Ronald Hyam
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Race, sex and empire
in Empire and sexuality
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The chronology of British changing attitudes towards sex fits this general pattern closely. While race relations in general were relatively relaxed, sex across the colour-line persisted, but as racial attitudes became more tense and problematic, so these sexual relationships were more and more frowned upon. The missionary invasion of indigenous sexual practices was forced into a less aggressive gradualism. Fortunately, the significance of sexual factors in running the empire, viewed as a general system, is less problematic than in tracing their influence upon individual cases. The thoughts of soldiers and sailors regularly turned to sex as a result in part of the assumption of service authorities that they would inevitably seek out prostitutes. In their empire, the French rejected the British assumption that an end to interracial sex was desirable anyway. They continued to encourage concubinage for their administrators.

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Empire and sexuality

The British Experience


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