Thesis Defense AnnouncementCollege of Arts and Sciences announces the Final Thesis Defense of
Amanda Castellano-Clarkfor the Degree of Master of Arts
October 18, 2019 at 02:00 PM in Mitchell Hall Room 100A
Advisor: Dr. Susan O'Donovan
The Rise of Male-Midwifery in Eighteenth Century London
ABSTRACT:This thesis aims to show how the field of British midwifery was changed through the rise of male-midwives during the eighteenth-century in London. Midwifery, which had previously been a female-only profession, came to be dominated by male-midwives who argued that males should be in charge of the field of midwifery due to the inherent "weakness" of the female sex and the supposed inadequate training of female midwives. In this thesis I will argue that male-midwives were able to assert their dominance through the development of tools such as the forceps, the establishment of courses about midwifery, and 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 would diminish the reputation of female midwives and would lead many upper and middle-class women to prefer having male-midwives oversee the process of labor and childbirth.