Of course, a lot of this may go out the window, as her father is steampunk!Jack.  But we'll see.


(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-18 07:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lefaym.livejournal.com
My understanding (and I am by no means an expert) is that it would have varied wildly from family to family -- though if she was upper-class she would be less likely to have witnessed practical sex ed, in the form of animals fucking in the farmyard, etc. I expect she'd probably get lectures about doing her wifely duties, and whether or not she could expect any pleasure from this varies according to whether or not the woman teaching her ever did (although it was believed by many that women were not supposed to enjoy sex at all-- that only prostitutes enjoyed sex, and that for women, the compensation was the joy of having BABIEZ).

Also, the average age of first menstruation in Victorian times was 17 years old, which meant that certain aspects of sex ed could often be delayed a lot longer than they can be now.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-18 07:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] notevery.livejournal.com
That's perfect, thank you! Seriously, absolutely every detail helps. My knowledge of Victorian life is way sketchier than I'd like. (Sadly, my love of costume dramas can't be trusted for historical accuracy, apparently...)

Also, the average age of first menstruation in Victorian times was 17 years old, which meant that certain aspects of sex ed could often be delayed a lot longer than they can be now.

That's so interesting! I'd never have even remotely though to research that, and it's actually really useful given the age of various characters.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-18 10:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] crystalshard.livejournal.com
It depends on what kind of time period you're looking at. In 1877, Charles Knowlton wrote a book entitled The Fruits of Philosophy, which advocated birth control. The book was denounced as 'likely to deprave or corrupt those whose minds are open to immoral influences' and 'obscene libel'.

A few years later, a book by Annie Besant, The Laws of Population, was denounced as 'an indecent, lewd, filthy, bawdy and obscene book'. So the higher you go in society, the less knowledge a woman was supposed to have of sex. Dr. Allison's Book for Married Women was also classed as obscene. However, copies of both The Laws of Population and the Book for Married Women were frequenctly hidden away by the women of the household, as the men would be hugely offended if they found that their women had such books.

However, given Jack's nature, I wouldn't be at all surprised if he'd given those books to Toshiko himself.

This is depite the fact that a man of that time might go into his club with a copy of Fanny Hill or The Lustful Turk under his arm and no-one would take a second glance. If he were to be carrying the Kama Sutra or a Japanese pillow book, be might be congratulated on his acquisition and refined tastes while enjoying brandy and/or cigars with the other men of his club.
Edited Date: 2009-07-18 10:31 am (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-18 12:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xtricks.livejournal.com
Sort of a random collection of stuff that might be useful. Most of the references to sexual educations are in the 19-teens at the earliest.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Dennett

http://www.libidomag.com/nakedbrunch/archive/europorn07.html

http://www.villagevoice.com/2004-01-06/art/spanking-the-monkey/

The fifth volume is the one with the sexual diagrams in it, however I'm not sure the uploaded volume is the fifth one but here: http://www.archive.org/details/scienceinstorysa00foot

(note: racism of the time is rampant in the book)

http://www.mookychick.co.uk/lists/victorian-slang-sexual-terms.php

http://www.solarnavigator.net/animal_kingdom/animal_images/sex_education_victorian_postcard_stork_baby.jpg

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