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Save the Womanhood!Vice, Urban Immorality and Social Control in Liverpool, c. 1900-1976$
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Samantha Caslin

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781786941251

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781786941251.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 29 November 2021

A Changing of the Guard

A Changing of the Guard

Moral Order, Gender and Urban Space in the Post-War Years

(p.183) 9 A Changing of the Guard
Save the Womanhood!

Samantha Caslin

Liverpool University Press

This chapter examines the decline of specific female-run, local organizations concerned about what they considered to be the corrosive effects of urban life upon the way young women comported themselves about town. In locating this decline in the 1950s and 60s, the chapter seeks to complicate narratives about the increasing permissiveness of British society during these years. It argues that the post-war decline of social purity groups like the Liverpool Vigilance Association was linked directly to the way in which state-level institutions and local law enforcement had increasingly taken up their cause. In considering the work of the Wolfenden Committee (1954-7), the chapter demonstrates how social purity and moral welfare approaches to prostitution as a form of moral contagion continued to have currency even as the influence of these organisations faded, with concerns about morality playing out in policing and the parameters of the Street Offences Act 1959.

Keywords:   Expertise, Policing, Prostitution, Social Purity, Street Offences Act 1959, Wolfenden Committee

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