Responses to Prostitution in the American Progressive Era (1890-1920)
Gossman, Mary Beth
MetadataShow full item record
Within the social and cultural context of the Progressive era, I will discuss various reactions to prostitution, enumerating what groups and organizations were responding and how their responses reflected the different concerns and opinions they held. In chapter 1 I will look more closely at the general beliefs and fears which surrounded the changes taking place during the Progressive era and explain how prostitution came to be viewed as intrinsically bound up with these changes. In chapter 2 I will give an overview of the writers of this period, both reformers and theorists, who attempted to understand and explain prostitution to see how they are representative of the social thought of this era or how they represent a break from it. In chapter 3 I explore the popular, middle-American response to prostitution by focusing on the white slavery issue. In chapter 4 and 5 I return to the social purity movement to examine the response to prostitution which was given by the relatively small though powerful group of medical and scientific leaders. Finally, in chapter 6, I examine the great effort during the first World War to "keep the fighters fit" for combat, that is, free from venereal disease, and the impact this campaign had on prostitution.