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Profit and PassionTransactional Sex in Colonial Mexico$
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Nicole von Germeten

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780520297296

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520297296.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

Selling Sex, Saving the Family

Selling Sex, Saving the Family

(p.130) 7 Selling Sex, Saving the Family
Profit and Passion

Nicole von Germeten

University of California Press

This chapter presents a controversial issue within the history of sexuality. It documents several case studies of sex work done within home-based brothels, where mothers, sisters, and father figures procured younger women and children. These examples would be interpreted today as sexual abuse, given that they involved girls under the age of sixteen, forced or manipulated into prostitution by more powerful individuals. The chapter tries to contextualize these cases within the contemporary domestic economy and culture of family life during the struggle for Mexican independence from Spain.Young women in fact betrayed filial loyalty and domestic hierarchies when they spoke as plaintiffs to denounce their sisters, mothers, or fathers for involving them in selling sex.In response to the complaints (the daughters’ disobedience to their familial superiors), the late viceregal state exercised paternalism as it stepped in to preserve traditional ideas of family as a sexual sanctuary for protected daughters.

Keywords:   brothels, sex work, prostitution, family, sexual abuse, Mexican independence, history of sexuality, paternalism

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