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This is a combination of essays from several disciplines with incisive commentary by the editor. This volume provides a unique perspective on sexual variance as a dimension of the larger social history of the United States.
Every society has had to confront the issue of sexual expression or behavior, in practice, if not in theory. It is a basic management issue which must be addressed. Theorizing about sex is a relatively recent phenomenon in American history, dating from no earlier than the beginning of the 20th century. In recent decades this interest has produced an enormous outpouring of literature of sexuality, dealing largely with what we do, how we do it, and how to do it better. Such inquiry has been, however, essentially the province of anthropology, psychology, and sociology. The historical perspective on sexuality has been less well treated. Some attention to this omission has occurred in recent years. Even so, minimal attention has been given to practices beyond the boundary of acceptable sexuality, namely sexual deviance or stigmatized sexual behavior.
The primary aim of this volume is to provide a compact and selective perspective on sexual deviance as one dimension of American societal history. It does so by examining attitudes and practices from the colonial era onward. The essays speak collectively to the history of American culture as well as to the history of variant practice. This is basic reading for all students of American social and sexual history, and gender specialized courses.
|A Beginning: On Sexual "Normality" and "Deviance" in America, a Perspective in History|
|Law and the Enforcement of Morals in Early America||9|
|"Things Fearful to Name": Sodomy and Buggery in Seventeenth-Century New England||24|
|"To Ravish and Carnally Know": Rape in Eighteenth-Century Massachusetts||37|
|The Urban Geography of Commercial Sex: Prostitution in New York City, 1790-1860||55|
|Homosexuality and Its Confusion with the "Secret Sin" in Pre-Freudian America||82|
|Tacit Acceptance: Respectable Americans and Segregated Prostitution, 1870-1910||93|
|Feminist Responses to "Crimes against Women," 1868-1896||109|
|The Morbidification of Love between Women by Nineteenth-Century Sexologists||126|
|Seduced and Abandoned in an American City: Cleveland and Its Fallen Women, 1869-1936||139|
|Prostitution, the Alien Woman and the Progressive Imagination, 1910-1915||165|
|The Reproduction of Butch-Fem Roles: A Social Constructionist Approach||177|
|A Feminist Redefinition of Rape and Sexual Assault: Historical Foundations and Change||191|
|Gay Villain, Gay Hero: Homosexuality and the Social Construction of AIDS||204|
|An Ending: Stalking "The Other Americans"||223|
|Bibliographical Essay: Writing the History of Sexual Variance in America||235|