Sex is not a natural act and other essays

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Westview Press, 1995 - Health & Fitness - 232 pages
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This collection of sexologist Leonore Tiefer's essays includes popular as well as professional writings and lectures on the social construction of sexuality. Tiefer's background as a sexologist is unusually broad, including rodent copulation research, sex therapy, classification of dysfunctions and feminist analysis. Her wit and passion are evident in such essays as "The Kiss," "Advice to the Lovelorn," "Sexual Biology and the Symbolism of the Natural," "In Pursuit of the Perfect Penis: The Medicalization of Male Sexuality," and "New Perspectives in Sexology: From Rigor (Mortis) to Richness," and they all add up to a lively, controversial presentation of the forces shaping sex in our culture.As Tiefer provocatively states toward the end of her introduction to Part 1, "A kiss is not a kiss;... your orgasm is not the same as George Washington's, premarital sex in Peru is not premarital sex in Peoria, abortion in Rome at the time of Caesar is not abortion at the time of John Paul II, and rape is neither an act of sex nor an act of violence--all of these actions remain to be defined by individual experience within one's period and culture." This book explores sex and its "experts" in colorful, original, and perceptive ways.

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User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A variation on the nature/nurture debate that comes down forcefully on the side of nurture to challenge the assumption that sex is natural. An adamant supporter of social constructionism as a ... Read full review


Social Constructionism and the Study
Sexual Biology and the Symbolism of the Natural

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About the author (1995)

Leonore Tiefer is clinical associate professor of psychiatry at the New York University School of Medicine in New York City and has a private practice in sex therapy and psychotherapy in Manhattan. Recently, Dr. Tiefer has become internationally known as the primary spokesperson for a movement that challenges the medicalization of women's sexual problems by the pharmaceutical industry. Both the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality and the Association for Women in Psychology selected her for their Distinguished Scientific Career Awards in 2004.

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