The Origins of Sex

This book grew out of my attempt to understand the profound chasm between our present attitudes to sex and those that prevailed for most of western history. In describing this change I have highlighted the themes and the timeframe that ...

The Origins of Sex

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.

More Books:

The Origins of Sex
Language: en
Pages: 496
Authors: Faramerz Dabhoiwala
Categories: History
Type: BOOK - Published: 2012-05-01 - Publisher: Oxford University Press

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
Sex and the Origins of Death
Language: en
Pages: 208
Authors: William R. Clark
Categories: Science
Type: BOOK - Published: 1998-06-11 - Publisher: Oxford University Press

Death, for bacteria, is not inevitable. Protect a bacterium from predators, and provide it with adequate food and space to grow, and it would continue living--and reproducing asexually--forever. But a paramecium (a slightly more advanced single-cell organism), under the same ideal conditions, would stop dividing after about 200 generations--and die.
Sexual Selection and the Origins of Human Mating Systems
Language: en
Pages: 216
Authors: A. F. Dixson
Categories: Science
Type: BOOK - Published: 2009-05-14 - Publisher: Oxford University Press

This book demonstrates how detailed comparative analyses of the anatomy, reproductive physiology, and behaviour of non-human primates and other mammals can offer profound insights into the origins of human sexual behaviour.
The Origins of Life
Language: en
Pages: 180
Authors: John Maynard Smith, Eörs Szathmáry
Categories: Science
Type: BOOK - Published: 2000 - Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand

'I can recommend this book as a thoroughly interesting read' -Biologist 01/02/2002'exhilarating reading... challenging... stimulates the reader to think deeply on the many issues it raises.' -Margaret Ginzburg, Science and Christian belief, Vol.13, No.1, April 2001'...the authors provide a clear-eyed review of a large part of modern biology.' -Scientific American'...the
The Puritan Origins of American Sex
Language: en
Pages: 308
Authors: Tracy Fessenden
Categories: Literary Criticism
Type: BOOK - Published: 2001 - Publisher: Psychology Press

From witch trials to pickaxe murderers, from brothels to convents, and from slavery to Toni Morrison's Paradise, these essays provide fascinating and provocative insights into our sexual and religious conventions and beliefs.