Sexuality in World History

By Peter N. Stearns

© 2009 – Routledge

184 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415777773
pub: 2009-02-16
US Dollars$35.95
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Hardback: 9780415777766
pub: 2009-02-16
US Dollars$125.00
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e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

'Expansive and accessible, Peter Stearns' Sexuality in World History offers a much needed introduction to histories of sexuality from a global perspective.' – Mary Spongberg- Head of Department of Modern History, Macquarie University, USA

This book examines sexuality in the past, and explores how it helps explain sexuality in the present. The subject of sexuality is often a controversial one, and exploring it through a world history perspective emphasises the extent to which societies, including our own, are still reacting to historical change through contemporary sexual behaviours, values, and debates.

The study uses a clear chronological structure to focus on major patterns and changes in sexuality – both sexual culture and sexual behaviours – in the main periods of world history, with comparison and discussion across cultures and societies. Topics covered include:

  • issues involved in studying the history of sexuality
  • the sexual implications of the transition from hunting and gathering economies to agricultural economies
  • sexuality in Classical societies
  • the post-Classical period and the spread of the world religions
  • sex in an age of trade and colonies
  • changes in sexual behaviours and sexual attitudes between 1750 and 1950
  • sex in contemporary world history.

The book is a vital contribution to the study of world history, and is the perfect companion for all students of the history of sexuality.

Reviews

'It is… impressive that Stearns provides a concise, readable overview of the topic from the beginning of settled agriculture to the 21st century and covers most areas of the world without sacrificing nuance or oversimplifying his subject. This book synthesizes a large body of secondary literature using a fresh, interesting approach…He is careful to emphasize that no single statement about sexuality can truly encompass the full range of human experience, but he offers a thoughtful analysis of the major trends over time. An excellent introduction to a large and growing body of scholarship.' Choice (Outstanding title)

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: The Whys and Hows of Sex History Part 1: Preface: Sexuality Before Modern Times 2. Sexuality and the Rise of Agriculture 3. Sexuality in the Classical Period 4. The Impact of Religion on Sexuality, to 1450 5. Sex in an Age of Trade and Colonies Part 2: Preface: Sex in the Modern World, 1750–1950 6. Western Society, 1750–1950: A First Sexual Revolution and the Victorian Response 7. Global Trends and Variations in the Age of Imperialism Part 3: Preface: Sexuality in the Age of Globalization 8. Sex in Contemporary World History

About the Author

Peter N. Stearns is Provost and Professor of History at George Mason University. He is co- author of Premodern Travel in World History (2008), and author of Gender in World History (2nd edition 2006), Consumerism in World History (2nd edition 2006), Childhood in World History (2005), and Western Civilization in World History (2003), all in this series. His other recent publications include The Global Experience (2005) and World History in Brief (2007).

About the Series

Themes in World History

The Themes in World History series provides exciting, new and wide-ranging surveys of the important themes of world history. Each theme is examined over a broad period of time allowing analysis of continuities and change, and introduces students to historians' methods and debates in their context.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HIS000000
HISTORY / General
HIS037000
HISTORY / World
HIS039000
HISTORY / Civilization
HIS054000
HISTORY / Social History