Publisher: Harvard University Press; First Edition edition (October 15, 1990)
Format: PDF / Kindle / ePub
Size: 6.1 MB
Downloadable formats: PDF
this can be a publication concerning the making and unmaking of intercourse over the centuries. It tells the superb tale of intercourse within the West from the ancients to the moderns in an actual account of advancements in reproductive anatomy and body structure. we won't fail to acknowledge the gamers in Thomas Laqueur's story--the human sexual organs and pleasures, nutrients, blood, semen, egg, sperm--but we'll be surprised on the plots into which they've been woven via scientists, political activists, literary figures, and theorists of each stripe. Laqueur starts off with the query of why, within the past due eighteenth century, woman's orgasm got here to be considered as inappropriate to perception, and he then proceeds to retrace the dramatic adjustments in Western perspectives of sexual features over millennia. alongside the best way, "masterplots" emerge. within the one-sex tale, lady is a less than excellent model of guy, and her anatomy and body structure are construed consequently: the vagina is obvious as an inside penis, the womb as a scrotum, the ovaries as testicles. The physique is therefore a illustration, now not the basis, of social gender. The moment plot has a tendency to dominate post-Enlightenment pondering whereas the one-sex version is firmly rooted in classical studying. The two-sex tale says that the physique determines gender ameliorations, that lady is the other of guy with incommensurably diverse organs, capabilities, and emotions. the 2 plots overlap; neither ever holds a monopoly. technological know-how may possibly identify many new proof, besides, Laqueur argues, technology was once in simple terms supplying a brand new means of talking, a rhetoric and never a key to woman liberation or to social growth. Making intercourse ends with Freud, who denied the neurological proof to insist that, as a woman turns into a lady, the locus of her sexual excitement shifts from the clitoris to the vagina; she turns into what tradition calls for regardless of, now not as a result of, the physique. Turning Freud's well-known dictum round, Laqueur posits that future is anatomy. intercourse, in different phrases, is an artifice. it is a robust tale, written with verve and a willing feel of telling aspect (be it technically rigorous or scabrously fanciful). Making intercourse will stimulate concept, even if argument or stunned contract, in a variety of readers.