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The Sexual State: Sexuality and Scottish Governance 1950-80

The Sexual State: Sexuality and Scottish Governance 1950-80 (Hardback)

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Synopsis

How did the Scottish government respond to sexual attitudes and behaviour in the period 1950 to 1980? In exploring the role of the state in the regulation of modern sexuality, historians have largely overlooked the policy-making process in Scotland. Davidson and Davis lead us through the Scottish sexual landscape leading up to the global crisis of HIV/AIDS, analysing post-war state policy towards issues such as abortion, family planning, homosexuality, pornography, prostitution, sex education and sexual heath. How progressive were Scottish policy makers during this period of rapid social change? The book examines to what extent the policy mindset shifted from a moral and legalistic approach to one that was more permissive. How far did the puritanical elements of Scottish Presbyterianism continue to inhibit policy and to what degree did policy makers empower a broader range of sexual behaviours and moderate the traditional surveillance and censure of female sexuality? Finally, in what respects did Scotland's national identity affect the engagement of the Scottish state with sexual issues?

Key Words Abortion, censorship, contraception, family planning, government, homosexuality, homosexual law reform, morality, obscenity, policy-making, pornography, prostitution, Scottish, sex, sexuality, sex education, sexual health, sexual offences, sexual reproduction, sexually transmitted diseases, state Key features * Adds an important Scottish perspective to the study of sexuality and policy-making in modern society. There are few resources for the student of Scotland's sexual history and its political and social context. * Provides a significant addition to the history of sexuality in 20th-century Britain * Makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the later 20th-century Scottish state, and especially the local state * Adds to our knowledge of the shaping of policy on key issues relating to sexual morality in modern society including abortion, censorship, family planning, homosexuality, prostitution, sex education, and sexually transmitted diseases

Roger Davidson is Emeritus Professor of Social History at the University of Edinburgh. He has published widely on the history of medical and governmental responses to sexual issues since 1870. He is the author of Dangerous Liaisons: A Social History of Venereal Disease in Twentieth-Century Scotland, Routledge (2000), and co-editor of Sex, Sin and Suffering: Venereal Disease and European Society since 1870, Routledge (2001) and Shaping Sexual Knowledge: A Cultural History of Sex Education in Twentieth- Century Europe, Routledge (2009). Dr Gayle Davis is Wellcome Lecturer in the History of Medicine at the University of Edinburgh. She has published on the social history of medicine and sexuality, including 'The Cruel Madness of Love': Sex, Syphilis and Psychiatry in Scotland, 1880-1930 (Rodopi, Amsterdam and Atlanta, 2008).

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