AP World History
February 17th, 2014
Did the Industrial Revolution Lead to a Sexual Revolution?
Historians agree that between 1750 and 1850, the illegitimacy rates increased across Europe. In many of the European countries, this time period corresponds with industrialization. So did the introduction of capitalism change the living and working routines of unmarried women and introduce new attitudes that made them take more engrossed in sex? The Industrial Revolution was a period from the 18th to the 19th where major changes occurred in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transport, and technology. It had an intense effect on the socioeconomic and cultural conditions which originated in the United Kingdom. The Industrial Revolution represents a significant period in history because it was responsible for urbanization, an increase in world trade, the introduction of new machinery, and it also altered the way people lived in that many migrated from rural areas to work in factories in the city. After close analyzation of both sides of the argument, the Industrial Revolution did not lead to a sexual revolution. It did not lead to a sexual revolution because historians Louise A. Tilly, Joan W. Scott, and Miriam Cohen provided hard evidence by fully going into detail and backing up evidence with even more evidence whereas half of what historian Edward Shorter said seemed more like thoughts and opinions rather than facts.
Historian Edward Shorter argues that employment opportunities outside the home that opened up with industrialization led to a rise in the illegitimacy rates, which he attributes to the sexual emancipation of unmarried, working-class women. On the other hand, historians Louise A. Tilly, Joan W. Scott, and Miriam Cohen counter that unmarried women worked to meet economic stability, and not to gain personal freedom. They also attribute the rise in illegitimacy rates to broken marriages promises and the...
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