The Journal of Caribbean History: Volume 39, Issue 2

Article 3
Forbidden Fruit: Pro-Slavery Attitudes Towards Enslaved Women’s Sexuality and Interracial Sex

Henrice Altink


This article analyses the pro-slavery debate about the sexuality of enslaved
women in Jamaica in the period 1770–1834. It shows that two images of
enslaved women dominated this debate and argues that these served primarily to displace fears about the viability of the plantation system. It also explores the link between the two images and the practices of interracial sex by comparing Jamaican attitudes towards interracial sex with those on the North American mainland. The conclusion links the analysis to the existing scholarship on proslavery discourse and describes some long-term effects of the two images of enslaved women’s sexuality.