Twentieth-Century Sexuality: A History / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $4.47
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 92%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (11) from $4.47   
  • New (4) from $41.29   
  • Used (7) from $4.47   


This book provides a fascinating history of sexuality in twentieth-century Europe and North America. Angus McLaren draws upon legal, medical and literary sources to demonstrate how modern sexuality has been shaped by race, class, gender and generational preoccupations.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This highly informative text is comprehensive, clearly written,and relies on the most up-to-date scholarship in its field.McLaren's interpretive outlook is unfailingly tolerant andinvariably insightful." Robert A. Nye, Oregon StateUniversity

"McLaren's book is to be highly recommended as a generaltextbook which illuminates the evolving debates and practicesconcerned with twentieth-century sexuality. Both undergraduates andprofessional historians will find it useful as is lays out theevidence and provides copious footnotes to help with furtherexploration of the topic." History

"A valuable, fluently-written and very well-documented historyof sexuality ... a most impressive work." Contemporary BritishHistory

"... the book is stuffed full of goodies ... written inMcLaren's usual readable style." American HistoricalReview

"In Twentieth Century Sexuality: A History, Angus McLarensucceeds in accomplishing exactly what his title promises; toprovide a history of twentieth century sexuality. And in theprocess of reaching this ambitious goal, he gives us vaststimulation and food for thought.

"McLaren has therefore written a very important book and onethat crackles with insights while being as comprehensive as can beimagined. As such, the work is quite unique." Journal of SocialHistory

"Angus McLaren's ability to provide an overview of as complex atopic as sexuality in the mercurial twentieth-century is trulyoutstanding. In this book, he summarizes - with wit as well ashistorical accuracy - many of the key issues that have shapedsexual identity throughout the last century." MedicalHistory

"Writing in clear, well-organized prose, he is mindful of theinfluences of popular culture and media on sexual attitudes. Thebook succeeds best as a broad-ranging survey of Western Europeanand Anglo-American attitudes." Publishers Weekly

"Twentieth-Century Sexuality: A History ...seeks toexplore its topic in its quintessential complexity." Journal ofFamily Studies

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In the past three decades, historians and sociologists have increasingly used sex and sexuality as a vehicle to explain and interpret society, politics and human behavior. McLaren's ambitious book surveys nearly 100 years of sexual practices, attitudes and social policies in an attempt to construct a cohesive history of the ebb and flow of periods of relative sexual freedom followed by the backlash of repression. Using this model of "sexual panics," he discusses such issues as masturbation, race eugenics, the invention of psychoanalysis, sexology and the rise of feminism; the influence of marriage manuals, and of Kinsey's sexual research; the "sexual revolution" of the 1960s and the response of the media and government to AIDS; feminist debates about pornography and the rise of a politics of "family values." Writing in clear, well-organized prose, he is mindful of the influences of popular culture and media on sexual attitudes, and draws widely and informatively upon such diverse sources as Baudelaire's Fleurs du Mal, Antonioni's 1966 film Blowup and the television show Ellen. The book succeeds best as a broad-ranging survey of Western European and Anglo-American attitudes. But while his narrative of the dialectic between freedom and repression is very convincing, his survey of sexual and political trends in nearly 10 countries over 100 years misses volumes of specific detail that could have made this chronicle more gripping. (June)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

Meet the Author

Angus McLaren is Professor of History at the University of Victoria, BC, Canada and Associate Editor of the Journal of the History of Sexuality. He has taught at the University of Calgary and has been a Visiting Fellow at St. Antony's College, Oxford and Clare Hall, Cambridge. He is the author of A History of Contraception and has also researched widely on the history of abortion, eugenics and twentieth century sexuality.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents



1. 'The Cult of the Clitoris': Sexual Panics and the First WorldWar.

2. 'Hypersexual Youths': Premarital Sex and the SexEducators.

3. 'Selfish Beasts': Marriage Manuals and the Eroticization ofMarriage.

4. 'Race Suicide': Birth Control, Abortion and FamilyStability.

5. 'Perverts': Mannish Women, Effeminate Men and the SexDoctors.

6. 'Frigidity': Sigmund Freud, Psychoanalysis and Gender.

7. 'Compulsory Heterosexuality': Eugenicists, Fascists andNazis.

8. 'Surveying Sex': From Alfred C. Kinsey to Hugh Hefner.

9. 'Sexual Revolution?': the Pill, Permissiveness andPolitics.

10. 'Backlash': AIDS and the Sexual Counter-revolution.




Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)