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Liefde met hindernissen

Over ongewenste relaties in het verleden

Tijdschrift Justitiële verkenningen, Aflevering 4 2015
Trefwoorden marriage, partner choice, incest, homosexuality, cohabitation
Auteurs Prof. dr. J. Kok
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This articles offers an overview of four centuries of ‘forbidden relations’ in The Netherlands. From the late sixteenth century onwards, the dominant Calvinist church tried to ‘purify’ the Dutch nation by persecuting all forms of fornication, adultery, incest, and sodomy. The French period (1795-1813) separated church and state, and removed several forms of forbidden relations from the penal code. But social control on relations remained intense. An ‘ideal’ marriage was based on equality of the spouses in terms of social background, religion and age. Parents as well as the local community made sure young people made the ‘right’ choice. Competition between religious groups intensified in the late nineteenth century and mixed marriages became even more problematic. In the 1960s and 1970s all this began to change, and many rules and norms regarding partner choice were relaxed. An example of the changes over time are unmarried cohabitations which transformed from a crime (sanctioned by banishment) to deviant behaviour (sanctions through withholding poor relief) to a more or less normative ‘trial marriage’.


Prof. dr. J. Kok
Prof. dr. Jan Kok is als hoogleraar Economische, Sociale en Demografische geschiedenis verbonden aan de Radboud Universiteit in Nijmegen.

    In the nineteenth century in the Netherlands, tramps and beggars were sent to Veenhuizen to work there as a form of punishment and rehabilitation. To investigate the background of these banished men, the authors drew a systematic 5% sample out of 6.000 men who were banished between 1896-1901. Using information from the so-called ‘signalements’-cards that were compiled, the authors found that the Veenhuizen men were not uneducated, unskilled workers, but on the contrary, often had some kind of (semi-)skilled profession. Many did not have a permanent abode, and only a few had (ever) been married. At on average 45 years of age, the Veenhuizen convicts were old for the era they lived in. As such these men lacked and had probably at some point in their lives lost societal as well as social ties, and had gone adrift.
    Recidivism was high. While the Veenhuizen measure may have been effective in delivering society from the blemishes that these men represented, but in general it didn't turn these men into fully participating citizens.


M. Weevers
Drs. Marian Weevers is historica en is werkzaam als beleidsadviseur bij de afdeling sociaal en economisch beleid van de gemeente Leiden.

C. Bijleveld
Prof. dr. mr. Catrien Bijleveld is hoogleraar Methoden en Technieken van Criminologisch Onderzoek aan de Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam en senior onderzoeker bij het Nederlands Studiecentrum Criminaliteit en Rechtshandhaving in Leiden.
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