Sexy mamas? Women, sexuality and reproduction in Australia in the 1940s

Lisa Featherstone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

World War II is frequently read as a turning point in the construction of femininity. According to Marilyn Lake and others, during this period women were increasingly defined in terms of glamour and allure, and there was a new emphasis on youth, beauty and heterosexual attractiveness. The present article will complicate this view with an examination of sexuality after marriage. Through a reading of letters written by women themselves, it will suggest that for many white women in this period, heterosexuality remained tied to reproduction, rather than to sexual freedom or even sexual pleasure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)234-252
Number of pages19
JournalAustralian Historical Studies
Volume37
Issue number126
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Keywords

  • femininity
  • women
  • world war -- 1939-1945
  • marriage
  • sex
  • human reproduction

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