Abstract

Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, physicians writing for American medical journals created a vision of female heterosexual health that linked vaginal orgasm with marital stability and community security. This article focuses on how physicians sought to ensure healthy female heterosexuality through the use of state-mandated premarital consultations. Physicians repeatedly asserted that by monitoring a woman's response to penetration during a premarital pelvic exam, they could anticipate her ability to experience vaginal orgasm during intercourse. A sexually fulfilling relationship, physicians explained, was the foundation of marital stability. These marriages would then serve as the building blocks of a morally, and therefore politically, secure nation during the early decades of the Cold War.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-2036
Print ISSN
1042-7961
Pages
pp. 86-110
Launched on MUSE
2005-11-23
Open Access
No
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