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Prostitutes and the My analysis of the representation of prostitutes reconstructs two master-narratives, which structured the reflection and writing on crime and deviance. Each of these created specific fears and anxieties related to prostitutes and affected the ways institutional responses to these fears were organized. I argue that the analysis of these narratives as part of a discursive practice provides a better understanding of the ways in which experts as well as lay people approached social problems, from both an intellectual and an institutional standpoint.
For criminals are an exception among civilized people, and women are an exception among criminals, the natural form of retrogression in women being prostitution and not crime. Even though Lombroso - and after him scholars such as Otto Weininger 3 - were among the first to express the stereotypical description of women as mothers and whores in scientific terms, they also took up the long-existing notion that female deviance was closely related to sexuality.
Even though moral statistics made gender-specific criminality rates more visible, criminologists played down the relevance of the low rate of female criminality by citing the results of their own observations about the lifestyles of women. They suggested that different living conditions, levels of education, and women's lack of physical strength caused this low level of criminality without giving women a higher moral capability 5.
In doing so, Lombroso transmuted the practical knowledge of early criminalistic writers, i. This can be seen in the writings both of scholars from various disciplines and of authors with practical experience in dealing with criminals, such as magistrates, detectives, and criminologists. From their perspective, male citizens betrayed the prospects of bourgeois society and decided more frequently to take a wrong approach to life, with serious consequences for the well-being of the social body.
Criminalists understood this decisive turn in the life of a citizen as a willful and conscious replacement of ethical principles by a faulty rationality - a decision which took place long before criminal acts were actually committed. German teacher, Jakob Friedrich Abel, used this configuration in an exemplary manner in his account of the life of Friedrich Schwahn - a well-known criminal of the second half of the eighteenth century. Abel was interested primarily in the psychological dynamics that had turned an ordinary citizen's son into a famous rogue.