Added: March 13, 2006 – Last updated: June 3, 2017


Authors: Alison Mackinnon and Carol Bacchi

Title: Sex, Resistance and Power

Subtitle: Sex Reform in South Australia, c. 1905

Journal: Australian Historical Studies

Volume: 23

Issue: 90

Year: April 1988 (Published online: September 29, 2008)

Pages: 60-71

ISSN: 1031-461X – Find a Library: WordCat | eISSN: 1940-5049 – Find a Library: WordCat

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 19th Century, 20th Century | Oceanian History: Australian History | Types: Marital Rape


Link: Taylor & Francis Online (Restricted Access)



Carol Bacchi, Department of Politics and International Studies, University of, ResearchGate

Alison Mackinnon, Division of Education, Arts and Social Sciences, University of South Australia

Abstract: »The lives and work of Agnes and Rosamond Benham illustrate the ways in which some colonial women opened up discussion of sexuality and marriage. Challenging male sexual mores, they acknowledged women's sexual desire, advocated divorce in loveless marriages, condemned the double standard of morality and the hypocrisy of prostitution, denounced marital rape, and questioned the stigma of illegitimacy. Like other reformers of the time they accepted Social Darwinism as the key to human perfectibility.« (Source: Historical Abstracts)

Wikipedia: History of Oceania: History of Australia / History of Australia (1851–1900), History of Australia (1901–45) | Rape in Australia | Sex and the law: Marital rape