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history of sexuality



  • Sex, Society and Scandal in 19th Century France

    Historian Sarah Horowitz found the tale of Marguerite Steinheil too juicy to confine to an academic book, though the scandal shows how women navigated sex and inequality at the end of the nineteenth century. 



  • The Democratic Possibilities of Cruising

    by Jack Parlett

    As a practice, cruising exemplifies the possibilities of urban culture by bringing people into contact with strangers and enabling them to recognize common desires. The history of crusing shows it's not just about sex, but about democracy. 



  • Dangerous as the Plague: The History of Moral Panics over Queer "Seduction"

    by Samuel Huneke

    From the perspective of the post-Obergefell US, this year's politicized attacks on LGBTQ people—particularly as threats to the nation's youth—seem like a sudden reversal. But such attacks have a long and miserable history that has shadowed movements for queer freedom at every turn. 



  • The Asian-Canadian Gay Pioneer Theorist of Sexuality

    by Laurie Marhoefer

    Li Shiu Tong, the partner of better-known German sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld, was an important theorist and activist whose once-lost writings anticipated today's politics of gay rights and liberation. 



  • The 19th Century Woman's Secret Guides to Birth Control

    Women have always tried to share information enabling them to control their reproductive health, and others have always tried to stop them. Secrecy, coded language and misdirection are historical puzzles to untangle, say Andrea Tone, Naomi Rendina, Lauren Thompson and Donna Drucker. 



  • Antiabortion Movement Gunning for Contraceptive Rights, Too

    by Anya Jabour

    A century ago, sex researcher Katharine Bement Davis was silenced because she fought to redefine women's sexuality and contraceptive use as normal and fight for its decriminalization. The right today wants to undo her legacy through the courts.



  • The Beginnings of Queer Citizenship in West Germany

    by Samuel Clowes Huneke

    An emerging gay activist culture in West Berlin in the 1970s made substantial gains in building cultural spaces and expanding tolerance, but struggled to build political solidarity out of sexual identity amid other social divisions.



  • The Golden Age of "Traditional Marriage" Never Was

    by Lauren Gutterman

    Despite conservative mythologizing, married Americans in the postwar era frequently sought and secured space to explore same-sex attractions and relationships. These histories show that regardless of who controls the Supreme Court, conservatives will be unable to force a narrow model of family life on the public. 



  • Peering Into Windows and Wombs: Reflections on SB 8

    by Gillian Frank

    "Even as abortion opponents loudly proclaim they are acting by divine mandate, people of faith like Dr. Curtis Boyd remain on the frontlines of this battle for reproductive healthcare."



  • EBay Deletes the Queer Past

    The online auction company's decision may make it difficult for historians of LGBTQ cultures and of sexuality to build archives of historically signicant erotica. 



  • The Tyranny of the Female-Orgasm Industrial Complex

    The writer's personal experiences, in light of a historical review of ideas about female sexuality, suggests that more knowledge has reinforced the social control of women by making pleasure obligatory rather than prohibited (Note: contains frank, explicit and extensive discussions of sexual activity).