Teaching America About Sex: Marriage Guides and Sex Manuals from the Late Victorians to Dr. Ruth

Teaching America About Sex: Marriage Guides and Sex Manuals from the Late Victorians to Dr. Ruth

by M. E. Melody, Linda M. Peterson
     
 

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

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Overview

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 "if it feels good, do it" 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 "voluptuous pleasure," 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.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780814755327
Publisher:
New York University Press
Publication date:
05/01/1999
Edition description:
MANUAL
Pages:
296
Product dimensions:
6.29(w) x 9.24(h) x 0.98(d)

Related Subjects

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction1
1The Late Victorians and the Spermatic Political Economy20
Henry Hanchett, M.D.21
Sexual Health: A Plain and Practical Guide for the People on All Matters Concerning the Organs of Reproduction in Both Sexes and All Ages
John Harvey Kellogg, M.D.27
Plain Facts for Old and Young
First Book of Physiology and Hygiene, revised edition
Henry Guernsey, M.D.35
Plain Talks on Avoided Subjects
Plain Talks on Avoided Subjects, revised edition
2"No Gods No Masters": Margaret Sanger and America's Sexual Future49
Margaret Sanger50
Women and the New Race
The Pivot of Civilization
Happiness in Marriage
3The 1920s and America's First Sexual Eruption72
Joseph Collins, M.D.76
The Doctor Looks at Love and Life
Ira S. Wile and Mary Day Winn80
Marriage in the Modern Manner
Robert Binkley and Frances Binkley83
What Is Right with Marriage: An Outline of Domestic Theory
Ernest R. Groves86
The Marriage Crisis
Marie Stopes, Ph.D., D.Sc88
Married Love: A New Contribution to the Solution of Sex Difficulties
4Sexual Eruption and Then Reaction: The Interwar Years93
Theodore van de Velde, M.D.93
Ideal Marriage: Its Physiology and Technique
Sexual Tensions in Marriage: Their Origin, Prevention and Treatment
Fertility and Sterility in Marriage: Their Voluntary Promotion and Limitation
Ideal Marriage: Its Physiology and Technique, revised edition
5One Step Forward, Two Steps Back: Sex and Pleasure in the 1950s115
Hannah M. Stone, M.D., and Abraham Stone, M.D.122
A Marriage Manual: A Practical Guidebook to Sex and Marriage
Eustace Chesser, M.D.125
Love without Fear: How to Achieve Sex Happiness in Marriage
6Sexual Upheaval in the 1960s: Counterculture, Counter-Sex137
David Reuben, M.D.147
Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Sex, but Were Afraid to Ask
Any Woman Can! Love and Sexual Fulfillment for the Single, Widowed, Divorced ... and Married
7Joy through Peak Experiences in the 1970s158
Alex Comfort, M.D.159
The Joy of Sex: A Cordon Bleu Guide to Lovemaking
More Joy: A Lovemaking Companion to The Joy of Sex
The New Joy of Sex
8Does Pleasure Demand the Conjunction of Particular Body Parts? Gay and Lesbian Sex179
Charles Silverstein, M.D., and Edmund White180
The Joy of Gay Sex: An Intimate Guide for Gay Men to the Pleasures of a Gay Lifestyle
Charles Silverstein, M.D., and Felice Picano181
The New Joy of Gay Sex
Emily L. Sisley, M.D., and Bertha Harris198
The Joy of Lesbian Sex: A Tender and Liberated Guide to the Pleasures and Problems of a Lesbian Lifestyle
Joann Loulan204
Lesbian Sex
9Another Reaction: Dr. Ruth Defends Marriage207
Ruth Westheimer, Ed.D.208
Dr. Ruth's Guide to Good Sex
Dr. Ruth's Guide for Married Lovers
Dr. Ruth's Guide to Safer Sex
The Art of Arousal
Sex for Dummies
10On Penetrative Power234
Notes261
References265
Index275
About the Authors287

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