Victorian Sexuality – The Solitary Vice

The Solitary Vice

Masturbation or what was termed the “solitary vice” or “onanism” emerged as a veritable epidemic, especially amongst children. This forms the core around which the modern child becomes engulfed in what might termed the sexualisation of modern society. A medical and moral campaign was waged around the sexuality of children. Parents, educators, doctors were all alerted to hunt out any traces of child sexuality through a myriad of surveillance techniques and upon discovery subject to a seemingly inexhaustible array of corrective measures. One nineteenth century doctor invented a device which administered electric shocks to a sleeping boy’s penis upon erection.

Nineteenth Century Anti-masturbation Devices 24

Source: Sexuality & Modernity: Victorian Sexuality

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