Medicine And Books

The Facts of Life: The Creation of Sexual Knowledge in Britain, 1650-1950

BMJ 1995; 311 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.311.6997.137a (Published 08 July 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;311:137
  1. John Bancroft

    Roy Porter, Lesley Hall Yale University Press, £19.95, pp 415 ISBN 0 300 06221 4

    The enforced resignation of the US Surgeon General, at the end of last year, for implying that masturbation is part of normal sexuality is the most recent example of the social taboos that surround that topic. Masturbation is one of the themes of Porter and Hall's fascinating book on the history of information about sex. Not only has this commonplace behaviour attracted some of the most bizarre and distorted examples of medical propaganda but the campaigns against it have been at their most …

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