Book Suggestions for the New Year

Now that the New Year is approaching, we’ve compiled a list of books that we’ve read this year and found interesting, valuable, or controversial.

The Origins of Sex: A History of the First Sexual Revolution, Faramerz Dabhoiwala

Dabhoiwala describes and analyzes the way that people viewed sex between 1660 and 1880. The focus is on in England, but European nations and the United States are mentioned regularly. At close to 500 pages, reading this book is quite an undertaking, but readers will learn about the role of religion, about hospitals or asylums for women, and why it is that women are now considered less sexual than men, when this was not always the case.

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Not Just Any Kind of Sexuality: The Pornography of Everyday Life

I have a thing for advertisements, especially when they portray sexism, gender stereotypes, or the pornification of sexuality. Elin and I frequently write about advertisements that we find disturbing, annoying, or just plain sexist. And there are many kinds to choose from, as different forms of advertising are everywhere. Some of my favorite analyses and discussions of popular culture and advertising are Jean Kilbourne’s series Killing Us Softly and Tough Guise: Violence, Media, and the Crisis in Masculinity. I also wrote about the documentary Orgasm Inc, concerning female sexual dysfunction.

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