Teaching America about Sex

Teaching America about Sex

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In this witty and provocative study of sex and marriage manuals, M.E. Melody and Linda M. Peterson reveal that permissiveness, prohibition, and, tellingly, persuasion and enforcement-from sermons and hellfire to mutilation and electroshock-have informed popular sex education over the past hundred and twenty years. From the late Victorian obsession with masturbation and hygiene, to the qif it feels good, do itq ethos of The Joy of Sex, America's disposition to sex has evolved from a general squeamishness to a veritable cult of mutual orgasm. But despite the recent emphasis on qvoluptuous pleasure, q the basic power dynamic underlying the discourse on sex has been remarkably resistant to change. The authors reveal that, even as sexual behavior changed during periods of upheaval, the prescriptive literature on sex has remained traditional at its core, promoting sex within marriage for the purpose of reproduction. A cross-generational account of the major constructions of masculinity and femininity from 1880 to the present day, Teaching America About Sex serves up a lucid and entertaining reading of the twentieth century's vexed relationship with sex.Marriage Guides and Sex Manuals from the Late Victorians to Dr. Ruth M. E. Melody, Linda M. Peterson ... As the police herded the last patron toward a police car, s/he put up a struggle that launched lesbian/gay liberation. ... aquot;dispersed with swinging clubs an impromptu chorus line of gay men in the middle of a full kick. ... who rejected sexual authoritarianism, had called forth the reality of affirmation in a rebellion of drag queens (Da#39;Emilio 1983^ 232 for the citations; Duberman 1993) .

Title:Teaching America about Sex
Author:M. E. Melody, Linda M. Peterson
Publisher:NYU Press - 1999-05-01


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