Synopses & Reviews
The Language and Sexuality Reader is the first of its kind to bring together material from the fields of anthropology, communication studies, linguistics, medicine and psychology in an examination of the role of sexuality in written and spoken language. Organized into thematic sections, the Reader addresses:
- early documentation of vocabulary used by male homosexuals and later work on the existence of a discourse style signifying gay identity
- the use of language by individuals to present themselves as sexual and gendered subjects
- the way language reflects, reinforces or challenges cultural norms defining what is 'natural' and desirable in the sphere of sex
- the verbal communication of sexual desire in different settings, genres and media.
The Language and Sexuality Reader includes extracts from: Hideko Abe, Laura M. Ahearn, Rusty Barrett, Deborah Cameron, Kathryn Campbell-Kibler, Donald W. Cory, Justine Coupland, Louie Crew, James Darsey, Penelope Eckert, Susan Ehrlich, Joseph J. Hayes, Scott F. Kiesling, Celia Kitzinger, Don Kulick, William L. Leap, Gershon Legman, Momoko Nakamura, Sally McConnell-Ginet, Julia Penelope, Robert J. Podesva, June Machover Reinisch, Sarah J. Roberts, Stephanie A. Sanders, David Sonenschein, and David Valentine.
The Language and Sexuality Reader is the first collection to bring together historical and contemporary writings from a range of academic disciplines to explore the connections between sex as a domain of human experience and the language we use to speak and write about it. The topics addressed by contributors include gay slang and gay speech styles; the language of drag performances, personal ads, Nepali love letters and Japanese schoolgirl fiction; what counts as 'having sex' and whether 'marriage' has to be heterosexual by definition; the communication of sexual desire, consent and refusal; and how heterosexuals reveal themselves in ordinary conversation.
Bringing together material from fields including anthropology, communication studies, linguistics, medicine and psychology, the text begins by guiding students through early work in the field, which focused on homosexual language-use and its difference from the heterosexual mainstream. The second part of the reader widens the focus: moving away from the generic labels 'homosexual' and 'heterosexual', it explores the diversity of linguistic and sexual practices as documented and debated among scholars from the mid-1990s to the present.
Organised in thematic sections, the Reader addresses
- The origins and development of language and sexuality research from the 1940s to the 1980s
- The use people make of language to perform sexuality and sexual identity
- How language reflects, reinforces or challenges norms defining what is 'natural' and desirable in the sphere of sex
- The verbal communication of sexual desire