Young women, deviance and public health in mid-twentieth century Britain (360G-Wellcome-092314_Z_10_Z)
I am currently undertaking a research project that examines the connections between concerns about young women's sexual and social deviance and worry over venereal disease. In the 1930s and the 1950s, there were a series of moral panics over the 'lorry girl': young women who would leave approved schools or their home towns and exchange sex for rides to London in the cabs of lorries. These moral panics centred around three key issues: firstly, the difficulty of controlling these young women who were socially and sexually deviant; secondly, the character of the 'lorry driver', who was seen as a facilitator of their deviance as well as its victim; and thirdly and most prominently, fears about the spread of venereal disease. It is my intention to explore these interconnected issues, which will help illuminate the ways that deviance and public venereal health were understood and dealt with in mid-twentieth century Britain, in the decades surrounding the Second World War and leading up to the so-called 'sexual revolution'. I intend to use this research produce the first in a series of articles on women and venereal disease in mid-twentieth century Britain.
£1,465 15 Feb 2010