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Bad GirlsYoung Women, Sex, and Rebellion before the Sixties$
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Amanda H. Littauer

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781469623788

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469623788.001.0001

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Victory Girls

Victory Girls

Sex, Mobility, and Adventure on the Home Front

(p.18) Chapter One Victory Girls
Bad Girls

Amanda H. Littauer

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter examines the lives of the “victory girls” of World War II—young women who exhibited patriotism by offering sex to servicemen. This relationship defied not only social norms but also the authorities that attempted to classify, manage, and restrain young people's sexual acts and attitudes. World War II left a legacy of young female sexual self-assertion that would generate both conservative and liberal responses in the postwar years, inspiring calls for female sexual autonomy during the “sexual revolution” to come. The stories examined in the chapter illustrate how the nation's military mobilization expanded young women's access to casual encounters. It also discusses the issues that emerged such as infidelity, rape, and the rise of sexually transmitted diseases.

Keywords:   victory girls, World War II, patriotism, sex, servicemen, social norms, female sexual self-assertion, military mobilization, infidelity, sexually transmitted diseases

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