‘to recover his reputation among the people of God’: Sex, Religion and the Double Standard in Presbyterian Ireland, c.1700–1838

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    Abstract

    This article explores how Presbyterian religious belief and practice shaped the operation of the sexual double standard in Ireland. It argues that reputation continued to have a public element into the nineteenth century and highlights the role of religion as a locus around which male reputation was validated, restored and safeguarded. Through a system of surveillance, and underpinned by the gossip network, the Presbyterian church courts in Ireland held men to account for lapses in sexual conduct. Presbyterian men, too, were concerned to maintain clear characters. In their efforts to keep sexual indiscretions private and silence their accusers, some men even resorted to bribery, threats of violence and extortion. Others turned to the church courts to validate their reputations, recognising the place and power of the church as a source of moral authority.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages18
    JournalGender & History
    Early online date6 Jul 2022
    DOIs
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 Jul 2022

    Keywords

    • Original Article

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