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Sexuality in World History
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"In Sexuality in World History, Peter Stearns fulfills his promise to make menarche as important as monarchy. Stearns, recognized as a preeminent social historian, brilliantly grounds his book in the biological and economic conditions that affect sexual expression across civilizations. Written as a complement to more traditional world histories, this volume is one that students will actually read!" Lisa Z. Sigel, Professor of History at DePaul University. "Sexuality in World History manages the almost impossible task of providing a sweeping, comprehensive, convincing narrative of the history of the generally unruly subject of sex. Moving adroitly throughout the globe, it tracks the changes in sexuality from agricultural societies to the great classical civilizations, watching developments as the large religions such as Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam emerge, and following the effects of colonialism, imperialism, and globalization. Sexuality in World History provides an excellent overarching introduction and offers a rich supply of additional reading for further research." Robert Tobin, Henry J. Leir Chair at Clark University. A wide-ranging overview of sexual practices that contextualizes the evolution of cultural controls and regional differences in the organization of marriage and the family within the wider arena of alternative opportunities for erotic experience. The attention to the role played by religious, political and economic factors with regard to shifts in social conventions provides a pertinent lens through which to view contemporary debates on gender and sexuality. Sara F. Matthews-Grieco, Professor of History and Women's and Gender Studies at Syracuse University, Florence.
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Peter N. Stearns is University Professor of History at George Mason University. He is the author of Globalization in World History (2nd edition 2015), Childhood in World History (3rd edition 2015), Gender in World History (3rd edition 2015), Peace in World History (2014), and Human Rights in World History (2012), all in this series. Other books include A History of Shame (forthcoming), Guiding the American University: Challenges and Choices (2015), and Satisfaction Not Guaranteed: Dilemmas of Progress in Modern Society (2012).
Chapter 1 Introduction: The Whys and Hows of Sex History Chapter 2 Anthropological Findings: A Sampling Chapter 3 Sexuality and the Rise of Agriculture Chapter 4 Sexuality in the Classical Period Chapter 5 The Impact of Religion on Sexuality, to 1450 Chapter 6 Sex in an Age of Trade and Colonies, 1450-1750 Chapter 7 Western Society: a first sexual revolution and the Victorian Response, 1750-1950 Chapter 8 Global Trends and Variations in the Age of Imperialism Chapter 9 Contemporary Sexuality: Toward Liberation? Chapter 10 Contemporary Sexuality: A Sea of Problems?