Customer Reviews for

Sex and the Eighteenth-Century Man: Massachusetts and the History of Sexuality in America

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Posted May 11, 2014

    Entertaining and Informative. Well Written

    The best part of this book were the historical anecdotes written in the language of the day. The place of sex in the 18th century was not just in the bedroom but also part of the core of the stability and survival of the colonies. Procreation was important. So much so that if a man was unable to do his duty his wife could and did divorce him on those grounds. Adultery was seen as the fault of the man. Either he couldn't control himself or he couldn't satisfy and control his wife. Homosexuality, contrary to what some modern day people may think, was part of the landscape. It was seen as un-desirable principally because it could not lead to children. Some of the religious types railed against it but the societal stigma was the lack of procreation. Interracial unions were condemned be they whites with any nonwhites which is something that continues today though it such relationships are growing in acceptance. Again, it was seen as the fault of the white male if he could not control himself or his wife in these kinds of pairings. The history of sexual mores during the colonial era still have life today despite the so called sexual revolution of the 1960's.

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  • Posted May 2, 2013

    This monograph is a much needed addition to the history of Ameri

    This monograph is a much needed addition to the history of America. Foster opens up his work explaining that sex in early America did in fact occur, although one would not realize it from the texts taught in most U.S. History courses. I chose Foster's book for a critical book review in a History of Sexuality university course. It was an engaging read that did not speak over my head, nor was it too simplistic. Foster's argument is sound and his source material is rich and creative. With exerpts from diaries, letters, official documents, and newsprint Foster shows the depthfulness of male sexuality in eighteenth century America. Beyond simply telling the reader that men in eighteenth century America had sex, Foster shows the reader how the sexuality of these men connected to their political, economic, and social lives. Highly recommended read for students and professors of American history...and anyone else interested in learning what the founding fathers were up to behind close doors.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2006

    good read

    This is a smart and interesting account of what colonial men thought about sex and how it was part of their daily lives and their identities as men. Eighteenth-century people were surprisingly openly about sex. This was definitely not part of my college history class! The book covers a lot of topics including marriage, homosexuality, race, and courtship. I recommend this book to people interested in the history of homosexuality, sexuality, or colonial America. I learned a lot about eighteenth century America while being entertained by interesting stories about colonial relationships. I love the stories depicting 'courtship' and divorce. It was interesting to see how some of these ideas still carry forward to today.

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