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Sexuality: A Very Short Introduction

Veronique Mottier

Publication Date - 23 June 2008

ISBN: 9780199298020

168 pages
4-1/4 x 6-3/4 inches

In Stock


Is our sexuality determined primarily by our genes? Or is it shaped by the social norms and expectations we happen to be born into. This Very Short Introduction provides an accessible, thoughtful and thought-provoking introduction to major debates around sexuality in the modern world, highlighting the social and political aspects of sexuality. It critically explores different ways of defining and thinking about sexuality and shows that many of our assumptions about what is "natural" in the sexual domain have, in reality, varied greatly in different historical or cultural contexts. The volume also examines ways in which governments have tried to regulate citizens' sexualities in the past-through policies and laws concerning public health, HIV/Aids, prostitution, and sex education-paying special attention to the particular zeal with which women's sexuality has been policed. The volume concludes by discussing political activism around sexuality more widely, focusing on the ways in which feminists, lesbians and gay men, as well as religious fundamentalists have transformed our ways of thinking about sexuality in the past few decades.

About the Series: Combining authority with wit, accessibility, and style, Very Short Introductions offer an introduction to some of life's most interesting topics. Written by experts for the newcomer, they demonstrate the finest contemporary thinking about the central problems and issues in hundreds of key topics, from philosophy to Freud, quantum theory to Islam.


  • An accessible and thought-provoking introduction to the major debates about sex and sexuality in the modern world
  • Focuses on the social, political, and psychological aspects of sexuality, and looks at how sexual politics and activism have transformed the way we live
  • Highly topical, tackling the controversies that confront us when issues of sex and sexuality are discussed, from gay rights and religious doctrine to HIV\AIDS and feminism
  • Part of the bestselling Very Short Introductions series--over two million copies sold worldwide
  • Part of the bestselling Very Short Introductions series - millions of copies sold worldwide

About the Author(s)

Véronique Mottier is Fellow and Director of Studies in Social and Political Sciences at Jesus College, Cambridge and Professor of Sociology at the University of Lausanne. Her previous books include Politics of Sexuality: Identity, Gender, Citizenship, co-edited with Terrell Carver.

Table of Contents

    1. Models of sexuality
    2. Identity, power, politics
    3. The state in the bedroom
    4. Virgins or whores: feminist critiques of sexuality
    5. The 'perverts' talk back
    Further Reading & References

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