'All the prostitutes may be made subject to supervision and the spread of disease infinitely reduced': Alexandre Parent-Duchâtelet and William Acton's regulatory proposals

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Alexandre Parent-Duchitelet's 1836 De La Prostitution duns la Ville de Paris arid William Acton's 1869 I'rostitution Considered in its Morad. Sociul, and Sanita7y A~pects advocate coerced medical examinations of women identified as lower-class prostitutes. I examine the authors' suggested policies, unco'vering their perspectives on women and medical prerogative. I search for their motives, as physicians and public health advocates. This thesis is a comparison of their texts, examined in light of nineteenthcentury public health concerns and the doctors' common argument that supervision would reduce syphilis cases. Although the doctors claim their measures would protect regulated women, the proposals were intended to benefit those no-t identified as prostitutes-prostitutes' clients, their families, and even military budget:;. The doctors saw prostitutes as commodities requiring inspection before they could be allowed on the market. They also viewed regulated women as medical and social science research subjects.

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Department of History - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)