Show Less
Open access

Tolerated Evil

Prostitution in the Kingdom of Poland in the Nineteenth Century

Series:

Jolanta Sikorska-Kulesza

In the nineteenth century, state policy towards prostitution was primarily shaped by an assessment of its role in spreading venereal diseases. In this book, the author traces normative and organisational efforts of the authorities of the Kingdom of Poland, which sought to maintain control over prostitution and the health of women who offered paid sexual services. The author uses data collected by the police and medical authorities supervising legal and illegal prostitution to provide a demographic and sociological picture of the big-city and small-town market of sexual commerce. It was only in the early twentieth century when prostitution became an important subject of the Polish public debate, a process which is described in the book against the backdrop of the major issues and fears of the epoch.

The state versus prostitution – police and medical supervision over prostitution – legal prostitution – prostitution in the eyes of the society – abolitionism vs. regimentationism – the perceived origins of prostitution – aid for prostitutes and the struggle for a new morality.