Sexual Salvation

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What is the nature and purpose of women's sexuality? How does women's sexuality relate to femininity, masculinity, and violence against women? What effect does sex role socialization have on women's sexual relations? To what extent have sexual behavior, expectations for intimacy, and sex research been shaped by a male-dominant society? These questions and more are addressed in Sexual Salvation, an open-minded and comprehensive celebration of cultural and sexual diversity. Relying on her 21-years' experience as a feminist sex-researcher, clinical psychologist, and college professor, the author illuminates the wide-ranging experiences women have had with sexuality and intimacy. Linking new feminist scholarship with emerging social science and therapist work, she makes contributions to understanding women's sexuality clear, logical, and appealing for a broad group of readers--women and men alike.

The Cold War might be over but the Women's Sex and Culture War continues in full force. Women argue with men and each other. Politically conservative individuals argue among themselves and most of all with feminists. But feminists are far from united: one group argues persuasively that women are men's sexual victims and require additional protection; the opposing feminist group argues just as articulately that women deserve sexual autonomy, not increased restrictions under the guise of protection. Sexual Salvation, written by Naomi McCormick, a distinguished feminist sex researcher, offers relief from divisive, extremist rhetoric. In her undogmatic, meticulously researched, and beautifully written book, McCormick acknowledges the contributions of all feminists to the affirmation of women's sexual rights and pleasures.

Here for the first time is a book about and for all women, not just the white, middle-class, heterosexual, able-bodied women addressed by most popular authors (including many feminists). This is an inclusive and sensitive book that touches upon the sexuality of all women: women of color, women of all sexual orientations, women of all ages, women who live with disabilities and chronic illness, poor and working class women--as well as women from socially privileged groups. More valuable still, McCormick backs up her ideas with a solid grasp of multidisciplinary scholarship. Scholars and general readers alike will find Sexual Salvation remarkable for its seamless integration of sex research and feminist and psychotherapeutic literature; and--most compelling--for its honesty.

How does women's sexuality relate to femininity and violence against women? What effect does sex role socialization have on women's sexual relations? To what extent have sexual behavior, expectations, and research been shaped by a male-dominant society? These questions and more are addressed in this open-minded celebration of sexual diversity.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
McCormick (SUNY at Plattsburgh) is a therapist and sexologist who coedited the anthology Changing Boundaries: Gender Roles and Sexual Behavior (Mayfield, 1983). In this somewhat mistitled book, she summarizes what is generally known about contemporary women's sexual behavior, paying considerable attention to lesbians, prostitutes, sex trade workers, and minority, older, and handicapped women. She is at her best when placing current attitudes and practices in historical/cultural context and critiquing her own profession for its adherence to medical models and disregard of diversity. Less successful are her somewhat contradictory efforts at identifying "radical" and "liberal" feminist positions on various issues. However, her work is concise, compassionate, and free of jargon and should prove useful in most libraries.-Beverly Miller, Boise State Univ. Lib., Id.
McCormick, a feminist sexologist, addresses many issues--seduction, intimacy, victimization, pornography, models of sexual fulfillment, the future. The scope is broad, and the arguments are well-referenced, but the intended audience is not clear. The work seems to be written for other sexologists, but the anecdotal content obscures the academic focus. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275943592
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/30/1994
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 302
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Meet the Author

NAOMI B. McCORMICK, named a Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Department of Psychology at the State University of New York at Plattsburgh, now teaches Family Studies, Women's Studies, and Psychology at the University of Northern Iowa.

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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 The Search for Sexual Salvation 1
Ch. 2 Lessons in Seduction 15
Ch. 3 Love and Intimacy 33
Ch. 4 Lesbian and Bisexual Identities 57
Ch. 5 Women Sex Trade Workers 83
Ch. 6 Sexual Victimization and Pornography 119
Ch. 7 Woman-Affirming Models of Sexual Fulfillment 175
Ch. 8 Sexual Rights and Pleasures in the Next Century 223
Bibliography 243
Index 279
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