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  • Early Nineteenth Century Attitudes Toward Women and …

by Elaine Fortin Type Papers and Articles: OSV Research Paper This paper will deal with the attitudes of the early nineteenth century toward women and their roles.

Famous people of the Nineteenth Century | Biography Online

Nineteenth Century Courtship Advice | Out of This Century

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A Respectable Woman: The Public Roles of African American Women in 19th-Century New York. By Jane E. Dabel. (New York: New York University Press, ...

19th Century America - Teacher Oz

Upon completing this lesson, students will gain an understanding of the rapidly changing roles of American women in the nineteenth and early twentieth century.
If some nineteenth-century doctors located women's diseases in as-yet-undiscovered lesions in the brain or in too highly strung nervous systems, gynecologists emphasized the central role played by the reproductive organs, not only in diseases of the body but in those of the mind as well. Gynecology, not yet a respected medical specialty in the first half of the nineteenth century, had to fight to establish its professional status and to counter the unseemliness of male doctors examining female genitalia. Social mores combined with female modesty to limit what a doctor could see or touch. In the early part of the century the physician generally viewed the patient fully clothed, asked probing questions, looked at her face, hands, and feet, then made a diagnosis without ever physically examining her genitals.


Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wall …

In 1856, Mrs. B., a twenty-four-year-old, middle-class married woman, went to the Boston office of gynecologist Dr. Horatio R. Storer, future vice president of the American Medical Association. Described by Dr. Storer in his published case notes as small and pale, Mrs. B. sought the doctor's help for decidedly un-Victorian feelings. Excessively lascivious images of sexual intercourse with men not her husband, she told Dr. Storer, filled her dreams. Recently, whenever she met and talked to a man, she dreamed about having intercourse with him. Even during the daytime, if she conversed with a man, erotic feelings overwhelmed her. Up to that moment, she had resisted any actual sexual encounters, but she greatly feared that if the malady increased, she might not be able to restrain herself in the future.

During the early part of the century, phrenology—at the time thought to be a serious science—took another approach to the question of sexual excess. Phrenologists believed that mental faculties could be determined by measuring the shape of the skull: an enlarged cerebellum (the part of the brain located at the back of the head, which controls muscle coordination and bodily equilibrium) indicated inordinate sexual appetite. But a particularly sensational case, mentioned in the 1840s in both the American and the British medical journal, —whose tantalizingly few details were cited throughout the nineteenth century—dramatically refuted this claim: an autopsy report on a twelve-year-old girl diagnosed as a nymphomaniac declared that she had cerebellum. No further details were given, and we do not know why she was diagnosed with nymphomania, but without a cerebellum the girl would presumably not have been able to walk.

From Odessa to Florence: Elena Comparetti Raffalovich

Interestingly, in this pre-Freudian time, Dr. Storer probed further into the meaning of her erotic dreams: Mrs. B. thought they arose because she and her husband longed for but had not yet conceived a child. Of all the possible explanations for her nymphomania—including the timing of her husband's presumed impotence—Mrs. B. chose the one which reflected her understanding of her role as a woman in the mid-nineteenth century. At least in what she reported to Dr. Storer, Mrs. B. determined that barrenness, not lack of sexual satisfaction, had caused her sexual dreams and daytime desires. For a Victorian middle-class woman, this conclusion is not surprising. It reflected prevalent assumptions that having children was not only a woman's major function in life but also the focus of her sexuality.

WIC - Women's History in America

The issue of women’s rights is the key problem of social networking even today. Some radical feminists are not satisfied with gender inequality, especially in Muslim countries. Modern sociologists suggest that the revolution in the USA has become a landmark in the history of equality between men and women in the USA. This women’s rights research paper shows the value of changes that have happened after the American War of Independence. The significance of feminism has greatly increased in nineteenth century because of the consequences of the revolution.

American Philosophy | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

In addition to her anxieties about pregnancy, an expectant mother was filled with apprehensions about the death of her newborn child. In the healthiest seventeenth century communities, one infant in ten died before the age of five. In less healthy environments, three children in ten died before their fifth birthday.

18th Century Midwives
In colonial America, the typical woman gave birth to her children at home. While female relatives and neighbors clustered at her bedside to offer support and encouragement, most women were assisted in childbirth by a midwife. Most midwives were older women who relied on the practical experience they received in delivering many children. Skilled midwives were highly valued.