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The Sexual Question

The Sexual Question
A History of Prostitution in Peru, 1850s–1950s


Part of Cambridge Latin American Studies

  • Publication planned for: February 2020
  • availability: Not yet published - available from February 2020
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108493123

c.£ 71.99

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About the Authors
  • The creation of Lima's red-light district in 1928 marked the culminating achievement of the promoters of regulation who sought to control the spread of venereal disease by medically policing female prostitutes. Its closure in 1956 was arguably the high point of abolitionism, a transnational movement originating in the 1860s that advocated that regulation was not only ineffective from a public health perspective, but also morally wrong. The Sexual Question charts this cyclic process of regulation and abolition in Peru, uncovering the ideas, policies, and actors shaping the debates over governing prostitution in Lima and beyond. The history of prostitution, Paulo Drinot shows, sheds light on the interplay of gender and sexuality, medicine and public health, and nation-building and state formation in Peru. With its compelling historical lens, this landmark study offers readers an engaging narrative and new perspectives on Latin American studies, social policy, and Peruvian history.

    • Based on extensive, rich sources that include letters written by prostitutes themselves
    • Analysis is empirically driven and engaging
    • Enhances strong scholarship on the history of prostitution in Latin America and beyond
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    Product details

    • Publication planned for: February 2020
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108493123
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 mm
    • availability: Not yet published - available from February 2020
  • Table of Contents

    1. Regulating Prostitution
    2. Protecting Men
    3. Policing Women
    4. Medicalizing Sin
    5. Combating Venereal Disease
    6. Abolishing Vice.

  • Author

    Paulo Drinot, University College London
    Paulo Drinot is Associate Professor of Latin American history at University College London. He is the author of The Allure of Labor: Workers, Race, and the Making of the Peruvian State; editor of Che's Travels: The Making of a Revolutionary in 1950s Latin America, Peru in Theory, and La Patria Nueva; and co-editor of Más allá de la dominación y la resistencia, The Great Depression in Latin America, Comics and Memory in Latin America, and The Peculiar Revolution: Rethinking the Peruvian Experiment under Military Rule.

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