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    “A Deed of the Darkest Violence”: rape and the emergence of Sadism in Australian Psychiatry, 1920–1950

    Bourke, Joanna (2022) “A Deed of the Darkest Violence”: rape and the emergence of Sadism in Australian Psychiatry, 1920–1950. Journal of Australian Studies 46 (3), pp. 278-291. ISSN 1444-3058.

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    This article uses the sadist murder in 1937 of Dorothy May Everett in Newcastle (NSW) to reflect on sexual violence and psychiatry in Australia between the 1920s and the 1950s. Everett’s murder incited debates about Australian masculinity, class, racial degeneration, and sex crimes. It led to an unprecedented popular interest in the psychiatric diagnosis of “sadism”. Through an exploration of public discussions around Everett’s murder, as well as similar sadistic murders of women in New South Wales at the time, I examine the ways Australian newspapers reported on sadism as a sexual perversion. What do these sadistic rape-murders reveal about everyday constructions of the sexual sadist in Australia? How did people gain knowledge of perversions? Did psychiatric classification systems make a difference? Ian Hacking’s concept of “making up” people is productive for reflecting on the spread of knowledge about psychiatric understandings of sexual violence.


    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis, available online at the link above.
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Historical Studies
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2021 12:33
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 18:13


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