I'm abuzz with comments...
Posted by Marie-Bernadette on August 09, 1998 at 02:47:03:
In response to birds and bees..., written by Mishel on August 09, 1998 at 01:05:11
I think that men's unfaithfulness of those times has been exaggerated. In arranged marriages this was more common and while a bride was expected to be a virgin before the wedding, after she had born some offspring, she could have a lover if she was very discreet. By the Regency, however, many people were marrying for love and were therefore more likely to be faithful to each other.
They did have methods of birth control, too. Withdrawal was the most common, but women also used various herbs to prevent pregnancy, such as pennyroyal, and they also used sponges or cotton wool soaked in vinegar. They seeds of Queen Anne's Lace (Wild Carrot) are a very effective method. These were put in a glass of water and drunk immediately after intercourse and squatting and washing were recommended as part of this method, which was known to be advised by physicians (and I'm going crazy searching my books to try to find where I read this and where it came from!). They also douched, with water or other preparations, but as we know now, that really isn't a birth control method. It was also considered all right to terminate an unwanted pregnancy if it was done before quickening (that is, before the woman could feel the fetus move; they did not believe that life began at conception). Condoms have been around for centuries. They were made from sheep gut and tied on with a red ribbon. Men mostly used them when with prostitutes and that was to try to protect themselves from disease, not really to prevent pregnancy.
- Sources, Cautionary Note,& Elaboration on The Question Marie-Bernadette 01:26:22 8/10/98 (0)
- Thanks for the thoughts and replies! BarbaraK 10:33:24 8/09/98 (2)
Posting followups to old messages is disabled; instead go to the main index and post a new message which mentions this one.