'Expansive and accessible, Peter Stearns' Sexuality in World History offers a much needed introduction to histories of sexuality from a global perspective.' – Mary Spongberg- Head of Department of Modern History, Macquarie University, USA
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 emphasises the extent to which societies, including our own, are still reacting to historical change through contemporary sexual behaviours, values, and debates.
The study uses a clear chronological structure to focus on major patterns and changes in sexuality – both sexual culture and sexual behaviours – in the main periods of world history, with comparison and discussion across cultures and societies. Topics covered include:
- issues involved in studying the history of sexuality
- the sexual implications of the transition from hunting and gathering economies to agricultural economies
- sexuality in Classical societies
- the post-Classical period and the spread of the world religions
- sex in an age of trade and colonies
- changes in sexual behaviours and sexual attitudes between 1750 and 1950
- sex in contemporary world history.
The book is a vital contribution to the study of world history, and is the perfect companion for all students of the history of sexuality.