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The Wolfenden Report: permissiveness or punishment?

October 17, 2017 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm


The Wolfenden Report is famous for its recommendation to partially decriminalize homosexual acts, but in fact, the Wolfenden Committee was initially called to address matters related to prostitution. Unlike their recommendations on homosexuality, Wolfenden’s recommendations on prostitution passed immediately into law; in an era known for permissiveness and a liberalisation of social attitudes, UK law became more punitive against sex workers than at any other time in history. In this talk, Dr Julia Laite will explore records held at The National Archives to explain how and why this happened, seeking to challenge the Wolfenden Report’s reputation as a liberal document symbolising an era of sexual revolution.


The National Archives
Ruskin Avenue
Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU United Kingdom
020 8876 3444