Interview by Nicholas Syrett April R. Haynes’s Riotous Flesh: Women, Physiology, and the Solitary Vice in Nineteenth-Century America (University of Chicago Press, 2015) is a study of antebellum women’s efforts to reform sexuality through public physiology education. One of their ideas, that masturbation caused mental and physical illness, became widely accepted […]
The monk could no longer be considered a virgin, since he has been ‘polluted…through masturbation’.
Katherine Harvey In the late twelfth century Gerald of Wales, archdeacon of Brecon and a prolific author, wrote a tract on the proper conduct of the clergy. Gerald was writing only a few decades after the First Lateran Council (1123) had introduced compulsory celibacy for all priests, at a time […]