Sex, Politics & Society, 3rd edition
The Regulation of Sexuality Since 1800

By Jeffrey Weeks
December 2012
Pearson Education
Distributed by Trans-Atlantic Publications
ISBN: 9781408248300
445 pages
$57.50 Paper Original

Sex, Politics and Society is as much a history of changing patterns of family life, gender, domesticity and intimacy as of erotic life. It firmly places what had traditionally been seen as marginal (notably homosexuality) within the broad stream of sexualities.

J. Weeks strongly emphasises the historical construction of human sexualities and identities, and does so with reference to social context and social change – industrialization, urbanisation, imperialism, the rise of the Welfare state, the emergence of new social movements such as feminism and gay liberation, the development of new forms of social conservatism, and changing legal, medical and informal modes of sexual regulation. In Sex, Politics and Society J. Weeks continues to stress the significance of historical construction, an approach made popular by his previous edition.



Publisher’s acknowledgements


1. Sexuality and the historian


Histories of sexuality

Sexuality and power

Sexuality and the politics of history

The making of ‘modern’ sexuality

2. ‘That damned morality’: sex in Victorian ideology

Victorian sexuality: myths and meanings

Emergent patterns

The domestic ideology

Sex and class

3. The sacramental family: middle-class men, women and children

Masculinity and femininity

Birth control


4. Sexuality and the labouring classes

Middle-class myths, working-class realities

Traditions, illegitimacy and proletarianisation

The patterns of family life

Respectability and its discontents

5. The public and the private: moral regulation in the Victorian period

Forms of moral regulation

Private morality, public vice

Reform or control?

6. The construction of homosexuality

Homosexuality: concepts and consequences

The sins of sodom

Moral, legal and medical regulation

Identities and ways of life

Intimate lives

7. The population question in the early twentieth century

Population politics



The influence of eugenics

8. The theorisation of sex

A new continent of knowledge

Sex, science and society

Havelock Ellis and sex research

The impact of Freud

9. Feminism and socialism

Sexual radicalism and its limits

Feminism and sexuality

The morals of socialism

10. Sex psychology and birth control

Sex psychology

International movements

Parenthood and birth control

11. Towards a conservative modernity

A ‘glorious unfolding’?

Domesticity and family life

Protecting purity p;

Psychology and sex delinquency

12. The state and sexuality

Welfare and citizenship

Reproducing the population

Towards the companionate marriage

‘Wolfenden’ and sexual liberalism

13. The permissive moment

The transition





The political moment

The limits of permissiveness

14. Personal politics and moral conservatism &nbs

The ebbing tide

Second-wave feminism

The challenge of gay liberation

The new moralism

The Thatcherite experiment

The AIDS crisis

15. A new world?

The changing sexual landscape

Intimate pleasures

Doing families

A gender revolution?

Becoming ordinary: the changing world of LGBT people

Multicultural Britain?

Values, agency and citizenship



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