Sex and Sexuality in China

Edited by Elaine Jeffreys

© 2007 – Routledge

188 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415546973
pub: 2009-05-21
Hardback: 9780415401432
pub: 2006-07-14

About the Book

Elaine Jeffreysexplores the issues of sex and sexuality in a non-Western context by examining debates surrounding the emergence of new sexual behaviours, and the appropriate nature of their regulation, in the People's Republic of China. Commissioned from Western and mainland Chinese scholars of sex and sexuality in China, the chapters in this volume are marked by a diversity of subject material and theoretical perspectives, but turn on three related concerns. First, the book situates China’s changing sexual culture and the nature of its governance in the socio-political history of the PRC. Second, it shows how China’s shift to a rule of law has generated conflicting conceptions of citizenship and the associated rights of individuals as sexual citizens. Finally, the book demonstrates that the Chinese state does not operate strictly to repress ‘sex’; it also is implicated in the creation of new spaces for sexual entrepreneurship, expertise and consumption.

This comprehensive study is a valuable resource for scholars in the fields of sexuality studies and post-socialist societies and culture, directly appealing to both East Asia and China specialists.


'This volume makes a very valuable contribution to the small but growing scholarship on sex and sexuality in China' - Tamara Jacka, Intersections, May 2007

'This volume represents a significant contribution to the critical task of studying sex and sexuality within non-Western contexts. It will be of interest to anyone hoping to theorize and understand sexual cultures within such contexts and also helpful to scholars of Western sexuality seeking to understand the variances that Foucault highlighted between Western and non-Western cultures of sexuality.' - Elanah Uretsky, The China Journal, No 58, July 2007

Elaine Jeffreys’ fine introduction pays as much attention to discourse about sex and sexuality as about behavior, seeing them more as social constructs than as “natural.” She reinforces the argument made by many of the volume’s authors that the “standard narrative that celebrates China’s belated entry on the Long March to global modernity, epitomized by Western-style sexual and political liberation” (p. 2) is misguided. - SUE GRONEWOLD, China Information, 2008; 22; 155

Table of Contents

Introduction: Talking Sex and Sexuality in China1. Transformations in the Primary Life Cycle: The Origins and Nature of China’s Sexual Revolution2. Sex, Politics and the Policing of Virtue in the People’s Republic of China3. Contesting Citizenship: Marriage and Divorce in the People’s Republic of China 4. Regulating Male Same-Sex Relationships in the People's Republic of China5. Sexual Citizenship and the Politics of Sexual Storytelling among Chinese Youth 6. Selling Sexual Health: China's Emerging Sex Shop Industry7. Female Sex Sellers and Public Policy in the People’s Republic of China 8. Debating the Legal Regulation of Sex-Related Bribery and Corruption in the People's Republic of China

About the Series

Routledge Studies on China in Transition

The spectacular economic development of China has raised many questions about its future. China in Transition participates in the intellectual developments by focusing on social, political and cultural change in the China of the 1990s and beyond. Drawing on new research from scholars in Asia, Australia, North America and Europe, this series is invaluable in monitoring reform and interpreting the consequences for China, its neighbours and the West.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / Cultural
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Gender Studies