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New York University Press
Moral Panics, Sex Panics: Fear and the Fight over Sexual Rights

Moral Panics, Sex Panics: Fear and the Fight over Sexual Rights

by Gilbert HerdtGilbert Herdt
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Finalist for 2010 LGBT Anthology Award from the Lambda Literary Awards
Unwed teen mothers, abortion, masturbation, pornography, gay marriage, sex trafficking, homosexuality, and HIV are just a few in a long line of issues that have erupted into panics. These sexual panics spark moral crusades and campaigns, defining and shaping how we think about sexual and reproductive rights. The essays in Moral Panics, Sex Panics focus on case studies ranging from sex education to AIDS to race and the "down low," to illustrate how sexuality is at the heart of many political controversies. The contributors also reveal how moral and sexual panics have become a mainstay of certain kinds of conservative efforts to win elections and gain power in moral, social, and political arenas. Moral Panics, Sex Panics provides new and important insights into the role that key moral panics have played in social processes, arguing forcefully against the political abuse of sex panics and for the need to defend full sexual and reproductive rights.
Contributors: Cathy J. Cohen, Diane DiMauro, Gary W. Dowsett, Janice M. Irvine, Carole Joffe, and Saskia Eleonora Wieringa.

Editorial Reviews

Ken Plummer

"Abortion, AIDS, non marital sex, homosexuality, pornography, contraception, sexual rights, and the rest have posed persistent threats and challenges across the world for some time. & Sex stands as a major political and moral symbol that marks boundaries and shapes change in cultures.Here an outstanding group of social scientists give a firm focus to the culture wars and moral panics that split cultures and speak to persistent and deep divides round the world. The essays in this timely volume provide critical insights to the battle lines that must be overcome for a new world to flourish."

Steven Epstein

"Nowadays panic seems to be everywherefrom homeland security to economic crisisyet sexual topics seem to prompt the most extreme episodes of fear, loathing, indignation, and overreaction. How do sex panics unfold? How can defenders of sexual rights respond effectively? In this state-of-the-art volume, noted scholars of sexuality take a big step forward in addressing these questions while zooming in on crucial topics such as reproductive rights, sex education, AIDS, same-sex marriage, and the politics of race and empire."

Pittsburghs Out

"In this six-essay collection, with an astute introduction from editor Herdt, social scientists and scholars of sexuality dissect where such loathing for personal freedoms originates, how maniacally it is deployed and whether there is an effective response to the fomented onslaught of anti-woman, anti-gay and anti-sexual moral Puritanism."

From the Publisher

Smart analysis and crucial advice in a timely academic call to arms.”

- Between the Lines

Moral Panics, Sex Panics is a valuable interdisciplinary contribution to emotion, media, and gender studies.”- H-Net Reviews

Social Anthropology - Lindsay Sprague

"The authors here provide thorough accounts of contemporary social and sexual issues that dominate social consciousness, media and politics . . . the book offers a modern synopsis of how sex and sexuality continue to be embedded in political, educational and social debates."

Between the Lines

"Smart analysis and crucial advice in a timely academic call to arms."

Pepper Schwartz

"This is a very important book. If you want to understand the state of sexuality politics in this countryand have a hope of reversing moral panics and public liesyou need to read this book!"

Gay and Lesbian Times

"Individuals and activist groups committed to the progressive struggle for cultural and sexual freedoms will find smart analysis and crucial advice in a timely academic call to arms."

H-Net Reviews

"Moral Panics, Sex Panicsis a valuable interdisciplinary contribution to emotion, media, and gender studies."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780814737231
Publisher: New York University Press
Publication date: 06/01/2009
Series: Intersections Series , #8
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

Customer Reviews