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 emphasizes the extent to which societies, including our own, are still reacting to historical change through contemporary sexual behaviors, values, and debates. The study uses a clear chronological structure to focus on major patterns and changes in sexuality-both sexual culture and sexual behaviors-in the main periods of world history, covering topics including:
* The sexual implications of the transition from hunting and gathering economies to agricultural economies;
* Sexuality in classical societies;
* The postclassical period and the spread of the world religions;
* Sex in an age of trade and colonies;
* Changes in sexual behaviors and sexual attitudes between 1750 and 1950;
* Sex in contemporary world history.
This new edition examines these issues on a global scale, with attention to anthropological insights on sexuality and their relationship to history, the dynamics between sexuality and imperialism, sexuality in industrial society, and trends and conflicts surrounding views of sex and sexuality in the contemporary world.
Peter N. Stearns is University Professor of History at George Mason University. He is the author of Globalization in World History (2nd edition 2015), Childhood in World History (3rd edition 2015), Gender in World History (3rd edition 2015), Peace in World History (2014), and Human Rights in World History (2012), all in this series. Other books include A History of Shame (forthcoming), Guiding the American University: Challenges and Choices (2015), and Satisfaction Not Guaranteed: Dilemmas of Progress in Modern Society (2012).
Chapter 1 Introduction: The Whys and Hows of Sex History Chapter 2 Anthropological Findings: A Sampling Chapter 3 Sexuality and the Rise of Agriculture Chapter 4 Sexuality in the Classical Period Chapter 5 The Impact of Religion on Sexuality, to 1450 Chapter 6 Sex in an Age of Trade and Colonies, 1450-1750 Chapter 7 Western Society: a first sexual revolution and the Victorian Response, 1750-1950 Chapter 8 Global Trends and Variations in the Age of Imperialism Chapter 9 Contemporary Sexuality: Toward Liberation? Chapter 10 Contemporary Sexuality: A Sea of Problems?