Attitudes Toward Sex in Antebellum America: A Brief History with Documents

Attitudes Toward Sex in Antebellum America: A Brief History with Documents

by Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz
     
 

The public discussion of sexuality in America first came about in the 1820s. Predictably, Americans diverged considerably on how to approach the controversial topic. Folk wisdom, current scientific beliefs, and the teachings of evangelical Christianity all shaped the antebellum conversation about the moral, social and physical implications of sex. In her

Overview

The public discussion of sexuality in America first came about in the 1820s. Predictably, Americans diverged considerably on how to approach the controversial topic. Folk wisdom, current scientific beliefs, and the teachings of evangelical Christianity all shaped the antebellum conversation about the moral, social and physical implications of sex. In her introduction, Professor Horowitz takes American sexual history beyond the boundaries of the twentieth century and elucidates the complex issues surrounding nineteenth-century debates and dialogue. Helpful headnotes contextualize this colorful selection of hard-to-find documents, which includes medical articles, religious pamphlets, advertisements and propaganda, and popular literature. Contemporary illustrations, a chronology, and a bibliography foster students’ understanding of antebellum sexual knowledge.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Rewriting Sex accomplishes two rarely-seen objectives in a history book. First, Horowitz takes old, well-traversed material and reformulates it into a startling and provocative new narrative…Second, and more impressively, she accomplishes this with an economy of words written in clear, crisp and easy-to-follow prose.”--Timothy J. Gilfoyle, Loyola University Chicago

“Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz’s volume is so welcome; it combines an unparalleled assortment of primary sources with a clear but sophisticated analysis of the social and cultural meanings of sex and sexual knowledge in antebellum era.”--Amy Greenberg, Pennsylvania State University

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781403971555
Publisher:
Palgrave Macmillan
Publication date:
02/01/2006
Series:
Bedford Cultural Editions Series
Pages:
208
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.50(d)

Meet the Author

Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz is Sylvia Dlugasch Bauman Professor in American Studies at Smith College. Her work in American history has explored cultural philanthropy, higher education, the American landscape, and sexuality. She recently received fellowships at the Radcliffe Institute and was the Mellon Fellow at the American Antiquarian Society. Professor Horowitz is the author of the following books: Culture and the City, Alma Mater, Campus Life, The Power and Passion of M. Carey Thomas, and Rereading Sex, which was the winner of the OAH Merle Curti Prize and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in history and for the Francis Parkman Prize.

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