An Intimate History of the Front: Masculinity, Sexuality, by J. Crouthamel

By J. Crouthamel

This eye-opening examine offers a nuanced, provocative account of the way German squaddies within the nice battle skilled and enacted masculinity. Drawing on an array of proper narratives and media, it explores the ways in which either heterosexual and gay squaddies expressed emotion, understood romantic beliefs, and approached intimacy and sexuality.

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Extra info for An Intimate History of the Front: Masculinity, Sexuality, and German Soldiers in the First World War

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Christian leaders echoed this argument for abstinence. Dr. Aufhauser, a military chaplain, wrote for the Catholic periodical Allgemeine Rundschau (Daily Magazine) to assert that “the sexual question” was a top priority for the military, not only because it was a question of religious ethics and medical hygiene, but because sexual immorality threatened both the combat and home fronts. 82 Dr. Aufhauser recommended a wide range of measures to combat soldiers’ temptations to seek sexual relief from the stress of combat.

Dr. Aufhauser emphasized the need to protect the home front from the menace of “other peoples” who might mix with German troops and weaken “the German race” through miscegenation. As “sons of a heroic race (Heldenvolkes),” real men should be able to distinguish between moral and immoral behavior. Dr. ”84 Deepening tensions emerged between the military and home-front morality crusaders over how to control male sexual behavior. ” Morality crusaders were concerned that unless men remained abstinent, soldiers would suffer spiritual crisis and moral degradation that was just as threatening to the nation as the spread of venereal disease.

He promoted abstinence as not only the best means of disease prevention but also a soldier’s duty. Aware that soldiers saw abstinence education as futile, and that even many civilians were fatalistic about whether soldiers would abstain, Dr. ” That is nonsense. One can go for a very long time without it and not experience any damage to one’s health. It’s certainly all right to have to exert will-power and be abstinent, but it’s also damn difficult! It is rather easier to ask a mature man to do this.

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