From Shame to Sin
Kyle Harper Harvard University Press, 2013 Library of Congress HQ13.H37 2013 | Dewey Decimal 306.7
The transformation of the Roman world from polytheistic to Christian is one of the most sweeping ideological changes of premodern history. At the center was sex. Kyle Harper examines how Christianity changed the ethics of sexual behavior from shame to sin, and shows how the roots of modern sexuality are grounded in an ancient religious revolution.
In this groundbreaking study, Julian Carter demonstrates that between 1880 and 1940, cultural discourses of whiteness and heterosexuality fused to form a new concept of the “normal” American. Gilded Age elites defined white civilization as the triumphant achievement of exceptional people hewing to a relational ethic of strict self-discipline for the common good. During the early twentieth century, that racial and relational ideal was reconceived in more inclusive terms as “normality,” something toward which everyone should strive. The appearance of inclusiveness helped make “normality” appear consistent with the self-image of a racially diverse republic; nonetheless, “normality” was gauged largely in terms of adherence to erotic and emotional conventions that gained cultural significance through their association with arguments for the legitimacy of white political and social dominance. At the same time, the affectionate, reproductive heterosexuality of “normal” married couples became increasingly central to legitimate membership in the nation.
Carter builds her intricate argument from detailed readings of an array of popular texts, focusing on how sex education for children and marital advice for adults provided significant venues for the dissemination of the new ideal of normality. She concludes that because its overt concerns were love, marriage, and babies, normality discourse facilitated white evasiveness about racial inequality. The ostensible focus of “normality” on matters of sexuality provided a superficially race-neutral conceptual structure that whites could and did use to evade engagement with the unequal relations of power that continue to shape American life today.
In the early twentieth century, marriage manuals sought to link marital sex to the progress of civilization, searching for the history of what they considered to be normal sexuality. In Heterosyncrasies, Karma Lochrie looks to the foundation of modern society in the Middle Ages to undertake a profound questioning of the heterosexuality of that history. Lochrie begins this provocative rethinking of sexuality by dismantling the very idea of normal through a study of the development of statistics in the nineteenth century. She then intervenes in contemporary debates about queer versus ostensibly stable heterosexual social and sexual categories by exposing the "heterosyncratic" organization of sexuality in the Middle Ages and by clarifying the dubious contribution that the concept of normality has made to the construction of sexuality. In medieval texts from the letters of Heloise to Lollard heretical attacks on the Church, to Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, medical discourse surrounding the clitoris, and finally the Amazons of medieval myth, Lochrie focuses on female sexuality in the Middle Ages in an effort to discern a less binary, more diversified understanding of it. Lochrie demonstrates how the medieval categories of natural and unnatural were distinctly different from our modern categories of normal and abnormal. In her work we see how abandoning heteronormativity as a medieval organizer of sexualities profoundly changes the way we understand all sexualities - past, present, and possibly even future. Heterosyncrasies is a milestone in the study of sexual identity politics, revealing not only how presumptions of normality obscure our understanding of the past, but also how these beliefs affect our present-day laws, society, and daily life.
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.
With an interdisciplinary combination of philosophy, theology, and family law, The Law of Love explores the impact of secular conceptions of autonomy on sexuality and family. Drawing from the thought of Aristotle, Cicero, Augustine, Aquinas, and the modern theologian Servais Pinckaers, Stephen F. Brett argues that the divorce of freedom from virtue has caused cultural relativism, and that a potent and healthy mix of temperance, chastity, and modesty is the antidote. Styled accessibly and quite cleverly with a broader audience in mind, The Law of Love will appeal to intellectuals of all faiths who are interested in facing the ambiguities and problems of contemporary life in a secularized society.
LOVE IN MARRIAGE
EMANUEL SWEDENBORG Swedenborg Foundation Publishers, 1992 Library of Congress BX8712.C812 1992 | Dewey Decimal 241.63
Love in Marriage (also translated under the titles Marriage Love and Conjugial Love) is one of the most challenging works written by Swedish scientist and visionary Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772). It is not only about marriage as a social institution—both in the ways that it works and the ways that it can be a source of strife—but about the spiritual implications of marriage and the ways that two human beings can form, continue, and deepen their emotional and spiritual connection in this world and the next. While much of the commentary about marriage and romantic relationships is best understood in the context of eighteenth-century Swedish culture, the spiritual commentary sheds important light on the dualism that pervades Swedenborg’s theology and his stress on the importance of love for others. David Gladish’s contemporary translation, originally published in 1992, remains one of the most vibrant renditions of this work in the English language.
Public affairs—or sex scandals—involving prominent politicians are as revealing of American culture as they are of individual peccadillos. Implicated in their unfolding are a broad range of institutions, trends, questions, and struggles, including political parties, Hollywood, the Christian right, new communications technologies, the restructuring of corporate media, feminist and civil rights debates, and the meaning of public life in the “society of the spectacle.” The contributors to Public Affairs examine, from a variety of perspectives, how political sex scandals take shape, gain momentum, and alter the U.S. political and cultural landscape.
The essays in Public Affairs reflect on a number of sex scandals while emphasizing the Clinton/Lewinsky affair, certainly the most avidly followed and momentous sex scandal in American political history. Leading scholars situate contemporary public affairs in the context not only of earlier sex scandals in American politics (such as Thomas Jefferson’s and Sally Hemings’s affair), but also of more purely political scandals (including Teapot Dome and Watergate) and sex scandals centered around public figures other than politicians (such as the actor Hugh Grant and the minister Jimmy Swaggart). Some essays consider the Clinton affair in light of feminist and anti-racist politics, while others discuss the dynamics of scandals as major media events. By charting a critical path through the muck of scandal rather than around it, Public Affairs illuminates why sex scandals have become such a prominent feature of American public life.
Contributors. Paul Apostolidis, Jodi Dean, Joshua Gamson, Theodore J. Lowi, Joshua D. Rothman, George Shulman, Anna Marie Smith, Jeremy Varon, Juliet A. Williams
In March 1929 hundreds of students at the University of Missouri received a questionnaire that asked their opinions of marriage, family, and sexual issues. Several questions were regarded as too intimate for university students, especially females. The so-called Sex Questionnaire, the product of a sociology class project, soon fell into the hands of the university’s president, dean of women, and the local press, which deemed it “A Filthy Questionnaire.” The Missouri legislature soon jumped into the controversy as the ensuing uproar went statewide and attracted national attention; a cry arose for the expulsion of the students and professors responsible. Beyond the questionnaire, rumors also circulated that something “too terrible” to mention had gone on at the university. Investigations followed, including one by the American Association of University Professors.
Although the controversy surrounding the questionnaire was not limited to sharp generational lines, college students—part of the decade’s “modern youth”—challenged Victorian ideas held by those who were frightened by the path American society seemed to be following during the 1920s. Nelson places the episode within the history and development of the University of Missouri as well as the “culture war” in America during the Jazz Age. He argues that the decade was marked by both change and the persistence of tradition. But while many sought change, radicals were few. What was actually lost in the Jazz Age was Victorianism and its rigid requirements for an orderly culture in which each member had a sharply defined role, violations of which carried societal sanctions.
Nelson uses the University of Missouri episode to demonstrate that while Victorianism’s unrealistic notions were lost, tradition and its most basic tenets—decorum, respect for authority, a sense of shame, strong family relationships, and the definition of right and wrong—survived. Employing previously untapped archival and printed material, Rumors of Indiscretion examines sexual attitudes, divorce, the “new woman,” the limits of academic expression, and much more in an exciting but uneasy time in American life.
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
Sexting Panic illustrates that anxieties about technology and teen girls' sexuality distract from critical questions about how to adapt norms of privacy and consent for new media. Though mobile phones can be used to cause harm, Amy Adele Hasinoff notes that the criminalization and abstinence policies meant to curb sexting often fail to account for distinctions between consensual sharing and malicious distribution. Challenging the idea that sexting inevitably victimizes young women, Hasinoff argues for recognizing young people's capacity for choice and encourages rethinking the assumption that everything digital is public.
Timely and engaging, Sexting Panic analyzes the debates about sexting while recommending realistic and nuanced responses.
Two principles capture the essence of the Catholic tradition on sexual ethics: that each and every marriage act must remain open to the transmission of life, and that any human genital act must occur within the framework of marriage. In the Catholic tradition, moral sexual activity is institutionalized within the confines of marriage and procreation, and sexual morality is marital morality.
But theologians Todd Salzman and Michael Lawler contend that there is a disconnect between many of the Church’s absolute sexual norms and other theological and intellectual developments explicitly recognized and endorsed in the Catholic tradition, especially since the Second Vatican Council. These developments include the shift from a primary static worldview to a historically conscious worldview, one that recognizes reality as dynamic, evolving, changing, and particular. By employing such a historically conscious worldview, alternative claims about the moral legitimacy of controversial topics such as contraception, artificial reproduction, and homosexual marriage can faithfully emerge within a Catholic context. Convinced of the central role that love, desire, and fertility play in a human life, and also in the life of Christian discipleship, the authors propose an understanding of sexuality that leads to the enhancement of human sexual relationships and flourishing.
This comprehensive introduction to Catholic sexual ethics—complete with thought-provoking study questions at the end of each chapter—will be sure to stimulate dialogue about sexual morality between Catholic laity, theologians, and the hierarchy. Anyone seeking a credible and informed Catholic sexual ethic will welcome this potentially revolutionary book.
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
In Undoing Monogamy Angela Willey offers a radically interdisciplinary exploration of the concept of monogamy in U.S. science and culture, propelled by queer feminist desires for new modes of conceptualization and new forms of belonging. She approaches the politics and materiality of monogamy as intertwined with one another such that disciplinary ways of knowing themselves become an object of critical inquiry. Refusing to answer the naturalization of monogamy with a naturalization of nonmonogamy, Willey demands a critical reorientation toward the monogamy question in the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities. The book examines colonial sexual science, monogamous voles, polyamory, and the work of Alison Bechdel and Audre Lorde to show how challenging the lens through which human nature is seen as monogamous or nonmonogamous forces us to reconsider our investments in coupling and in disciplinary notions of biological bodies.
Near the end of the century, a new and terrifying disease arrives suddenly from a distant continent. Infecting people through sex, it storms from country to country, defying all drugs and medical knowledge. The deadly disease provokes widespread fear and recrimination; medical authorities call the epidemic "the just rewards of unbridled lust"; a religious leader warns that "God has raised up new diseases against debauchery." The time was the 1490s; the place, Europe; the disease, syphilis; and the religious leader was none other than John Calvin.
Throughout history, Western society has often viewed sickness as a punishment for sin. It has failed to prevent and cure diseases—especially diseases tied to sex—that were seen as the retribution of a wrathful God. The Wages of Sin, the remarkable history of these diseases, shows how society's views of particular afflictions often heightened the suffering of the sick and substituted condemnation for care. Peter Allen moves from the medieval diseases of lovesickness and leprosy through syphilis and bubonic plague, described by one writer as "a broom in the hands of the Almighty, with which He sweepeth the most nasty and uncomely corners of the universe." More recently, medical and social responses to masturbation in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and AIDS in the twentieth round out Allen's timely and erudite study of the intersection of private morality and public health. The Wages of Sin tells the fascinating story of how ancient views on sex and sin have shaped, and continue to shape, religious life, medical practice, and private habits.