Deviant sex in early modern Scotland

When & Where

History Scotland
Tuesday, 23 May 2023 - 6:30pm to 8:00pm
Online, Online, Online

Event Details

Early modern Scotland was a society notoriously obsessed with sex. Prudish church elders, it is often suggested, prowled the land, obsessively policing the sexual behaviour of their neighbours. A stereotype it might be, but there is more than a grain of truth to this image, as this talk by Dr Allan Kennedy will demonstrate.

Focusing on the 17th century, the talk will ask why sex was thought to be so dangerous, both for the individual and for the community at large. It will then map out the boundaries of 'acceptable' sexuality, while also discussing the range of behaviours - from fornication to adultery to incest - regarded as deviant. Finally, it will reflect on the various mechanisms by which transgression of the acceptable limits was punished, including through the efforts of the aforementioned elders.

Tickets £10. Book at


Rachel Bellerby



Event Location



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