Lecture 10: Sex and Sexuality

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Cradle to Grave
Lecture 9: Sex and Sexuality
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History of sex/sexuality is a flourishing historical field – strongly
interdisciplinary.
Gayle Davis: ‘the history of sexuality has become “sexy”.
Historians examine a range of different sources: medical textbooks,
fiction, diaries, memoirs, letters, oral histories, institutional (clinics)
accounts, case notes, court records, newspapers and sex surveys.
1. Sex and the Victorians
 Thomas Laqueur, Making Sex (1989) – shift from the one-sex to the two-sex model of sexual
difference in the 18th century.
 In the 19th century: Women - female orgasm no longer thought necessary for conception. Were
thought to be naturally a-sexual and passionless. Men – emphasis placed on the male orgasm.
Belief that men had greater sexual needs – so-called ‘double standard’.
 Sex
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