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Men's Sexual Health in Early Modern England

256 pages
Amsterdam University Press
How did men cope with sexual health issues in early modern England? This vivid history investigates how sexual, reproductive, and genitourinary conditions were understood between 1580 and 1740. Drawing on medical sources and personal testimonies, it reveals how men responded to bouts of ill health and their relationships with the medical practitioners tasked with curing them. In doing so, this study restores men’s health to medical histories of reproduction, demonstrating how men’s sexual self-identity was tied to their health. Charting genitourinary conditions across the life cycle, the book illustrates how fertility and potency were key to medical understandings of men’s health. Men utilized networks of care to help them with ostensibly embarrassing and shameful conditions like hernias, venereal disease, bladder stones, and testicular injuries. The book thus offers a historical voice to modern calls for men to be alert to, and open about, their own bodily health.
Author Bio
Jennifer Evans is a senior lecturer in History at the University of Hertfordshire. To date, she has published widely on men and women’s reproductive histories in the early modern era. Her work has examined understandings of infertility, sexual stimulants, and miscarriage.