Male Heterosexuality and Prostitution during the Great War: British Soldiers' Encounters with Maisons Tolérées
Author: Makepeace, Clare
Source: Cultural and Social History, 1 March 2012, vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 65-83(19)
Abstract:British soldiers' heterosexual lives during the Great War remain an understudied area. This article explores soldiers' brothel visits in France: their reasons for attending the 'licensed brothels' (maisons tolérées) and how their visits varied according to the soldiers' marital status and rank. It then considers how warfare may have transformed heterosexual behaviour, particularly with regard to the use of amateur or professional prostitutes. Finally, the evidence is used to draw insights into peacetime conceptions of masculinity. Whilst it reveals the limited influence of the uxorious ideal, this article also suggests that extramarital intercourse was not an essential component of masculinity.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Birkbeck College, University of London
Publication date: March 1, 2012