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    Sexual violence, bodily pain, and trauma: a history

    Bourke, Joanna (2012) Sexual violence, bodily pain, and trauma: a history. Theory, Culture & Society 29 (3), pp. 25-51. ISSN 0263-2764.

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    Psychological trauma is a favoured trope of modernity. It has become commonplace to assume that all ‘bad events’ – and particularly those which involve violence – have a pathological effect on the sufferer’s psyche, as well as that of the perpetrators. This essay explores the ways victims of rape and sexual assault were understood in psychiatric, psychological, forensic, and legal texts in Britain and America from the 19th to the late 20th century. It argues that, unlike most other ‘bad events’, which were incorporated within trauma narratives from the 1860s, the ascription of psychological trauma was only applied to rape victims a century later. Why and what were the consequences?


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Anglo-American history, bodily pain, psychiatry, PTSD, rape, sexual violence, trauma narratives
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Historical Studies
    Research Centres and Institutes: Gender and Sexuality, Birkbeck (BiGS), Social Research, Birkbeck Institute for (BISR)
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 27 Nov 2012 13:31
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:00


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