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Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $19.09
  • September 2014
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-93780-0
  • 320 pages
  • Territory Rights: Worldwide

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    1. Sociology

    The Social Construction of Sexuality

    Third Edition


    See all options and formats starting at

    Steven Seidman (Author, State University of New York, Albany)


    An affordable primer to sexuality written from a sociological perspective.

    In The Social Construction of Sexuality, Steven Seidman investigates the political and social consequences of privileging certain sexual practices and identities while stigmatizing others. Addressing a range of topics from gay and lesbian identities to sex work, Seidman delves into issues of social control that inform popular beliefs and moral standards. The new Third Edition features three new chapters that focus on the changing cultures of intimacy, the promise and perils of cyber intimacies, and youth struggles to negotiate independence and intimate solidarity.


    New chapters on the changing cultures of intimacy

    Reflecting the latest debates in postmarital and g/l/b/t intimacies, the Third Edition includes three new chapters on intimacy:

    • Chapter 7 (Changing Cultures of Intimacy) provides an overview of some of the key changes in American intimate life from the nineteenth to the early twenty-first century. 
    • In Chapter 8 (The Promise and Perils of Cyber Intimacies), Seidman examines how digital culture is blurring the lines between public and private life.
    • Chapter 9 (Youth Struggles to Negotiate Independence and Intimate Solidarity) addresses two recent phenomenon: hookup culture and the reversal of gender roles for heterosexual parents in poverty.

    The ideal primer to sexuality, written from a sociological perspective

    At just over 200 pages and affordably priced, The Social Construction of Sexuality is a short, readable introduction to sociological thinking about sexuality from an authority in the field. 

      Part I: Theorizing Sex
      Chapter 1: The Science of Sex: Sexology and Psychoanalysis
      Chapter 2: Social Theories of Sexuality: Marxism and Feminism
      Chapter 3: Social Constructionism: Sociology, History, and Philosophy

      Part II: The Sociology and Politics of Sexual Identity

      Chapter 4: Heterosexuality: From Behavior to Identity
      Chapter 5: Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Politics in the United States
      Chapter 6: The Revolt against Sexual Identity (co-authored by Suzanne Pennington and Carey Jean Sojka)

      Part III: Intimate Life in America
      Chapter 7: Changing Cultures of Intimacy
      Chapter 8: The Promise and Perils of Cyber Intimacies
      Chapter 9: Youth Struggles to Negotiate Independence and Intimate Solidarity

      Part IV: The Cultural Politics of Sex
      Chapter 10: Into Our Bedrooms: The State Takes Charge
      Chapter 11: Popular Culture Introduces the New Normal Citizen: The Gay American
      Chapter 12: Heterosexuality in Panic: Doctors to the Rescue

      Part V: Sexual Ethics in a Time of Uncertainty
      Chapter 13: Porn Wars
      Chapter 14: Sadomasochism, or, the Pleasures of Pain
      Chapter 15: A Right to Sex Work?
      Chapter 16: Gay Marriage: Is America a Christian or Liberal Nation?

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      Get The Social Construction of Sexuality for only $6.25 when you also buy Sex Matters: The Sexuality and Society Reader. Buy the package for $101.25