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Booklet, 'Sex in Marriage'.

MMM.1993.166.036

About this object

In 1967 homosexual acts were partially decriminalised in England and Wales. Despite the change in the law there were still huge inequalities in UK society and homosexuality remained a taboo subject. This booklet, produced by the British Medical Association, reflects official attitudes to sex around this time.

The guide promotes sex as exclusively between a man and a woman, almost always within marriage, with the key purpose to have children. Many of the tips and advice given show how restrictive ideas around sexual relationships and domestic life were. The following advice is provided to women to help keep their husband interested sexually -

“A good husband comes first, and he should not come home to a daily routine of unkempt hair, grubby jumpers and skirts and the dull clang of a full potty when he puts his feet under the supper table.”

The advice goes on to recommend clearly defined family roles, with men working and women looking after the family and home –

“The woman who leaves her work for the smaller sphere of domesticity will probably be delighted by the change. No more rushing for the train, no more hasty shopping, no more hectic vacuuming at uncertain hours.”

The guide totally disregards any advice or guidance for people in relationships or families that do not consist of a married, heterosexual couple with, or wanting children. It clearly shows that although homosexuality had been partially decriminalised it was still a long way from being even openly discussed.

Object specifics

  • Title
    Booklet, 'Sex in Marriage'.
  • Accession no.
    MMM.1993.166.036
  • Type
    Booklet
  • Artist/Maker
    British Medical Association
  • Place made
    Europe: Northern Europe: UK: England: London
  • Date made
    1962 - 1971
  • Materials
    Paper
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Measurements
    184 mm x 120 mm x 4 mm
  • Related people
    British Medical Association (Artist/maker, associated person)
  • Collection
    From the Museum of Liverpool collections
Object view = Social History
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