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Major Problems in the History of American Sexuality: Documents and Essays 1st Edition

Kathy Peiss

  • Published
  • 544 Pages


The book--which is suitable for courses on the history of American sexuality, gender studies, or gay and lesbian studies, presents a carefully selected group of readings organized to allow students to evaluate primary sources, test the interpretations of distinguished historians, and draw their own conclusions.

Kathy Peiss, University of Pennsylvania

Kathy Peiss received her Ph.D. from Brown University in 1982. Her research specialties include the history of American women, gender, sexuality, leisure, consumption, and popular culture. She is the author of Hope in a Jar: The Making of America's Beauty Culture (1998) and Cheap Amusements: Working Women and Leisure in Turn-of-the-Century New York (1986), co-author of Men and Women: A History of Costume, Gender, and Power (1989), and co-editor of Passion and Power: Sexuality in History (1989). Her articles, essays, and reviews have appeared in numerous journals, including Genders, Social Problems, Business History Review, The Nation, Journal of American History, and Women's Review of Books. She has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation.
1. Sexuality in History
Jeffrey Weeks, The Social Construction of Sexuality
Rictor Norton, Essentialism and Queer History
John D. Wrathall, Reading the Silences Around Sexuality
2. Sexual Cultures and Encounters in the New World
1. Baron Lahontan Describes Love and Marriage among the Hurons, 1703
2. English Trader John Lawson Describes Native Sexuality in North Carolina, 1709
3. Father Joseph-François Lafitau Praises Native Male Friendships, 1733
4. Father Luis Jayme Attacks Sexual Abuse of Indigenous Women, 1772
Theda Perdue, Columbus Meets Pocahontas in the American South
Antonia I. Castañeda, Sexual Violence in the Spanish Conquest of California
Jennifer M. Spear, Interracial Unions in French Louisiana
3. Regulating Sexuality in the Anglo-American Colonies
1. Massachusetts Colony''s Laws on Sexual Offenses, 1641-1660
2. Virginia Regulates Sex among Servants, Slaves, and Masters, 1642-1769
3. William Bradford Witnesses "Wickedness Breaking Forth" in Puritan Plymouth, 1642
4. Thomas or Thomasine? A Case of Transvestism in Virginia, 1629
Kathleen Brown, Changed...into the Fashion of Man,": The Politics of Sexual Difference in a Seventeenth-Century Anglo-American Settlement
Richard Godbeer, Sodomy in Colonial New England
4. Gender Conflict and Sex Reform in the Early Nineteenth Century
1. A Trial for Rape in New York, 1793
2. Boston Female Moral Reformers Condemn "Licentious Men," 1838
3. Health Reformer William Alcott Discusses Nymphomania, 1855
4. Sylvester Graham Lectures Young Men on Self-Restraint, 1839
5. Navy Drummer Philip C. Van Buskirk''s Private Journal, 1852-53
Christine Stansell, Male License and Working-Class Women''s Sexuality
Nancy F. Cott, Passionlessness: An Interpretation of Victorian Sexual Ideology, 1790-1850
5. Sexuality, Race, and Violence in Slavery and Freedom
1. Fugitive Slave Lewis Clarke Explains Why "A Slave Can''t Be a Man", 1842
2. J.W. Lindsay Describes Sexual and Family Relations under Slavery, 1863
3. Dr. Esther Hill Hawks Recounts the Rape of "Susan Black", 1865
4. Harriet Jacobs Relates Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, 1861
5. Chaplain A.B. Randall Writes about the Freedpeople''s Ideal of Marriage, 1865
6. William H. Stallings Testifies about Ku Klux Klan Lynchings, 1871
7. Ida B. Wells-Barnett Exposes the Myth of the Black Rapist, 1892
Brenda E. Stevenson, Slave Marriage and Family Relations
Nell Irvin Painter, Soul Murder and Slavery
6. Love and Intimacy in Nineteenth-Century America
1. Julia Deane Freeman Praises "Woman-Friendship", 1861
2. Walt Whitman''s Poetic Embrace of Comrades and Lovers, 1860
3. A Woman Writes Her Lover During the Civil War, 1865
4. A Smith College Student Discusses Her "Crush", 1881
5. Alice Mitchell as a "Case of Sexual Perversion", 1892
Carroll Smith-Rosenberg, The Female World of Love and Ritual
Karen V. Hansen, An Erotic Friendship Between Two African-American Women
Karen Lystra, Sexuality in Victorian Courtship and Marriage
7. Free Love, Free Speech, and Sex Censorship
1. National Police Gazette Advertisements for Sexual Literature and Devices, 1867, 1886, 1893
2. Dr. Ely Van de Warker Discusses the Sale of Abortifacient Drugs, 1873
3. Anthony Comstock Condemns Obscene Literature, 1883
4. Victoria C. Woodhull Denounces "The Scare-Crows of Sexual Slavery," 1873
5. Ezra Heywood Advocates Sexual Self-Government, 1878
Jesse F. Battan, "The Word Made Flesh": Language, Authority, and Sexual Desire in Late Nineteenth-Century America
Shirley J. Burton, The Criminally Obscene Women of Chicago
8. Prostitution and Working-Class Sexuality in the Early Twentieth Century
1. A Government Agent Explains the White Slave Traffic, 1911
2. Wong Ah So Describes Her Experiences as a Prostitute in the Early 1920s
3. Cantonese Rhymes from San Francisco''s Chinatown, 1911-1915
4. "Farfariello" Sings about Courting and Marriage in America, 1910
5. Reformers Condemn "Tough Dancing", 1910
6. An Immigrant Newspaper Defends Czech Dance Halls, 1917
7. Emma Goldman Analyzes "The Traffic in Women", 1911
Peggy Pascoe, The Marriages of Mission-Educated Chinese-American Women
Kathy Peiss, Charity Girls and City Pleasures
9. The Politics of Reproduction
1. Walter J. Hoffman Describes Childbirth and Abortion among the Absaroka, (Crow) and Dakota Indians, 1888
2. Eugene Caves Reports a Death from Illegal Abortion in Rural Wisconsin, 1896
3. Margaret Sanger Argues "The Case for Birth Control", 1917
4. The Supreme Court Upholds Forced Sterilization, 1927
5. Women Write Margaret Sanger for Birth Control Advice, 1924, 1930, 1935, 1936
6. Women''s Use of a Baltimore Birth Control Clinic, 1929
Linda Gordon, Birth Control and Social Revolution
Molly Ladd-Taylor, Eugenics, Sterilization, and Social Welfare
10. Heterosexual Norms and Homosexual Identities in Popular Culture
1. A Filipino''s Impressions of America in the 1920s
2. Young Women Discuss Petting, 1930
3. Henry James Forman Considers the Movies'' Influence on Sexual Behavior, 1933
4. The Motion Picture Production Code Sets Sexual Standards, 1934
5. Black Entertainer Mabel Hampton Recalls Lesbian Life in the 1920s and 1930s
6. Dr. La Forest Potter Describes a Drag Ball, 1933
Jonathan Ned Katz, The Invention of Heterosexuality
George Chauncey, Jr., Gay Men''s Strategies of Everyday Resistance
11. Open Secrets in Cold War America
1. Alfred Kinsey Researches Americans'' Sexual Behavior, 1948-1953
2. Women Write Life and Look about the Kinsey Report, 1953
3. Time Covers the Transformation of Transsexual Christine Jorgensen, 1952-1953
4. The U.S. Senate Investigates "Sex Perverts" in Government, 1950
5. Psychiatrist Fredric Wertham "Outs" Batman and Robin, 1953
6. Marge McDonald Enters the Lesbian Community of Columbus, Ohio, 1955
7. Del Martin Explains Why Lesbians Need the Daughters of Bilitis, 1956
David Harley Serlin, Christine Jorgensen and the Cold War Closet
Jeffrey Escoffier, Popular Sociology, Reading, and Coming Out
12. Sexual Revolution(s)
1. Samuel Delaney Describes Communal Public Sex in New York in the Early 1960s
2. David Mura, Reflects on "The Internment of Desire" in the Mid-1960s
3. Rosa Linda Fregoso Recalls Her Sexual Education in "Homegirls, Cholas, and Pachucas in Cinema," 1995
4. The Supreme Court Rules on Interracial Marriage, 1967
5. A Memoir of "Jane," an Illegal Abortion Service from 1969 to 1973
6. Feminist Anselma Dell''Olio, Argues That "The Sexual Revolution Wasn''t Our War," 1971
7. Carl Wittman Issues a Gay Manifesto, 1969-1970
David Allyn, Fomenting a Sexual Revolution
Marc Stein, Sex Politics in the City of Sisterly and Brotherly Loves
13. Sexually Transmitted Diseases
1. Nurse Eunice Rivers Describes the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, 1953
2. President Bill Clinton Apologizes for the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, 1997
3. The Denver Principles to Empower People with AIDS, 1983
4. ACT-UP Activist Robert Garcia Faces AIDS, 1991
5. Policing Public Sex in a Gay Theater, 1995
6. Cleveland''s Black Community Responds to AIDS, 1998
Allan M. Brandt, The Tuskegee Syphilis Study
Ronald Bayer, AIDS and the Bathhouse Controversy
14. Sexual Identities, Family Matters, and Border Crossings in Contemporary America
1. Nan D. Hunter Defines the Family in the Sharon Kowalski Case, 1991
2. Andrew Sullivan Makes a Conservative Case for Gay Marriage, 1989
3. Sex Panic Opposes Gay Assimilation, 1997
4. The Risks of Mail Marriage, 1996
5. M. Evelina Galang Evokes "Deflowering the Sampaguita," 1997
Kath Weston, Gay Families as the "Families We Choose"
Tomás Almaguer, Chicano Men, A Cartography of Homosexual Identity and Behavior