Article

Slavery

Sally McKee

in The Oxford Handbook of Women and Gender in Medieval Europe

Published in print August 2013 | ISBN: 9780199582174
Published online January 2013 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199582174.013.027

Series: Oxford Handbooks in History

Slavery

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • History
  • Slavery and Abolition of Slavery
  • Gender and Sexuality
  • Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)

GO

Show Summary Details

Preview

The potential for sexual service played a key role in the changing demand for slaves in medieval Europe. From the early Middle Ages on, the demand for male slaves declined while the market for female slaves rose. Although male and female slaves were vulnerable to sexual exploitation, only enslaved women's sexual service was tacitly sanctioned in the parts of Christian Europe where slavery was practiced. Their suitability for sexual service factored into their prices, in contrast to free domestic servants, whose wages were not influenced by their physical appearance. As a consequence of the common practice of slaves' sexual service in the cities where slavery was still practiced, the presence of children of slaves and masters in households gave rise to social pressures that diminished the demand for slaves within European households at the same time that slavery in European colonies was on the rise.

Keywords: sex; slave labor; sexual service; natural children

Article.  7271 words. 

Subjects: History ; Slavery and Abolition of Slavery ; Gender and Sexuality ; Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.