Date of Award
Master of Arts
Susan Eva O'Donovan
This thesis intends to show how the field of British midwifery changed through the rise of male-midwives during the eighteenth-century in London. Midwifery, which had previously been a women-only profession in that era, came to be dominated by male-midwives who argued that men should be in charge of this field due to the inherent "weakness" of women and therefore the supposed inadequate training of midwives. In this thesis, I will argue that male-midwives succeeding in asserting their dominance through the development of tools such as the forceps, through the establishment of courses about midwifery, and through the publication of treatises that were intended as training manuals for aspiring male-midwives. The dominance of male-midwives over the field of midwifery by the end of the eighteenth century diminished the reputation of midwives and would lead many upper and middle-class women to prefer having male-midwives oversee the process of labor and childbirth.
dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.
Castellano-Clark, Amanda Catriona, "Re-gendering Midwifery in Eighteenth-Century London" (2019). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 2057.