Mental Floss

History of the World: The Truth About Chastity Belts

Stacy Conradt
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Anyway, despite all of us knowing this, that's not how it really happened. The earliest such devices that have been found so far date from the 16th century, well after the Crusades. The chastity belt/Crusading knight idea was probably thought up in the 19th century by writers waxing poetic about love and battle in the Middle Ages.

There is evidence, though, that they used something called the brank or the Scold's Bridle. It was an iron cage with a tongue depressor that locked around the head. It was used on gossips and nags who had to wear the contraption in public as evidence of their wrongdoing.

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