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Taming Passion for the Public GoodPolicing Sex in the Early Republic$
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Mark E. Kann

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780814770191

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814770191.001.0001

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Policing Impassioned Men

Policing Impassioned Men

(p.77) 4 Policing Impassioned Men
Taming Passion for the Public Good

Mark E. Kann

NYU Press

This chapter examines how America's early civic leaders and public officials went about policing sex among men. If males were fundamentally creatures of passion, they were not good in governing other men. Indeed, they used other men for their own gratification and interests instead of focusing on how to monitor them and manage their sexual behavior. This chapter first discusses penitentiaries as experimental settings for the application of patriarchal authority to police sex among American men, along with penal reform that envisioned passionless penitentiaries for teaching criminals to practice self-control and to develop self-abiding behavior. It then considers the preventive approach employed by the nation's early elites to regulate male sexual activity. It also explains how local leaders supported and reinforced the traditional patriarchal culture to channel male passion and sexuality into monogamous Christian marriages and attendant family governance, provisioning, and protection responsibilities.

Keywords:   policing sex, sexual behavior, penitentiaries, patriarchal authority, men, penal reform, male passion, marriage, family governance, self-control

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