I had a bit of an epiphany the other day while reading something that mentioned chastity belts. I think the usual image of a chastity belt today is something a woman wore to protect her from rapists, or at best, seducers. But this story reminded me that the father was the one who held the key. If the belt was all about protecting her from bad men, she could keep the key hidden somewhere. But that wasn’t it, or at least not all of it: the belt’s main purpose was to protect her from her own urges. It wasn’t about keeping her pure if the castle was stormed and she was carried off as booty; it was about making sure she didn’t strike up a dalliance with the stable boy and go too far.
Just another example of how people used to have a much more balanced view of male/female sexuality, and understood much better than we do today that women’s natures are just as sinful as men’s.