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Sex has no history, but sexual science does. Starting in the late nineteenth century, people all over the world suddenly began to insist that understandings of sex be based on science. As Japanese and Indian sexologists influenced their German and American counterparts, and vice versa, sexuality, modernity, and imaginings of exotified “Others” became intimately linked. The first anthology to provide a worldwide perspective on the birth and development of the field, A Global History of Sexual Science contends that actors outside of Europe—in Asia, Latin America, and Africa—became important interlocutors in debates on prostitution, birth control, and transvestism. Ideas circulated through intellectual exchange, travel, and internationally produced and disseminated publications. Twenty scholars tackle specific issues, including the female orgasm and the criminalization of male homosexuality, to demonstrate how concepts and ideas introduced by sexual scientists gained currency throughout the modern world.
Veronika Fuechtner is Associate Professor of German at Dartmouth College and Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at the Geisel School of Medicine. She is the author of Berlin Psychoanalytic and coeditor of Imagining Germany Imagining Asia.
Douglas E. Haynes is Professor of History at Dartmouth College. He is author of Rhetoric and Ritual in Colonial India and Small-Town Capitalism in Western India and coeditor of Contesting Power and Towards a History of Consumption in South Asia.
Ryan M. Jones is Assistant Professor of History at SUNY Geneseo and the author of a monograph on Mexican sexuality entitled Erotic Revolutions: Homosexuality, Masculinity, and Citizenship in Mexico, 1880-1965.