World War II is frequently read as a turning point in the construction of femininity. According to Marilyn Lake and others, during this period women were increasingly defined in terms of glamour and allure, and there was a new emphasis on youth, beauty and heterosexual attractiveness. The present article will complicate this view with an examination of sexuality after marriage. Through a reading of letters written by women themselves, it will suggest that for many white women in this period, heterosexuality remained tied to reproduction, rather than to sexual freedom or even sexual pleasure.
Australian Historical Studies Vol. 37, Issue 126, p. 234 - 252