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There is really no percentage in spending a lot of one's time pursuing negative evidence that something wasn't so, but I have compiled a number of problems with the concept, including links to relevant discussions on the Histsex list, largely as regards the UK, here: http://www.lesleyahall.net/factoids.htm#hysteria. Not saying it never ever happened, but that it wasn't anything like as mainstream a practice as has been claimed. Are there lots of claims? It all seems to go back to Maines' Technology of Orgasm (and possibly articles she published before the book came out). It has become a popular belief that gets recirculated a lot, but I don't know that there has been any other study of any substance. Lesley Hall email@example.com<mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> www.lesleyahall.net<http://www.lesleyahall.net> lesleyahall.blogspot.co.uk