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history of sexuality



  • 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).



  • The Fantasy that Changed Female Friendship Forever

    by Nicole Hemmer

    If the 1980s phenomenon of the male Chippendales show benefitted women's empowerment, it was not (only) by making men the objects of lust, but by normalizing rituals of female friendship. 



  • Collars, Cuffs, and History Collaborations

    Nicole Hemmer, Natalia Mehlman Petrzela and Neil J. Young are the producers of the "Past/Present" podcast. Their new project "Welcome to Your Fantasy" looks at feminism and the sexual revolution through the cultural phenomenon of the Chippendales Dancers. Claire Potter interviews the trio about it.



  • Working With Death: The Experience of Feeling in the Archive

    by Ruth Lawlor

    A researcher of sexual assault against women by American troops in World War II confronted the problem that the archive captures only a traumatic event and leaves the human being affected in the shadows.