Sexual Violence in History: A Bibliography

compiled by Stefan Blaschke


+ Aims & Scope

+ Structure

+ History


+ Updates

+ Calls for Papers

+ New Lectures

+ New Publications

Alphabetical Index

+ Author Index

+ Speaker Index

Chronological Index

+ Ancient History

+ Medieval History

+ Modern History

Geographical Index

+ African History

+ American History

+ Asian History

+ European History

+ Oceanian History

Topical Index

+ Prosecution

+ Cases

+ Types

+ Offenders

+ Victims

+ Society

+ Research

+ Representations


+ Institutions

+ Literature Search

+ Research

Start: Alphabetical Index: Speaker Index: A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

First published: August 8, 2020 – Last updated: August 8, 2020


Speaker: Patricia O'Brien

Title: Virtual war hero, indicted sex offende

Subtitle: Errol Flynn’s wartime persona shattered

Conference: Annual Meeting of the Australian Historical Association: The Scale of History (July 2-6, 2018)

Session: Sexuality and Military Service

Place: Australian National University, Canberra, Australia

Date: July 5, 2018

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 20th Century | American History: U.S. History | Prosecution: Trials; Cases: Real Offenders / Errol Flynn; Types: Rape / Statutory Rape; Victims: Age and Gender / Female Adolescents




Speaker: Patricia O'Brien, School of History, Australian National

Abstract: »This paper explores the layered identities of Australian-born actor Errol Flynn and its complication during World War II, juxtaposed against the progress of US and Australian forces in the Pacific. Despite being rejected for military service by the US early in the conflict, Flynn became a ‘virtual’ war hero through his film roles in the early 1940s, part of his self-fashioning as the epitome of a new kind of man exhibiting super-charged masculinity. In 1943, just after becoming a US citizen, Flynn was charged with the statutory rape of two girls and became the centre of high profile trial shattering his heroic film persona. Though ultimately acquitted, Flynn’s trial prompted massive media coverage rivaling that concerning the military conflict he had so recently personified in film. Moral outrage provoked by the accusations of carnal knowledge against Flynn was one aspect of a greater US struggle over morality at that time. It also became a personal turning point for Flynn who, confronted in the trial with external perspectives on his actions, was forced privately to renegotiate his identity along more conventional lines with questionable success.« (Source: Australian Historical Association)

Wikipedia: History of the Americas: History of the United States / History of the United States (1918–1945) | Sex and the law: Statutory rape / Errol Flynn, Rape in the United States