Event Title

Premarital Sexuality among Young People in Eighteenth-Century France

Location

CSU 202

Start Date

21-4-2014 2:10 PM

End Date

21-4-2014 3:10 PM

Student's Major

History

Student's College

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Mentor's Name

Christopher Corley

Mentor's Email Address

christopher.corley@mnsu.edu

Mentor's Department

History

Mentor's College

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Description

Youth courtship in preindustrial Europe is often misunderstood by historians. The predominant interpretation is that youth developed sexual relationships in a predefined fashion under close parental supervision. The evidence gained through the analysis of early eighteenth-century paternity suits housed in the Archives Départementales de la Côte d’Or in Dijon, France reveal a more complex historical picture. Paternity suits containing the original complaint of the plaintiff, witness depositions, and interrogations of defendants provide detailed information about the timeline and signs indicating the development of sexual relationships, as well as the places in which they occurred. We found that these liaisons often lacked familial oversight. The investigation of the court cases allows historians to better understand and map the sexual and behavioral patterns of preindustrial French youth while also offering a reconsideration of commonplace notions about sexual relationships in traditional societies.

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Apr 21st, 2:10 PM Apr 21st, 3:10 PM

Premarital Sexuality among Young People in Eighteenth-Century France

CSU 202

Youth courtship in preindustrial Europe is often misunderstood by historians. The predominant interpretation is that youth developed sexual relationships in a predefined fashion under close parental supervision. The evidence gained through the analysis of early eighteenth-century paternity suits housed in the Archives Départementales de la Côte d’Or in Dijon, France reveal a more complex historical picture. Paternity suits containing the original complaint of the plaintiff, witness depositions, and interrogations of defendants provide detailed information about the timeline and signs indicating the development of sexual relationships, as well as the places in which they occurred. We found that these liaisons often lacked familial oversight. The investigation of the court cases allows historians to better understand and map the sexual and behavioral patterns of preindustrial French youth while also offering a reconsideration of commonplace notions about sexual relationships in traditional societies.

Recommended Citation

Soboleva, Tatiana. "Premarital Sexuality among Young People in Eighteenth-Century France." Undergraduate Research Symposium, Mankato, MN, April 21, 2014.
http://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/urs/2014/oral_session_10/1