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Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $76.00
  • November 2018
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-62358-1
  • 728 pages
  • Territory Rights: Worldwide

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    1. Sociology
      1. Sexuality

    Sex Matters

    The Sexuality and Society Reader

    Fifth Edition


    See all options and formats starting at

    Mindy Stombler (Editor, Georgia State University), Dawn M. Baunach (Editor, Georgia State University), Wendy Simonds (Editor, Georgia State University), Elroi J. Windsor (Editor, Salem College), Elisabeth O. Burgess (Editor, Georgia State University)


    A sex-positive reader that presents sex as a social issue

    This popular reader has a strong sociological focus, highlighting the ways that social institutions—and the individuals within them—shape our understanding of sexuality and influence our behaviors, attitudes, and identities. The readings, 50 percent of which are new to the Fifth Edition, cover a diverse range of sexual experiences, including new pieces on asexuality, online porn, and PrEP for HIV prevention. The editors mix qualitative and quantitative empirical pieces, sexual narratives, and articles from the popular press.


    A blend of empirical work and more personalized accounts

    Sex Matters is unique in offering a combination of research pieces, sociologically informed popular pieces, and personal narratives—many of which were written specifically for the volume. A mix of longer in-depth pieces and shorter features on specialized topics add variety and breadth.

    A sexualities reader with a sex-positive perspective

    The book challenges the cultural stigmatization and marginalization of some sexual behaviors and the valorization of others. For the Sex Matters editors, part of sex positivity means, for example, promoting the pursuit of sexual pleasure, not centering sex education around danger and disease.

    A focus on both social construction and social control

    The readings highlight the dual themes of social construction and social control. As the readings make clear, while society constructs our understanding of sexuality and influences our attitudes and behaviors, certain members of society and certain institutions have more power to define a society’s sexual agenda than others.

    Interviews with sex researchers enhance empirical focus

    “Spotlight on Research” features at the beginning of every chapter profile the work of cutting-edge sex researchers. Nearly a third are new to the Fifth Edition.

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