Enacted by reformers, radicals, and reactionaries, the drama of American sexual politics since the Civil War is as diverse and unpredictable as the nation's citizenry. In this collection of sixteen essays, the shifting tensions between sexual reform and repression are seen in historical explorations of men's and women's sexuality, of the sexual-social dynamics of lesbians and gay men, of the violent repression of African-American sexuality. The broad range of methodological approaches and perspectives make this multidisciplinary anthology an exciting contribution to the history of sexuality.
Included are Anthony S. Parent, Jr., and Susan Brown Wallace on childhood and sexual identity under slavery; Martha Hodes on white women and Black men in the South; Kevin J. Mumford on male sexual impotence and Victorian Culture; Jesse F. Battan on language, authority, and sexual desire; Joan Smith Iversen on the antipolygamy controversy, 1880-1890; Angus McLaren on sex radicalism in the Canadian Pacific Northwest, 1890-1920; Pamela S. Haag on ideologies of love, modern romance, and women's sexual subjectivity; Ann duCille on the novels of Jessie Fauset and Nella Larsen; Robyn Wiegman on the anatomy of lynching; Sonya Michel on sexuality in postwar films; Carole Joffe on abortion before legalization; Roy Cain on disclosure and secrecy among gay men; Joshua Gamson on condoms; Lillian Faderman on the return of butch and femme; Katherine Cummings on teaching AIDS; and Arthur Flannigan-Saint-Aubin on "black gay male" discourse.
This diverse overview of American sexual politics will interest students and scholars of the history of sexuality, gender studies, women's studies, and gay studies.
Ancient Sex: New Essays
Ruby Blondell and Kirk Ormand The Ohio State University Press, 2015 Library of Congress HQ13.A53 2015 | Dewey Decimal 306.7609495
Ancient Sex: New Essays presents groundbreaking work in a post-Foucauldian mode on sexuality, sexual identities, and gender identities in ancient Greece and Rome. Since the production of Foucault’s History of Sexuality, the field of classics has been caught in a recursive loop of argument regarding the existence—or lack thereof—of "sexuality" (particularly "homosexuality") as a meaningful cultural concept for ancient Greece and Rome. Much of the argument concerning these issues, however, has failed to engage with the central argument of Foucault’s work, namely, the assertion that sexuality as we understand it is the correlative of a historically specific form of medical and legal discourse that emerged only in the late nineteenth century.
Rather than reopening old debates, Ancient Sex takes up Foucault’s call for discursive analysis and elucidates some of the ways that ancient Greek and Roman texts and visual arts articulate a culturally specific discourse about sexual matters. Each contributor presupposes that sexual and gendered identities are discursively produced, and teases out some of the ways that the Greeks and Romans spoke and thought about these issues. Comprising essays by emerging and established scholars, this volume emphasizes in particular: sexual discourses about women; the interaction between sexual identities and class status; gender as an unstable discursive category (even in antiquity); and the relationships between ancient and modern sexual categories.
Judith Farquhar’s innovative study of medicine and popular culture in modern China reveals the thoroughly political and historical character of pleasure. Ranging over a variety of cultural terrains--fiction, medical texts, film and television, journalism, and observations of clinics and urban daily life in Beijing—Appetites challenges the assumption that the mundane enjoyments of bodily life are natural and unvarying. Farquhar analyzes modern Chinese reflections on embodied existence to show how contemporary appetites are grounded in history. From eating well in improving economic times to memories of the late 1950s famine, from the flavors of traditional Chinese medicine to modernity’s private sexual passions, this book argues that embodiment in all its forms must be invented and sustained in public reflections about personal and national life. As much at home in science studies and social theory as in the details of life in Beijing, this account uses anthropology, cultural studies, and literary criticism to read contemporary Chinese life in a materialist and reflexive mode. For both Maoist and market reform periods, this is a story of high culture in appetites, desire in collective life, and politics in the body and its dispositions.
Before the eighteenth-century rise of the ideology of intimacy, sexuality was defined not by social affiliations but by bodies. In Before Intimacy, Daniel Juan Gil examines sixteenth-century English literary concepts of sexuality that frame erotic ties as neither bound by social customs nor transgressive of them, but rather as “loopholes” in people’s experiences and associations.
Engaging the poems of Wyatt, Sidney’s Astrophil and Stella, Spenser’s Amoretti and The Faerie Queene, and Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida and the Sonnets, Gil demonstrates how sexuality was conceived as a relationship system inhabited by men and women interchangeably—set apart from the “norm” and not institutionalized in a private or domestic realm. Going beyond the sodomy-as-transgression analytic, he asserts the existence of socially inconsequential sexual bonds while recognizing the pleasurable effects of violating the supposed traditional modes of bonding and ideals of universal humanity and social hierarchy.
Celebrating the ability of corporeal emotions to interpret connections between people who share nothing in terms of societal structure, Before Intimacy shows how these works of early modern literature provide a discourse of sexuality that strives to understand status differences in erotic contexts and thereby question key assumptions of modernity.
Daniel Juan Gil is assistant professor of English at TCU.
Through photographs and detailed case histories, Unni Wikan explores the strict segregation of women, the wearing of the burqa mask, the elaborate nuptial rituals, and the graceful quality of Oman's social relations.
"Wikan does provide insights into the real position of these secluded and segregated women. . . . All this is interesting and valuable."—Ahdaf Soueif, Times Literary Supplement
"The book is detailed, insightful, and . . . engrossing. Anyone interested in the day-to-day triumphs and sorrows of women who live 'behind the veil' will want to read this account."—Arab Book World
"Wikan, a fine ethnographer, has an eye for everything that is distinctive about the culture and . . . builds up a wholly convincing picture. Above all, there is a sustained attempt to penetrate the inner lives of these strangely serene people."—Frank H. Stewart, Wilson Quarterly
"This book will certainly be of interest to all scholars concerned with sexual identity in the Islamic world."—Henry Munson, American Anthropologist
Why does society have difficulty discussing sexualities? Where does fear of Black sexualities emerge and how is it manifested? How can varied experiences of Black females and males who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT), or straight help inform dialogue and academic inquiry?
From questioning forces that have constrained sexual choices to examining how Blacks have forged healthy sexual identities in an oppressive environment, Black Sexualities acknowledges the diversity of the Black experience and the shared legacy of racism. Contributors seek resolution to Blacks' understanding of their lives as sexual beings through stories of empowerment, healing, self-awareness, victories, and other historic and contemporary life-course panoramas and provide practical information to foster more culturally relative research, tolerance, and acceptance.
With the arrival of the transcontinental railroad in the 1880s came the emergence of a modern and profoundly multicultural New Mexico. Native Americans, working-class Mexicans, elite Hispanos, and black and white newcomers all commingled and interacted in the territory in ways that had not been previously possible. But what did it mean to be white in this multiethnic milieu? And how did ideas of sexuality and racial supremacy shape ideas of citizenry and determine who would govern the region?
Coyote Nation considers these questions as it explores how New Mexicans evaluated and categorized racial identities through bodily practices. Where ethnic groups were numerous and—in the wake of miscegenation—often difficult to discern, the ways one dressed, bathed, spoke, gestured, or even stood were largely instrumental in conveying one's race. Even such practices as cutting one's hair, shopping, drinking alcohol, or embalming a deceased loved one could inextricably link a person to a very specific racial identity.
A fascinating history of an extraordinarily plural and polyglot region, Coyote Nation will be of value to historians of race and ethnicity in American culture.
Crossing over the Line describes the folly of the Mann Act of 1910—a United States law which made travel from one state to another by a man and a woman with the intent of committing an immoral act a major crime. Spawned by a national wave of "white slave trade" hysteria, the Act was created by the Congress of the United States as a weapon against forced prostitution.
This book is the first history of the Mann Act's often bizarre career, from its passage to the amendment that finally laid it low. In David J. Langum's hands, the story of the Act becomes an entertaining cautionary tale about the folly of legislating private morality.
Langum recounts the colorful details of numerous court cases to show how enforcement of the Act mirrored changes in America's social attitudes. Federal prosecutors became masters in the selective use of the Act: against political opponents of the government, like Charlie Chaplin; against individuals who eluded other criminal charges, like the Capone mobster "Machine Gun" Jack McGurn; and against black men, like singer Chuck Berry and boxer Jack Johnson, who dared to consort with white women. The Act engendered a thriving blackmail industry and was used by women like Frank Lloyd Wright's wife to extort favorable divorce settlements.
"Crossing over the Line is a work of scholarship as wrought by a civil libertarian, and the text . . . sizzles with the passion of an ardent believer in real liberty under reasonable laws."—Jonathan Kirsch, Los Angeles Times
Henry Abelove University of Minnesota Press, 2005 Library of Congress HQ76.3.U5A24 2003 | Dewey Decimal 306.7660973
Henry Abelove, literary critic, astute historian, and pioneer in queer studies, offers interdisciplinary views on the connections between politics, culture, and sexuality. Deep Gossip addresses the willful misreading of Freud's views on homosexuality among American psychoanalysts; reconsiders sexual practice during England's eighteenth century; assesses the contemporary relevance of Thoreau's Walden, particularly to queer politics; and traces the emergence of a queer critique of previous approaches to lesbian and gay history. Abelove uncovers the origins of American studies as a scholarly discipline and evaluates the impact of literature - specifically the same-sex eroticism found in works by such writers as James Baldwin, Elizabeth Bishop, Paul Bowles, and Ned Rorem - on the gay liberation movement of the 1970s. The essays gathered in Deep Gossip confirm Henry Abelove's reputation as one of America's leading thinkers on the cultural politics of sexuality.
Desired States challenges the notion that in some cultures, sex and sexuality have become privatized and located in individual subjectivity rather than in public political practices and institutions. Instead, the book contends that desire is a central aspect of political culture. Based on fieldwork and archival research, Frazier explores the gendered and sexualized dynamics of political culture in Chile, an imperialist context, asking how people connect with and become mobilized in political projects in some cases or, in others, become disaffected or are excluded to varying degrees. The book situates the state in a rich and changing context of transnational and localized movements, imperialist interests, geo-political conflicts, and market forces to explore the broader struggles of desiring subjects, especially in those dimensions of life that are explicitly sexual and amorous: free love movements, marriage, the sixties’ sexual revolution in Cold War contexts, prostitution policies, ideas about men’s gratification, the charisma of leaders, and sexual/domestic violence against women.
Over time, sexuality in America has changed dramatically. Frequently redefined and often subject to different systems of regulation, it has been used as a means of control; it has been a way to understand ourselves and others; and it has been at the center of fierce political storms, including some of the most crucial changes in civil rights in the last decade. Edited by Thomas A. Foster, Documenting Intimate Matters features seventy-two documents that collectively highlight the broad diversity inherent in the history of American sexuality.
Complementing the third edition of Intimate Matters, by John D’Emilio and Estelle B. Freedman—often hailed as the definitive survey of sexual history in America—the multiple narratives presented by these documents reveal the complexity of this subject in US history. The historical moments captured in this volume will show that, contrary to popular misconception, the history of sexuality is not a simple story of increased freedoms and sexual liberation, but an ongoing struggle between change and continuity.
Our lives are full of small tensions, our closest relationships full of struggle: between woman and man, artist and customer, purist and commercialist, professional and client—and between the dominant and the submissive.
In Dominatrix, Danielle Lindemann draws on extensive fieldwork and interviews with professional dominatrices in New York City and San Francisco to offer a sophisticated portrait of these unusual professionals, their work, and their clients. Prior research on sex work has focused primarily on prostitutes and most studies of BDSM absorb pro-domme/client relationships without exploring what makes them unique. Lindemann satisfies our curiosity about these paid encounters, shining a light on one of the most secretive and least understood of personal relationships and unthreading a heretofore unexamined patch of our social tapestry. Upending the idea that these erotic laborers engage in simple exchanges and revealing the therapeutic and analytic nature of their work, Lindemann makes a major contribution to cultural studies, anthropology, and queer studies with her analysis of how gender, power, sexuality, and hierarchy shape all of our social experiences.
Ethno-erotic Economies explores a fascinating case of tourism focused on sex and culture in coastal Kenya, where young men deploy stereotypes of African warriors to help them establish transactional sexual relationships with European women. In bars and on beaches, young men deliberately cultivate their images as sexually potent African men to attract women, sometimes for a night, in other cases for long-term relationships.
George Paul Meiu uses his deep familiarity with the communities these men come from to explore the long-term effects of markets of ethnic culture and sexuality on a wide range of aspects of life in rural Kenya, including kinship, ritual, gender, intimate affection, and conceptions of aging. What happens to these communities when young men return with such surprising wealth? And how do they use it to improve their social standing locally? By answering these questions, Ethno-erotic Economies offers a complex look at how intimacy and ethnicity come together to shape the pathways of global and local trade in the postcolonial world.
In Evolutionary Rhetoric, scholar Wendy Hayden provides a comprehensive examination of the relationship between scientific and feminist rhetorics in free-love feminism, studying the movement from its inception in the 1850s to its dark turn toward eugenics in the early 1900s. Hayden organizes her provocative study by scientific discipline—evolution, physiology, bacteriology, embryology, and heredity. Each chapter explores how free-love feminists adopted the evidence of that discipline in their arguments for increased sex education, women’s sexual rights, reproductive freedom, and the abolition of a marriage system that repressed the rights and the sexuality of women.
Hayden takes our conventional understanding of the relationship between nineteenth-century feminism and science and expands it. The author provides examples of the powerful words of free-love feminists to show exactly how these exceptional women used science as a rhetorical platform to promote feminist, and often radical, social reforms.
Considering why the free-love movement has not yet been studied, Hayden also discusses how the recovery of this movement may impact larger goals in the recovery of women’s rhetoric. This important and timely study of a long-forgotten movement adds to our understanding of the complexities of the history of feminism.
How have society's values and attitudes toward sexuality and morality changed over the centuries? Why and how has the state sought to criminalize certain forms of sexual behavior and to control reproduction? How have churches tried to influence the state in its regulation of sexuality?
This anthology encompasses a broad range of essays on sexuality spanning European history from the fifteenth century to the present. The topics in this collection of fifteen essays have both historic importance and current relevance. All crucial issues in the regulation of sexuality are addressed, from incest to infanticide, from breast-feeding and women's sexuality to female prostitution, from pornography to reproductive politics, and from the first homosexual rights movement to AIDS.
Contributions from a diverse group of prominent scholars representing a variety of disciplines are included in this anthology. Essays by Randolph Trumbach on "Sex, Gender, and Identity in Modern Culture: Male Sodomy and Female Prostitution in Enlightenment London"; Ruth Perry on "Colonizing the Breast: Sexuality and Maternity in Eighteenth Century England"; Theo van der Meer on "Female Same-Sex Offenders in Late Eighteenth Century Amsterdam"; Robin Ann Sheets on "Pornography, Fairy Tales, and Feminism: Angela Carter's 'The Bloody Chamber'"; and James W. Jones on "Discourses on and of AIDS in West Germany, 1986-1990."
Offering the most up-to-date scholarship from a significant and growing field, this collection is essential for both students and faculty in social history, family history, women's and gender studies, gay studies, sociology and literature.
Dennis Altman University of Chicago Press, 2001 Library of Congress HQ16.A38 2001 | Dewey Decimal 306.7
Global Sex is the first major work to take on the globalization of sexuality, examining the ways in which desire and pleasure—as well as ideas about gender, political power, and public health—are framed, shaped, or commodified by a global economy in which more and more cultures move into ever-closer contact.
In the first systematic documentation of New Guinea rituals of manhood, Gilbert Herdt places the homosexual customs of the Sambia in their ecological and ideological contexts while exploring what they mean to the individuals who practice them. Raising a host of issues concerning gender identity, hostility between the sexes, and the relationships between myth, culture, and personal experience, Herdt provides a vivid and convincing portrait of how Sambia men experience their sexual development.
In this book Sueann Caulfield explores the changing meanings of honor in early-twentieth-century Brazil, a period that saw an extraordinary proliferation of public debates that linked morality, modernity, honor, and national progress. With a close examination of legal theory on sexual offenses and case law in Rio de Janeiro from the end of World War I to the early years of the Estado Novo dictatorship, Caulfield reveals how everyday interpretations of honor influenced official attitudes and even the law itself as Brazil attempted to modernize. While some Brazilian elites used the issue of sexual purity to boast of their country’s moral superiority, others claimed that the veneration of such concepts as virginity actually frustrated efforts at modernization. Moreover, although individuals of all social classes invoked values they considered “traditional,” such as the confinement of women’s sexuality within marriage, these values were at odds with social practices—such as premarital sex, cohabitation, divorce, and female-headed households—that had been common throughout Brazil’s history. The persistence of these practices, together with post-World War I changes in both official and popular moral ideals, presented formidable obstacles to the Estado Novo’s renewed drive to define and enforce public morality and private family values in the late 1930s. With sophisticated theoretical underpinnings, In Defense of Honor is written in a clear and lively manner, making it accessible to students and scholars in a variety of disciplines, including Brazilian and Latin American studies, gender studies, and legal history.
The first full length study of the history of sexuality in America, Intimate Matters offers trenchant insights into the sexual behavior of Americans, from colonial times to today. D'Emilio and Freedman give us a deeper understanding of how sexuality has dramatically influenced politics and culture throughout our history.
"The book John D'Emilio co-wrote with Estelle B. Freedman, Intimate Matters, was cited by Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy when, writing for a majority of court on July 26, he and his colleagues struck down a Texas law criminalizing sodomy. The decision was widely hailed as a victory for gay rights—and it derived in part, according to Kennedy's written comments, from the information he gleaned from D'Emilio's book, which traces the history of American perspectives on sexual relationships from the nation's founding through the present day. The justice mentioned Intimate Matters specifically in the court's decision."—Julia Keller, Chicago Tribune
"Fascinating. . . . [D'Emilio and Freedman] marshall their material to chart a gradual but decisive shift in the way Americans have understood sex and its meaning in their lives." —Barbara Ehrenreich, New York Times Book Review
"With comprehensiveness and care . . . D'Emilio and Freedman have surveyed the sexual patterns for an entire nation across four centuries." —Martin Bauml Duberman, Nation
"Intimate Matters is comprehensive, meticulous and intelligent." —Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post Book World
"This book is remarkable. . . . [Intimate Matters] is bound to become the definitive survey of American sexual history for years to come." —Roy Porter, Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences
As the first full-length study of the history of sexuality in America, Intimate Matters offered trenchant insights into the sexual behavior of Americans from colonial times to the present. Now, twenty-five years after its first publication, this groundbreaking classic is back in a crucial and updated third edition. With new and extended chapters, D’Emilio and Freedman give us an even deeper understanding of how sexuality has dramatically influenced politics and culture throughout our history and into the present.
Hailed by critics for its comprehensive approach and noted by the US Supreme Court in the landmark Lawrence v. Texas ruling, this expanded new edition of Intimate Matters details the changes in sexuality and the ongoing growth of individual freedoms in the United States through meticulous research and lucid prose.
Praise for earlier editions
“The book John D’Emilio co-wrote with Estelle B. Freedman, Intimate Matters, was cited by Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy when, writing for a majority of court on July 26, he and his colleagues struck down a Texas law criminalizing sodomy. The decision was widely hailed as a victory for gay rights—and it derived in part, according to Kennedy's written comments, from the information he gleaned from this book.”—Julia Keller, Chicago Tribune
“Fascinating. . . . D’Emilio and Freedman marshal their material to chart a gradual but decisive shift in the way Americans have understood sex and its meaning in their lives.” —Barbara Ehrenreich, New York Times Book Review
“With comprehensiveness and care . . . D’Emilio and Freedman have surveyed the sexual patterns for an entire nation across four centuries.” —Martin Bauml Duberman, Nation
Plumbing the hearts of women and men in India and exploring the relations they engage in, Sudhir Kakar gives us the first full-length study of Indian sexuality. His groundbreaking work explores India's sexual fantasies and ideals, the "unlit stage of desire where so much of our inner theater takes place."
Kakar's sources are primarily textual, celebrating the primacy of the story in Indian life. He practices a cultural psychology that distills the psyches of individuals from the literary products and social institutions of Indian culture. These include examples of lurid contemporary Hindi novels; folktales; Sanskrit, Tamil, and Hindi proverbs; hits of the Indian cinema; Gandhi's autobiography; interviews with women from the slums of Delhi; and case studies from his own psychoanalytic practice. His attentive readings of these varied narratives from a vivid portrait of sexual fantasies and realities, reflecting the universality of sexuality as well as cultural nuances specific to India.
Moving from genre to genre, Kakar offers a brilliant reading of verses from the Laws of Manu, the original source of Hindu religious laws, to uncover their psychological foundations—male terror of the female sexual appetite that shields itself by idealizing women's maternal role. Kakar also examines the psychosexual history of Gandhi at length, though his near-lifelong celibacy makes him an atypical subject. Gandhi's story is universal, Kakar says, because "we all wage war on our wants."
In India's lore and tradition, complex symbols abound—snakes that take the shape of sensual women or handsome men, celibates sleep with naked women, gods rape their daughters, and a goddess fries a king in oil. With the analyst's "third ear," Kakar listens, decodes, and translates the psychological longings that find expression in Indian sexual relations.
This study brings together widely divergent discourses to fashion a comprehensive picture of sexual language and attitudes at a particular time and place in the medieval world.
John Baldwin introduces five representative voices from the turn of the twelfth century in northern France: Pierre the Chanter speaks for the theological doctrine of Augustine; the Prose Salernitan Questions, for the medical theories of Galen; Andre the Chaplain, for the Ovidian literature of the schools; Jean Renart, for the contemporary romances; and Jean Bodel, for the emerging voices of the fabliaux. Baldwin juxtaposes their views on a range of essential subjects, including social position, the sexual body, desire and act, and procreation. The result is a fascinating dialogue of how they agreed or disagreed with, ignored, imitated, or responded to each other at a critical moment in the development of European ideas about sexual desire, fulfillment, morality, and gender.
These spokesmen allow us into the discussion of sexuality inside the church and schools of the clergy, in high and popular culture of the leity. This heterogeneous discussion also offers a startling glimpse into the construction of gender specific to this moment, when men and women enjoyed equal status in sexual matters, if nowhere else.
Taken together, these voices extend their reach, encompass their subject, and point to a center where social reality lies. By articulating reality at its varied depths, this study takes its place alongside groundbreaking works by James Brundage, John Boswell, and Leah Otis in extending our understanding of sexuality and sexual behavior in the Middle Ages.
"Superb work. . . . These five kinds of discourse are not often treated together in scholarly writing, let alone compared and contrasted so well."—Edward Collins Vacek, Theological Studies
"[Baldwin] has made the five voices speak to us in a language that is at one and the same time familiar and alien in its resonance and accents. This is a truly exceptional book, interdisciplinary in the real sense of the word, which is surely destined to become a landmark in medieval studies."—Keith Busby, Bryn Mawr Reviews
"[Baldwin's] attempt to 'listen' to these distant voices and translate their language of sex into our own raises challenging methodological questions that will be of great interest to historians and literary scholars alike."—John P. Dalton, Comitatus
Delving into three hundred years of Chinese literature, from the mid-sixteenth century to the mid-nineteenth, The Libertine’s Friend uncovers the complex and fascinating history of male homosexual and homosocial relations in the late imperial era. Drawing particularly on overlooked works of pornographic fiction, Giovanni Vitiello offers a frank exploration of the importance of same-sex love and eroticism to the evolution of masculinity in China.
Vitiello’s story unfolds chronologically, beginning with the earliest sources on homoeroticism in pre-imperial China and concluding with a look at developments in the twentieth century. Along the way, he identifies a number of recurring characters—for example, the libertine scholar, the chivalric hero, and the lustful monk—and sheds light on a set of key issues, including the social and legal boundaries that regulated sex between men, the rise of male prostitution, and the aesthetics of male beauty. Drawing on this trove of material, Vitiello presents a historical outline of changing notions of male homosexuality in China, revealing the integral part that same-sex desire has played in its culture.
Having multiple wives was one of the mainstays of male privilege during the Ming and Qing dynasties of late imperial China. Based on a comprehensive reading of eighteenth-century Chinese novels and a theoretical approach grounded in poststructuralist, psychoanalytic, and feminist criticism, Misers, Shrews, and Polygamists examines how such privilege functions in these novels and provides the first full account of literary representations of sexuality and gender in pre-modern China. In many examples of rare erotic fiction, and in other works as well-known as Dream of the Red Chamber, Keith McMahon identifies a sexual economy defined by the figures of the "miser" and the "shrew"—caricatures of the retentive, self-containing man and the overflowing, male-enervating woman. Among these and other characters, the author explores the issues surrounding the practice of polygamy, the logic of its overvaluation of masculinity, and the nature of sexuality generally in Chinese society. How does the man with many wives manage and justify his sexual authority? Why and how might he escape or limit this presumed authority, sometimes to the point of portraying himself as abject before the shrewish woman? How do women accommodate or coddle the man, or else oppose, undermine, or remold him? And in what sense does the man place himself lower than the spiritually and morally superior woman? The most extensive English-language study of Chinese literature from the eighteenth century, this examination of polygamy will interest not only students of Chinese history, culture, and literature but also all those concerned with histories of gender and sexuality.
"Brings together some of the most recent and innovative writing on the history of sexuality and explores the experiences, ideas and conflicts that have shaped the emergence of modern sexual identities."
Passion and Power brings together some of the most recent and innovative writings on the history of sexuality and explores the experiences, ideas, and conflicts that have shaped the emergence of modern sexual identities. Arguing that sexuality is not an unchanging biological reality or a universal natural force, the essays in this volume discuss sexuality as an integral part of the history of human experience. Articles on sexual assault, homosexuality, birth control, venereal disease, sexual repression, pornography, and the AIDS epidemic examine the ways that sexuality has become a core element of modern social identity in the nineteenth- and twentieth-century United States.
It is only in recent years that historians have begun to examine the social construction of sexuality. This is the first anthology that addresses this issue from a radical historical perspective, examining sexuality as a field of contention in itself and as part of other struggles rooted in divisions of gender, class, and race.
Part I: Sexuality and Historical Meaning
1. Passion and Power: An Introdtion - Kathy Peiss and Christina Simmons
2. Sexual Matters: On Conceptualizing Sexuality in History - Robert A. Padgug
Part II: The Emergence of Modern Sexuality, 1790 to 1930
3. "The Life of a Citizen in the Hands of a Woman": Sexual Assault in New York City, 1790 to 1820 - Marybeth Hamilton Arnold
4. "Charity Girls" and City Pleasurer: Historical Notes on Working Class Sexuality, 1880-1920 - Kathy Peiss
5. Movements of Affirmation: Sexual Meanings and Homosexual Identities - Jeffrey Weeks
6. From Sexual Inversion to Homosexuality: The Changing Medical Conceptualization of Female "Deviance" - George Chauncey, Jr.
7. "We Were a Little Band of Willful Women": The Heterodoxy Club of Greenwich Village - Judith Schwartz, Kathy Peiss, and Christina Simmons
8. The Black Community and the Birth Control Movement - Jessie M. Rodrique
Part III: Sexual Conflicts and Cultural Authority, 1920 to 1960
9. Modern Sexuality and the Myrh of Victorian Repression - Christina Simmons
10. Venereal Disease: The Wages of Sin? - Elizabeth Fee
11. "Uncontrolled Desires": The Response to the Sexual Psychopath, 1920-1960 - Estelle B. Freedman
12. The Homosexual Menace: The Politics of Sexuality in Cold War America - John D'Emilio
13. The Reproduction of Butch-Fern Roles: A Social Constructionist Approach - Elizabeth Lapovsky Kennedy and Madeline Davis
Part IV: Private Passions and Public Debate, 1960 to the Present
14. Mass Market Romance: Pornography for Women Is Different - Ann Barr Snitow
15. (De)Constructing Pornography: Feminisms in Conflict - Duphne Read
16. Gay Villain, Gay Hero: Homosexuality and the Social Construction of AIDS - Robert A. Padgug
About the Author(s)
Kathy Peiss is Associate Professor of History and Women's Studies at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and author of Cheap Amusements: Working Women and Leisure in Turn-of-the-century New York (Temple).
Christina Simmons is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Cincinnati-Raymond Walters College.
Who am I? The question today haunts every society in the Western world.
Legions of people—especially the young—have become unmoored from a firm sense of self. To compensate, they join the ranks of ideological tribes spawned by identity politics and react with frenzy against any perceived threat to their group.
As identitarians track and expose the ideologically impure, other citizens face the consequences of their rancor: a litany of “isms” run amok across all levels of cultural life; the free marketplace of ideas muted by agendas shouted through megaphones; and a spirit of general goodwill warped into a state of perpetual outrage.
How did we get here? Why have we divided against one another so bitterly? In Primal Screams, acclaimed cultural critic Mary Eberstadt presents the most provocative and original theory to come along in recent years. The rise of identity politics, she argues, is a direct result of the fallout of the sexual revolution, especially the collapse and shrinkage of the family.
As Eberstadt illustrates, humans from time immemorial have forged their identities within the structure of kinship. The extended family, in a real sense, is the first tribe and first teacher. But with its unprecedented decline across a variety of measures, generations of people have been set adrift and can no longer answer the question Who am I? with reference to primordial ties. Desperate for solidarity and connection, they claim membership in politicized groups whose displays of frantic irrationalism amount to primal screams for familial and communal loss.
Written in her impeccable style and with empathy rarely encountered in today’s divisive discourse, Eberstadt’s theory holds immense explanatory power that no serious citizen can afford to ignore. The book concludes with three incisive essays by Rod Dreher, Mark Lilla, and Peter Thiel, each sharing their perspective on the author’s formidable argument.
In The Queen of America Goes to Washington City, Lauren Berlant focuses on the need to revitalize public life and political agency in the United States. Delivering a devastating critique of contemporary discourses of American citizenship, she addresses the triumph of the idea of private life over that of public life borne in the right-wing agenda of the Reagan revolution. By beaming light onto the idealized images and narratives about sex and citizenship that now dominate the U.S. public sphere, Berlant argues that the political public sphere has become an intimate public sphere. She asks why the contemporary ideal of citizenship is measured by personal and private acts and values rather than civic acts, and the ideal citizen has become one who, paradoxically, cannot yet act as a citizen—epitomized by the American child and the American fetus. As Berlant traces the guiding images of U.S. citizenship through the process of privatization, she discusses the ideas of intimacy that have come to define national culture. From the fantasy of the American dream to the lessons of Forrest Gump, Lisa Simpson to Queer Nation, the reactionary culture of imperilled privilege to the testimony of Anita Hill, Berlant charts the landscape of American politics and culture. She examines the consequences of a shrinking and privatized concept of citizenship on increasing class, racial, sexual, and gender animosity and explores the contradictions of a conservative politics that maintains the sacredness of privacy, the virtue of the free market, and the immorality of state overregulation—except when it comes to issues of intimacy. Drawing on literature, the law, and popular media, The Queen of America Goes to Washington City is a stunning and major statement about the nation and its citizens in an age of mass mediation. As it opens a critical space for new theory of agency, its narratives and gallery of images will challenge readers to rethink what it means to be American and to seek salvation in its promise.
In August 1934, young Cyril L. wrote to his friend Billy about all the exciting men he had met, the swinging nightclubs he had visited, and the vibrant new life he had forged for himself in the big city. He wrote, "I have only been queer since I came to London about two years ago, before then I knew nothing about it." London, for Cyril, meant boundless opportunities to explore his newfound sexuality. But his freedom was limite: he was soon arrested, simply for being in a club frequented by queer men.
Cyril's story is Matt Houlbrook's point of entry into the queer worlds of early twentieth-century London. Drawing on previously unknown sources, from police reports and newspaper exposés to personal letters, diaries, and the first queer guidebook ever written, Houlbrook here explores the relationship between queer sexualities and modern urban culture that we take for granted today. He revisits the diverse queer lives that took hold in London's parks and streets; its restaurants, pubs, and dancehalls; and its Turkish bathhouses and hotels—as well as attempts by municipal authorities to control and crack down on those worlds. He also describes how London shaped the culture and politics of queer life—and how London was in turn shaped by the lives of queer men. Ultimately, Houlbrook unveils the complex ways in which men made sense of their desires and who they were. In so doing, he mounts a sustained challenge to conventional understandings of the city as a place of sexual liberation and a unified queer culture.
A history remarkable in its complexity yet intimate in its portraiture, Queer London is a landmark work that redefines queer urban life in England and beyond.
“A ground-breaking work. While middle-class lives and writing have tended to compel the attention of most historians of homosexuality, Matt Houlbrook has looked more widely and found a rich seam of new evidence. It has allowed him to construct a complex, compelling account of interwar sexualities and to map a new, intimate geography of London.”—Matt Cook, The Times Higher Education Supplement
Winner of History Today’s Book of the Year Award, 2006
Sex and Gender Section Award for Distinguished Contribution to the Study of Sex and Gender, American Sociological Association, 1995
This volume of essays sharply questions current knowledge and ideas about sexuality, social theory, and public policy research on sexuality. The contributors, internationally recognized scholars and activists from Australia, examine the dominant research models from the United States and Western Europe and propose a new perspective, one sensitive to the social construction of sexuality and its research and to variation in sexual practices across cultures.
Addressing the debates over sexual conduct from contraception to AIDS prevention, Rethinking Sex provides a systematic examination of the social dimensions of sexuality. Social theory, public policy analysis, and historical and survey research are applied to issues ranging from AIDS and gay identity to perceptions of women's sexuality and relations between the state and private sexual behavior.
"Sexuality is a major theme in our culture, from the surf video to the opera stage to the papal encyclical. It is, accordingly, one of the major themes of the human sciences, and figures as weighty as Darwin and Freud have made major contributions to it. Social research has, over the last hundred years, produced crucially important evidence for the understanding of sexuality. But social theory has been slow to grapple with the issue, to give it the sophisticated attention that has been devoted to questions of production or of communication.
"We are convinced that an adequate social theory of sexuality is essential for progress on 'applied' issues, such as the design of research on the social transmission of human immunodefiency virus (HIV). This chapter attempts a mapping exercise, sorting out the major intellectual frameworks that have governed Western thinking about sexuality. We discuss first the religious and scientific nativism that dominated the field into the twentieth century, the problems this approach ran into, and the rise of social construction approaches to sexuality. We discuss the impasse that social constructionism has reached. In the final part of the chapter we sketch the outline of an approach which can move past these difficulties."
--From Chapter 3, "'The Unclean Motion of the Generative Parts': Frameworks in Western Thought on Sexuality"
Few cultures have received as much attention in the study of erotic desire, sexuality, and gender as the Sambia of Papua New Guinea. Here, for the first time, is a collection of groundbreaking essays and a new introduction on the Sambia's sexual culture by the renowned anthropologist Gilbert Herdt.
Over the course of 20 years, Herdt made 13 field trips to live with the Sambia in order to understand sexuality and ritual in the context of warfare and gender segregation. Herdt's essays examine Sambia fetish and fantasy, ritual nose-bleeding, the role of homoerotic insemination, the role of the father and mother in the process of identity formation, and the creation of a "third sex" in nature and culture. He also discusses the representation of homosexuality in cross-cultural literature on premodern societies, arguing that scholars have long viewed desires through the tropes of negative western models. Herdt asks us to reconsider the realities and subjective experiences of desires in their own context, and to rethink how the homoerotic is expressed in radically divergent sexual cultures.
Sex and Reason
Richard A. POSNER Harvard University Press, 1992 Library of Congress HQ16.P67 1992 | Dewey Decimal 306.7
Sexual drives are rooted in biology, but we don't act on them blindly. Indeed, as the eminently readable judge and legal scholar Richard Posner shows, we make quite rational choices about sex, based on the costs and benefits perceived.
Drawing on the fields of biology, law, history, religion, and economics, this sweeping study examines societies from ancient Greece to today's Sweden and issues from masturbation, incest taboos, date rape, and gay marriage to Baby M. The first comprehensive approach to sexuality and its social controls, Posner's rational choice theory surprises, explains, predicts, and totally absorbs.
Table of Contents:
Part One: The History of Sexuality
1. Theoretical Sexology The Development of the Field Social Constructionism (with a Glance at Gender Disorders) Other Threads in the Multidisciplinary Tapestry 2. Autres Temps, Autres Moeurs The History of Western Sexual Mores The Sexual Mores of Non-Western Cultures 3. Sexuality and Law
Part Two: A Theory of Sexuality
4. The Biology of Sex The Biological Basis and Character of "Normal" Sex The Biology of "Deviant" Sex Conclusion and Critique 5. Sex and Rationality The Benefits of Sex The Costs of Sex Complementarity of Sexual Practices 6. The History of Sexuality from the Perspective of Economics Greek Love and the Institutionalization of Pederasty Monasticism, Puritanism, and Christian Sex Ethics Swedish Permissiveness Three Stages in the Evolution of Sexual Morality 7. Optimal Regulation of Sexuality The Model of Morally Indifferent Sex Elaborated The Externalities of Sex Incest and Revulsion The Efficacy of Sexual Regulations Designing an Optimal Punishment Scheme for Sex Crimes The Political Economy of Sexual Regulation 8. Moral Theories of Sexuality Are Moral Theories Falsifiable? Christian and Liberal Theories of Sex Sexual Radicals
Part Three: The Regulation of Sexuality
9. Marriage and the Channeling of Sex Restrictions on Marrying Regulating Nonmarital Sex 10. The Control of Pregnancy Contraception Abortion 11. Homosexuality: The Policy Questions The Phenomenon Reconsidered Relations between Consenting Adults: Sodomy Laws and Homosexual Marriage Discrimination against Homosexuals, with Particular Reference to Military Service 12. The Sexual Revolution in the Courts From Griswold v. Connecticut to Roe v. Wade Bowers v. Hardwick and Beyond 13. Erotic Art, Pornography, and Nudity The Economy of Erotic Representation The Social Consequences of Pornography Deciding What-If Anything-to Punish 14. Coercive Sex Sexual Abuse of Adults Sexual Abuse of Children 15. Separating Reproduction from Sex Adoption Artificial Insemination and the Issue of Surrogate Motherhood Eugenics and Population
Conclusion Acknowledgements Index
Reviews of this book: [Posner] is one of the most distinguished and prolific legal thinkers of his generation [and this is an] extraordinary book...Like [George Bernard] Shaw, he combines a passion for exposing humbug and pseudo-profundity with an odd but genuine sort of social compassion, a delight in shocking the self-righteous with a love of human diversity and freedom...We will remember, and profit by, the wit and the courage of his attacks on bigotry, folly, and cruelty. --Martha C. Nussbaum, New Republic
Reviews of this book: An incisive tour through theories of sexuality and legal regulation of such matters as marriage, pregnancy, homosexuality, sexual revolution in the courts, erotic art, pornography and nudity, sexual abuse, and the separation of reproduction from sex...At a time when intellectual shoddiness permeates our highest court, [Posner] is a true philosopher of law. --Carlin Romano, Washington Post Book World
Sex and Salvation chronicles the coming of age of a generation of women in Tamatave in the years that followed Madagascar’s economic liberalization. Eager to forge a viable future amid poverty and rising consumerism, many young women have entered the sexual economy in hope of finding a European husband. Just as many Westerners believe that young people break with the past as they enter adulthood, Malagasy citizens fear that these women have severed the connection to their history and culture.
Jennifer Cole’s elegant analysis shows how this notion of generational change is both wrong and consequential. It obscures the ways young people draw on long-standing ideas of gender and sexuality, it ignores how urbanites relate to their rural counterparts, and it neglects the relationship between these husband-seeking women and their elders who join Pentecostal churches. And yet, as talk about the women circulates through the city’s neighborhoods, bars, Internet cafes, and churches, it teaches others new ways of being.
Cole’s sophisticated depiction of how a generation’s coming of age contributes to social change eschews a narrow focus on crisis. Instead, she reveals how fantasies of rupture and conceptions of the changing life course shape the everyday ways that people create the future.
A revolution in gender relations occurred in London around 1700, resulting in a sexual system that endured in many aspects until the sexual revolution of the 1960s. For the first time in European history, there emerged three genders: men, women, and a third gender of adult effeminate sodomites, or homosexuals. This third gender had radical consequences for the sexual lives of most men and women since it promoted an opposing ideal of exclusive heterosexuality.
In Sex and the Gender Revolution, Randolph Trumbach reconstructs the worlds of eighteenth-century prostitution, illegitimacy, sexual violence, and adultery. In those worlds the majority of men became heterosexuals by avoiding sodomy and sodomite behavior.
As men defined themselves more and more as heterosexuals, women generally experienced the new male heterosexuality as its victims. But women—as prostitutes, seduced servants, remarrying widows, and adulterous wives— also pursued passion. The seamy sexual underworld of extramarital behavior was central not only to the sexual lives of men and women, but to the very existence of marriage, the family, domesticity, and romantic love. London emerges as not only a geographical site but as an actor in its own right, mapping out domains where patriarchy, heterosexuality, domesticity, and female resistance take vivid form in our imaginations and senses.
As comprehensive and authoritative as it is eloquent and provocative, this book will become an indispensable study for social and cultural historians and delightful reading for anyone interested in taking a close look at sex and gender in eighteenth-century London.
Sex in Development examines how development projects around the world intended to promote population management, disease prevention, and maternal and child health intentionally and unintentionally shape ideas about what constitutes “normal” sexual practices and identities. From sex education in Uganda to aids prevention in India to family planning in Greece, various sites of development work related to sex, sexuality, and reproduction are examined in the rich, ethnographically grounded essays in this volume. These essays demonstrate that ideas related to morality are repeatedly enacted in ostensibly value-neutral efforts to put into practice a “global” agenda reflecting the latest medical science.
Sexin Development combines the cultural analysis of sexuality, critiques of global development, and science and technology studies. Whether considering the resistance encountered by representatives of an American pharmaceutical company attempting to teach Russian doctors a “value free” way to offer patients birth control or the tension between Tibetan Buddhist ideas of fertility and the modernization schemes of the Chinese government, these essays show that attempts to make sex a universal moral object to be managed and controlled leave a host of moral ambiguities in their wake as they are engaged, resisted, and reinvented in different ways throughout the world.
Sex in the Heartland
Beth L. BAILEY Harvard University Press, 1999 Library of Congress HQ18.M53B35 1999 | Dewey Decimal 306.70977
Sex in the Heartland is the story of the sexual revolution in a small university town in the quintessential heartland state of Kansas. Bypassing the oft-told tales of radicals and revolutionaries on either coast, Beth Bailey argues that the revolution was forged in towns and cities alike, as "ordinary" people struggled over the boundaries of public and private sexual behavior in postwar America.
Bailey fundamentally challenges contemporary perceptions of the revolution as simply a triumph of free love and gay lib. Rather, she explores the long-term and mainstream changes in American society, beginning in the economic and social dislocations of World War II and the explosion of mass media and communication, which aided and abetted the sexual upheaval of the 1960s. Focusing on Lawrence, Kansas, we discover the intricacies and depth of a transformation that was nurtured at the grass roots.
Americans used the concept of revolution to make sense of social and sexual changes as they lived through them. Everything from the birth control pill and counterculture to Civil Rights, was conflated into "the revolution," an accessible but deceptive simplification, too easy to both glorify and vilify. Bailey untangles the radically different origins, intentions, and outcomes of these events to help us understand their roles and meanings for sex in contemporary America. She argues that the sexual revolution challenged and partially overturned a system of sexual controls based on oppression, inequality, and exploitation, and created new models of sex and gender relations that have shaped our society in powerful and positive ways.
Table of Contents: Introduction
Before the Revolution Sex and the Therapeutic Culture Responsible Sex Prescribing the Pill Revolutionary Intent Sex as a Weapon Sex and Liberation Remaking Sex
Abbreviations Notes Acknowledgments Index
Reviews of this book: [A] vivid reminder of just how national and chaotic the events we call 'the sixties' really were...Bailey's exploration of the sexual revolution offers a subtler sense of the underlying forces of that era, which unified even while dividing a nation and, ultimately, the world. --Tom Engelhardt, The Nation
Reviews of this book: [Beth Bailey's] applied research here is interesting, imaginative and compassionate, and the final treat is that Bailey is a very good writer. Sex in the Heartland is simply a fascinating read. I'm sorry I can't call her up and congratulate her on this book in person...[This book is] beautifully shaped, carefully thought out, a treasury of useful information. --Carolyn See, Washington Post
Reviews of this book: One of the great strengths of this book is Bailey's ability to make local characters, institutions and fights vital and compelling, all the while keeping an eye on the broader issues at stake. She gives us a vivid portrait of one university town in transition and a case study for U.S. social history. A cast of local characters comes alive...Virtually every chapter has surprising, subtle turns in which Bailey's thesis of historical paradox and unintended consequences is amply demonstrated. --Maureen McLane, Chicago Tribune
Reviews of this book: Published by the prestigious Harvard University Press, the book suggests that out-of-the-mainstream states such as Kansas actually were on the cutting edge of the nation's sexual revolution during the early 1960s. --Matt Moline, Capital-Journal
Reviews of this book: "[Bailey] points out that those who claim the radical nature of the [sexual] revolution may be surprised by just how deep-seated and mainstream the origins of many of those revolutionary changes were." --Philip Godwin, M.D., Journal-World
Reviews of this book: "Bailey examines the 20th-century 'sexual revolution' as it played out in the midwestern college town of Lawrence, Kansas...Bailey is especially perceptive on the ambivalent and conflicted relationship of both the feminist and gay rights movements to the sexual revolution. She also has strong sections on the birth control pill and other moremundane but long-lasting changes in American sexual culture...[A] fascinating and impressive book." --K. Blaser, Choice
In 1994, the University of Chicago Press published the landmark study The Social Organization of Sexuality, "the most important survey since the Kinsey report," according to Time magazine. Based on data collected from the National Health and Social Life Survey, this heralded book answered hundreds of questions about the state of sex in America: how widespread is extramarital sex? how do women's sexual lives differ from men's? how do social factors such as education, race, and religion affect sexual conduct? While amazingly comprehensive, this earlier volume was devoted primarily to establishing baseline statistics and information. Two authors of that study, Edward O. Laumann and Robert T. Michael, now bring together the result of deeper research into and analysis of the information presented in the 1994 volume. The result, Sex, Love, and Health in America, is a companion to The Social Organization of Sexuality and furthers our understanding of Americans' sexual practices.
Sixteen researchers have contributed essays to this collection that explore controversial topics, including teenage sexuality, sexual contact between children and adults, abortion, the role of cohabitation in the sexual satisfaction of couples, and how sexual behavior has changed in response to AIDS, as well as a widely heralded examination of circumcision, reported in the New York Times, which discusses the effects of the procedure on disease transmission and the preference for certain sexual practices. In its analysis, policy recommendations, and revelations about private practices, Sex, Love, and Health in America will, like the earlier volume, have a major role in shaping the discussion about American sexual behavior.
Sex in the field—the dilemma of whether to cover up or display sexual identities and desires during the course of anthropological fieldwork—is one of the best-kept secrets in the discipline. Contending that the conventional pose of a genderless, asexual, ethnographic researcher is impossible to sustain, this volume brings sex and sexuality into the open as essential components of ethnographic study that must be overtly recognized and proactively addressed. Sex, Sexuality, and the Anthropologist recounts the real-life experiences of anthropologists who are forced to acknowledge that their hosts in the field view them as gendered beings in a social context, not as asexual, objective observers. Far from controlling the research environment and defining the terms of interviewer-informant relationships, these researchers find they must engage in a process of negotiating their position—including their sexual position—within the communities they study.
Ranging from public baths in Austria to lesbian bars in Taiwan and from Mexico to Nigeria to Finland to Japan, Sex, Sexuality, and the Anthropologist raises critical questions about ethnographers' reflexivity, subjectivity, and detachment, confronting the challenge of a holistic approach to the anthropological enterprise.
In the late modern period, an unprecedented expansion of specialized erotic worlds has transformed the domain of intimate life. Organized by appetites and dispositions related to race, ethnicity, class, gender, and age, these erotic worlds are arenas of sexual exploration but, also, sites of stratification and dominion wherein actors vie for partners, social significance, and esteem. These are what Adam Isaiah Green calls sexual fields, which represent a semblance of social life for which he offers a groundbreaking new framework.
To build on the sexual fields framework, Green has gathered a distinguished group of scholars who together make a strong case for sexual field theory as the first systematic theoretical innovation since queer theory in the sociology of sexuality. Expanding on the work of Bourdieu, Green and contributors develop this distinctively sociological approach for analyzing collective sexual life, where much of the sexual life of our society resides today. Coupling field theory with the ethnographic and theoretical expertise of some of the most important scholars of sexual life at work today, Sexual Fields offers a game-changing approach that will revolutionize how sociologists analyze and make sense of contemporary sexual life for years to come.
The Sexual Organization of the City
Edited by Edward O. Laumann, Stephen Ellingson, Jenna Mahay, Anthony Paik, and Y University of Chicago Press, 2004 Library of Congress HQ18.U5S495 2004 | Dewey Decimal 306.70977311
We think of the city as a place where anything goes. Take the sensational fantasies and lurid antics of single women on Sex in the City or young men on Queer as Folk, and you might imagine the city as some kind of sexual playground—a place where you can have any kind of sex you want, with whomever you like, anytime or anywhere you choose.
But in The Sexual Organization of the City, Edward Laumann and company argue that this idea is a myth. Drawing on extensive surveys and interviews with Chicago adults, they show that the city is—to the contrary—a place where sexual choices and options are constrained. From Wicker Park and Boys Town to the South Side and Pilsen, they observe that sexual behavior and partnering are significantly limited by such factors as which neighborhood you live in, your ethnicity, what your sexual preference might be, or the circle of friends to which you belong. In other words, the social and institutional networks that city dwellers occupy potentially limit their sexual options by making different types of sexual activities, relationships, or meeting places less accessible.
To explain this idea of sex in the city, the editors of this work develop a theory of sexual marketplaces—the places where people look for sexual partners. They then use this theory to consider a variety of questions about sexuality: Why do sexual partnerships rarely cross racial and ethnic lines, even in neighborhoods where relatively few same-ethnicity partners are available? Why do gay men and lesbians have few public meeting spots in some neighborhoods, but a wide variety in others? Why are African Americans less likely to marry than whites? Does having a lot of friends make you less likely to get a sexually transmitted disease? And why do public health campaigns promoting safe sex seem to change the behaviors of some, but not others?
Considering vital questions such as these, and shedding new light on the city of Chicago, this work will profoundly recast our ideas about human sexual behavior.
Gregory Carleton offers a comprehensive literary and cultural history of sex and society in the Soviet Union during the 1920s. The Bolshevik Revolution promised a total transformation of Russian society, down to its most intimate details. But in the years immediately following 1917, it was by no means clear how this would come about. Sex and sexuality became a crucial battleground for debates about the Soviet future, and literature emerged as a primary domain through which sex could be imagined and discussed.
Despite optimistic claims that bolshevism would overcome bourgeois depravity, the writings of the 1920s in all genres were awash in sexual adventure, promiscuity, various chauvinisms, date and gang rape, unwanted pregnancy, and sexually transmitted diseases, as well as sex-related alcohol abuse, depression, and suicide. In discussions about sex, party officials contradicted themselves, sociologists grappled with difficult social problems, and writers experimented in fictional form with modern identities and relationships.
Drawing on an uncommonly varied body of sources, including novels, journals, diaries, sociological research, public health brochures, surveys, and party documents-many examined here for the first time in English-Carleton reveals the dramatic, bizarre, and intriguing ways the sexual revolution was discussed and represented. Amidst this chaos, he discerns a historical process of codification and reaction, leading ultimately to the quelling of debate in the 1930s through the harsh dictates of Stalinism.
Sexual Revolution in Bolshevik Russia challenges Western writers who portray revolutionary Russia as either prudish or hedonistic by reconstructing a fuller picture of what circulated in Bolshevik culture and why. Carleton brings a complex human dimension to the subject, demonstrating that this controversy should not be viewed as a sideshow curiosity, but rather as a central aspect of the dramatic debates on early Soviet literature and culture.
In Sins against Nature Zeb Tortorici explores the prosecution of sex acts in colonial New Spain (present-day Mexico, Guatemala, the US Southwest, and the Philippines) to examine the multiple ways bodies and desires come to be textually recorded and archived. Drawing on the records from over three hundred criminal and Inquisition cases between 1530 and 1821, Tortorici shows how the secular and ecclesiastical courts deployed the term contra natura—against nature—to try those accused of sodomy, bestiality, masturbation, erotic religious visions, priestly solicitation of sex during confession, and other forms of "unnatural" sex. Archival traces of the visceral reactions of witnesses, the accused, colonial authorities, notaries, translators, and others in these records demonstrate the primacy of affect and its importance to the Spanish documentation and regulation of these sins against nature. In foregrounding the logic that dictated which crimes were recorded and how they are mediated through the colonial archive, Tortorici recasts Iberian Atlantic history through the prism of the unnatural while showing how archives destabilize the bodies, desires, and social categories on which the history of sexuality is based.
Discussions of sexuality in Asia and the Pacific have long been tinged with conceptions of the exotic Orient. Examining a world of erotic encounter between European, Asian, and Pacific people, these essays explore how sexual practices and sexual meanings have been constructed across cultural borders in Thailand, the Philippines, Burma/Myanmar, Japan, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, and the Polynesian islands. Considering sexuality as embedded in a complex social and political world structured and saturated by gender, race, and class relations, these scholars challenge the categories with which sex and gender have been named and studied. They examine these sites of desire through specific historic and cultural circumstances, from the first explorations of Europeans, through colonial power, to the contemporary issues of sexual tourism, prostitution, and the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
A unique and important contribution to the study of sexuality, this book also suggests that the history of sexuality in the West was shaped by myths of the legendary Orient and the exotic "Other."
Sex is beyond reason, and yet we constantly reason about it. So, too, did the peoples of ancient Greece and Rome. But until recently there has been little discussion of their views on erotic experience and sexual ethics.
The Sleep of Reason brings together an international group of philosophers, philologists, literary critics, and historians to consider two questions normally kept separate: how is erotic experience understood in classical texts of various kinds, and what ethical judgments and philosophical arguments are made about sex? From same-sex desire to conjugal love, and from Plato and Aristotle to the Roman Stoic Musonius Rufus, the contributors demonstrate the complexity and diversity of classical sexuality. They also show that the ethics of eros, in both Greece and Rome, shared a number of commonalities: a focus not only on self-mastery, but also on reciprocity; a concern among men not just for penetration and display of their power, but also for being gentle and kind, and for being loved for themselves; and that women and even younger men felt not only gratitude and acceptance, but also joy and sexual desire.
* Eva Cantarella
* Kenneth Dover
* Chris Faraone
* Simon Goldhill
* Stephen Halliwell
* David M. Halperin
* J. Samuel Houser
* Maarit Kaimio
* David Konstan
* David Leitao
* Martha C. Nussbaum
* A. W. Price
* Juha Sihvola
During Prohibition, “Harlem was the ‘in’ place to go for music and booze,” recalled the African American chanteuse Bricktop. “Every night the limousines pulled up to the corner,” and out spilled affluent whites, looking for a good time, great jazz, and the unmatchable thrill of doing something disreputable.
That is the indelible public image of slumming, but as Chad Heap reveals in this fascinating history, the reality is that slumming was far more widespread—and important—than such nostalgia-tinged recollections would lead us to believe. From its appearance as a “fashionable dissipation” centered on the immigrant and working-class districts of 1880s New York through its spread to Chicago and into the 1930s nightspots frequented by lesbians and gay men, Slumming charts the development of this popular pastime, demonstrating how its moralizing origins were soon outstripped by the artistic, racial, and sexual adventuring that typified Jazz-Age America. Vividly recreating the allure of storied neighborhoods such as Greenwich Village and Bronzeville, with their bohemian tearooms, rent parties, and “black and tan” cabarets, Heap plumbs the complicated mix of curiosity and desire that drew respectable white urbanites to venture into previously off-limits locales. And while he doesn’t ignore the role of exploitation and voyeurism in slumming—or the resistance it often provoked—he argues that the relatively uninhibited mingling it promoted across bounds of race and class helped to dramatically recast the racial and sexual landscape of burgeoning U.S. cities.
Packed with stories of late-night dance, drink, and sexual exploration—and shot through with a deep understanding of cities and the habits of urban life—Slumming revives an era that is long gone, but whose effects are still felt powerfully today.
The Social Organization of Sexuality reports the complete results of the nation's most comprehensive representative survey of sexual practices in the general adult population of the United States. This highly detailed portrait of sex in America and its social context and implications has established a new and original scientific orientation to the study of sexual behavior.
"The most comprehensive U.S. sex survey ever." —USA Today
"The findings from this survey, the first in decades to provide detailed insights about the sexual behavior of a representative sample of Americans, will have a profound impact on how policy makers tackle a number of pressing health problems." —Alison Bass, The Boston Globe
"A fat, sophisticated, and sperm-freezingly serious volume. . . . This book is not in the business of giving us a good time. It is in the business of asking three thousand four hundred and thirty-two other people whether they had a good time, and exactly what they did to make it so good." —Anthony Lane, The New Yorker
New York Times Book Review Notable Book of the Year
Based on nearly two years of ethnographic fieldwork in a Muslim village in northern Sudan, Wombs and Alien Spirits explores the zâr cult, the most widely practiced traditional healing cult in Africa. Adherents of the cult are usually women with marital or fertility problems, who are possessed by spirits very different from their own proscribed roles as mothers. Through the woman, the spirit makes demands upon her husband and family and makes provocative comments on village issues, such as the increasing influence of formal Islam or encroaching Western economic domination. In accommodating the spirits, the women are able metaphorically to reformulate everyday discourse to portray consciousness of their own subordination.
Janice Boddy examines the moral universe of the village, discussing female circumcision, personhood, kinship, and bodily integrity, then describes the workings of the cult and the effect of possession on the lives of men as well as women. She suggests that spirit possession is a feminist discourse, though a veiled and allegorical one, on women's objectification and subordination. Additionally, the spirit world acts as a foil for village life in the context of rapid historical change and as such provides a focus for cultural resistance that is particularly, though not exclusively, relevant to women.