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The Langurs of Abu
Female and Male Strategies of Reproduction
Sarah Blaffer Hrdy
Harvard University Press, 1977

The Langurs of Abu will for many years remain one of the major studies of wild primates, both for its observational and theoretical content.” —Alison Jolly

Sexual combat is not a monopoly of the human species. As Sarah Blaffer Hrdy argues in this spellbinding book, war between male and female animals has deep roots in evolutionary history. Her account of family life among hanuman langurs—the black-faced, gray monkeys inhabiting much of the Indian subcontinent—is written with force, wit, and at times, sorrow.

Male hanumans, in pursuit of genetic success, routinely kill babies sired by their competitors. The mothers of endangered infants counter with various strategems to deceive the males and prevent destruction of their own offspring. Competition and selfishness are dominant themes of langur society. Competition among males for access to females, competition among females for access to food resources, and disregard by one female for the well-being of another’s infant—these are some very common examples. Yet there are also moments of heroic self-sacrifice, as when an elderly female rushes to defend her troop and its babies from an invading, infancticidal male.

The Langurs of Abu is the first book to analyze behavior of wild primates from the standpoint of both sexes. It is also a poignant and sophisticated exploration of primate behavior patterns from a feminist point of view. This book may inspire controversy; it will certainly be read with pleasure by anyone interested in animal behavior.

Richly illustrated with photographs, seven in full color.

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front cover of Latina/o Sexualities
Latina/o Sexualities
Probing Powers, Passions, Practices, and Policies
Asencio, Marysol
Rutgers University Press, 2010
Latina/os are currently the largest minority population in the United States. They are also one of the fastest growing. Yet, we have very limited research and understanding of their sexualities. Instead, stereotypical images flourish even though scholars have challenged the validity and narrowness of these images and the lack of attention to the larger social context. Gathering the latest empirical work in the social and behavioral sciences, this reader offers us a critical lens through which to understand these images and the social context framing Latina/os and their sexualities.

Situated at the juncture of Latina/o studies and sexualities studies, Latina/o Sexualities provides a single resource that addresses the current state of knowledge from a multidisciplinary perspective. Contributors synthesize and critique the literature and carve a separate space where issues of Latina/o sexualities can be explored given the limitations of prevalent research models. This work compels the current wave in sexuality studies to be more inclusive of ethnic minorities and sets an agenda that policy makers and researchers will find invaluable.

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Loneliness and Its Opposite
Sex, Disability, and the Ethics of Engagement
Don Kulick and Jens Rydström
Duke University Press, 2015
Few people these days would oppose making the public realm of space, social services and jobs accessible to women and men with disabilities. But what about access to the private realm of desire and sexuality? How can one also facilitate access to that, in ways that respect the integrity of disabled adults, and also of those people who work with and care for them?

Loneliness and Its Opposite documents how two countries generally imagined to be progressive engage with these questions in very different ways. Denmark and Sweden are both liberal welfare states, but they diverge dramatically when it comes to sexuality and disability. In Denmark, the erotic lives of people with disabilities are acknowledged and facilitated. In Sweden, they are denied and blocked. Why do these differences exist, and how do both facilitation and hindrance play out in practice?

Loneliness and Its Opposite charts complex boundaries between private and public, love and sex, work and intimacy, and affection and abuse. It shows how providing disabled adults with access to sexual lives is not just crucial for a life with dignity. It is an issue of fundamental social justice with far reaching consequences for everyone.
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front cover of Love, Sex, and Desire in Modern Egypt
Love, Sex, and Desire in Modern Egypt
Navigating the Margins of Respectability
By L. L. Wynn
University of Texas Press, 2018

Cairo is a city obsessed with honor and respectability—and love affairs. Sara, a working-class woman, has an affair with a married man and becomes pregnant, only to be abandoned by him; Ayah and Zeid, a respectably engaged couple, argue over whether Ayah’s friend is a prostitute or a virgin; Malak, a European belly dancer who sometimes gets paid for sex, wants to be loved by a man who won’t treat her like a whore just because she’s a dancer; and Alia, a Christian banker who left her abusive husband, is the mistress of a wealthy Muslim man, Haroun, who encourages business by hosting risqué parties for other men and their mistresses.

Set in transnational Cairo over two decades, Love, Sex, and Desire in Modern Egypt is an ethnography that explores female respectability, male honor, and Western theories and fantasies about Arab society. L. L. Wynn uses stories of love affairs to interrogate three areas of classic anthropological theory: mimesis, kinship, and gift. She develops a broad picture of how individuals love and desire within a cultural and political system that structures the possibilities of, and penalties for, going against sexual and gender norms. Wynn demonstrates that love is at once a moral horizon, an attribute that “naturally” inheres in particular social relations, a social phenomenon strengthened through cultural concepts of gift and kinship, and an emotion deeply felt and desired by individuals.

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front cover of Love Stories
Love Stories
Sex between Men before Homosexuality
Jonathan Ned Katz
University of Chicago Press, 2001
In Love Stories, Jonathan Ned Katz presents stories of men's intimacies with men during the nineteenth century—including those of Abraham Lincoln—drawing flesh-and-blood portraits of intimate friendships and the ways in which men struggled to name, define, and defend their sexual feelings for one another. In a world before "gay" and "straight" referred to sexuality, men like Walt Whitman and John Addington Symonds created new ways to name and conceive of their erotic relationships with other men. Katz, diving into history through diaries, letters, newspapers, and poems, offers us a clearer picture than ever before of how men navigated the uncharted territory of male-male desire.
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