The Invention of Heterosexuality

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2007-06-15
  • Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr

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"Heterosexuality," assumed to denote a universal sexual and cultural norm, has been largely exempt from critical scrutiny. In this boldly original work, Jonathan Ned Katz challenges the common notion that the distinction between heterosexuality and homosexuality has been a timeless one. Building on the history of medical terminology, he reveals that as late as 1923, the term "heterosexuality" referred to a "morbid sexual passion," and that its current usage emerged to legitimate men and women having sex for pleasure. Drawing on the works of Sigmund Freud, James Baldwin, Betty Friedan, and Michel Foucault,The Invention of Heterosexualityconsiders the effects of heterosexuality's recently forged primacy on both scientific literature and popular culture. "Lively and provocative."Carol Tavris,New York Times Book Review "A valuable primer . . . misses no significant twists in sexual politics."Gary Indiana,Village Voice Literary Supplement "One of the most importantif not outright subversiveworks to emerge from gay and lesbian studies in years."Mark Thompson,The Advocate

Author Biography

 Jonathan Ned Katz is the author of many books, including Gay American History and Love Stories: Sex Between Men Before Homosexuality, the latter published by the University of Chicago Press.

Table of Contents

Preface, 2006p. vii
The Genealogy of a Sex Concept: From Homosexual History to Heterosexual Historyp. 1
The Debut of the Heterosexual: Richard von Krafft-Ebing and the Mind Doctorsp. 19
Before Heterosexuality: Looking Backwardp. 33
Making the Heterosexual Mystique: Sigmund Freud's Seminal Conceptionsp. 57
The Heterosexual Comes Out: From Doctor Discourse to the Mass Mediap. 83
Questioning the Heterosexual Mystique: Some Liberal Feminist and Radical Feminist Verdictsp. 113
The Lesbian Menace Strikes Back: Some Lavender Feminist Critiquesp. 139
Toward a New Pleasure System: Looking Forwardp. 167
Afterwordp. 193
Acknowledgmentsp. 197
Notesp. 201
Bibliographyp. 247
Indexp. 283
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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