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The Origins of Sex: A History of the First Sexual Revolution


The Origins of Sex: A History of the First Sexual Revolution Cover

ISBN13: 9780199892419
ISBN10: 0199892415
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Publisher Comments:

A man admits that, when drunk, he tried to have sex with an eighteen-year-old girl; she is arrested and denies they had intercourse, but finally begs God's forgiveness. Then she is publicly hanged alongside her attacker. These events took place in 1644, in Boston, where today they would be viewed with horror. How--and when--did such a complete transformation of our culture's attitudes toward sex occur?

In The Origins of Sex, Faramerz Dabhoiwala provides a landmark history, one that will revolutionize our understanding of the origins of sexuality in modern Western culture. For millennia, sex had been strictly regulated by the Church, the state, and society, who vigorously and brutally attempted to punish any sex outside of marriage. But by 1800, everything had changed. Drawing on vast research--from canon law to court cases, from novels to pornography, not to mention the diaries and letters of people great and ordinary--Dabhoiwala shows how this dramatic change came about, tracing the interplay of intellectual trends, religious and cultural shifts, and politics and demographics. The Enlightenment led to the presumption that sex was a private matter; that morality could not be imposed; that men, not women, were the more lustful gender. Moreover, the rise of cities eroded community-based moral policing, and religious divisions undermined both church authority and fear of divine punishment. Sex became a central topic in poetry, drama, and fiction; diarists such as Samuel Pepys obsessed over it. In the 1700s, it became possible for a Church of Scotland leader to commend complete sexual liberty for both men and women. Arguing that the sexual revolution that really counted occurred long before the cultural movement of the 1960s, Dabhoiwala offers readers an engaging and wholly original look at the Western world's relationship to sex.

Deeply researched and powerfully argued, The Origins of Sex is a major work of history.

About the Author

Faramerz Dabhoiwala is lecturer, tutor, and Senior Fellow in Modern History at Exeter College, University of Oxford, and is a member of the Royal Historical Society.

Table of Contents

Prologue: The Culture of Discipline

1. The Decline and Fall of Public Punishment

2. The Rise of Sexual Freedom

3. The Cult of Seduction

4. The Origins of White Slavery

5. The Media and the Message

Epilogue: Enlightened Attitudes--From the Victorians to the Twenty-First Century

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JOSEPH PENNA, March 26, 2014 (view all comments by JOSEPH PENNA)
Wow! This book is better than Playboy. The things I learned from the stories about the history of sex are amazing!! This is a book that you will read from sunrise to sunset without putting it down. So, be prepared to read when your not busy.
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Product Details

Dabhoiwala, Faramerz
Oxford University Press, USA
History, Other | Cultural History
Health and Medicine-General
World History-General
Series Volume:
A History of the Fir
Publication Date:
6.5 x 9.4 x 1.7 in 1.9 lb

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Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » General
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History and Social Science » Western Civilization » General
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History and Social Science » World History » Western Civilization

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