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sociology

The Origins of Sex: A History of the First Sexual Revolution

 
 
Author
Faramerz Dabhoiwala.
Publisher Oxford  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 9.5 x 6.45 x 1.5 inches
ISBN 9780199892419
Pages/Publication Date 484/2012
Daedalus Item Code 60933
This item is not available.
Description
A man admits that, when drunk, he tried to have sex with an 18-year-old girl; she is arrested and denies they had intercourse, but finally begs God's forgiveness. Then she is publicly hanged alongside her attacker. These events, in 1644 Boston, would be viewed with horror today. How—and when—did such a complete transformation of our culture's attitudes toward sex occur? In his "anecdote-rich, crisply written and impressively well-researched" book (Washington Post), Oxford historian Faramerz Dabhoiwala argues that the sexual revolution that really counted occurred long before the cultural movement of the 1960s, and offers a revolutionary understanding of the origins of sexuality in modern Western culture. The Enlightenment led to the presumption that sex was a private matter; that morality could not be imposed; that men, not women, were the more lustful gender. Moreover, the rise of cities eroded community-based moral policing, and religious divisions undermined both church authority and fear of divine punishment. Sex became a central topic in poetry, drama, and fiction; diarists like Samuel Pepys obsessed over it. In the 1700s, it became possible for a Church of Scotland leader to commend complete sexual liberty for both men and women.

"Dabhoiwala's writing is lively, his reasoning rigorous and his respect for facts exemplary. And his story is irresistible, a portrait not only of a revolution in sex, but a revolution in the way we view ourselves and our place in the world."—Salon

 
 
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