What “Good Girls” do: Katharine bement davis and the moral panic of the first U.S. sexwual survey

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The moral panics of sexuality are fluid and often tactical. At times they introduce sexuality to obscure larger, more troubling social concerns; at times they provide divergent groups with symbols around which to rally; and at times they work to separate who is on the inside (the normative, “correct," side) from those deemed to be on the outside or “deviant." Often this deviancy has as much to do with gender norms as with sexuality, as I show in the study of Katharine Bement Davis and her career at John D. Rockefeller Jr.‘s Bureau of Social Hygiene. The moral panic here centered on Davis’s publication of the first scientific sexual survey of women in the U.S. Her story illustrates how one woman used the moral panic of “white slavery” to forge a fruitful alliance only to see the moral panic of female sexuality used to undermine her in the service of tactically supporting traditional hierarchies of sex/gender.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Moral Panics of Sexuality
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Pages151-163
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781137353177
ISBN (Print)9781137353160
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

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