Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Sex on the front: prostitution and venereal disease in Russia’s First World War

Hearne, Siobhan


Siobhan Hearne


Prostitution flourished during Russia’s First World War. Mass mobilisation and the displacement of millions of the empire’s population challenged the tsarist state’s ability to control both the movement and bodies of those buying and selling sex. In light of this, military and medical authorities shifted their attention more directly onto regulating men's bodies. Wartime social turmoil also increased the visibility of prostitution, which saw many enlisted men lament the apparent ‘moral decline’ that they witnessed on the front. This article examines how the tsarist authorities grappled to control the bodies of its populace on Russia's western front, and how the conflict had an impact upon ideas of morality and sexuality.


Hearne, S. (in press). Sex on the front: prostitution and venereal disease in Russia’s First World War. Revolutionary Russia,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 12, 2016
Online Publication Date May 3, 2017
Deposit Date Apr 28, 2017
Publicly Available Date Nov 4, 2018
Journal Revolutionary Russia
Print ISSN 0954-6545
Electronic ISSN 1743-7873
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Revolutionary Russia on 03.05.2017, available online:


Downloadable Citations