Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Dr. John Rankin

Committee Members

Dr. Jennifer Adler, Dr. Stephen Fritz


This research argues that with the rise of the middle-class, Victorian England saw the development of a power model in which middle-class men, middle-class women and disenfranchised bodies of children and lower-class women suffered from the demands of bodily domination. Because the bodily health of middle-class men was believed to represent national health, it was imperative that he dominate his body, particularly with regard to sexual urges. Consequently, the bodies of women with whom he sought sexual release suffered from forms of bodily domination as well. Through an analysis of journals and private writings of those living in Victorian England, magazines, books, and advisory texts published during the nineteenth century, and philosophical interpretations of Victorian sexuality by historians, an image emerges in which Victorian sexuality is categorized by the need to dominate the body.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access


Copyright by the authors.