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A Global History of Sexual Science, 1880–1960

Veronika Fuechtner (Editor), Douglas E. Haynes (Editor), Ryan M. Jones (Editor)

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Starting in the late nineteenth century, scholars and activists all over the world suddenly began to insist that understandings of sex be based on science. As Japanese and Indian sexologists influenced their German, British, 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 the 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 forthcoming book on Mexican sexuality entitled Erotic Revolutions.
“This rich and diverse collection offers the first overview of the globalization of sexual science and of the ways in which men and women on four continents used what they thought they knew about that most mysterious of human qualities—the nature of our sexual desires—to make and understand the social and political worlds in which they lived. It is also a superb collective case study of the global creation and circulation of knowledge that will engage not only people interested in sex—most of us—but also those interested in social studies of science and in globalization more generally.”—Thomas W. Laqueur, author of Making Sex: Body and Gender from the Greeks to Freud

“Histories of sexuality have been experiencing a boom during the past decade, but nearly all of the published work focuses on single countries. This book presents an imposingly broad and thorough grounding of the claim that the spread of thinking about sexual science as a distinctive set of intellectual and institutional practices was both remarkably global and complexly interactive. No other book comes close to the impressive breadth of A Global History of Sexual Science.”—Geoff Eley, University of Michigan, author of Nazism as Fascism: Violence, Ideology, and the Ground of Consent in Germany 1930–1945
A Global History of Sexual Science is an impressive accomplishment that deserves to become a key text in anthropology, history, gender studies, religion, queer studies, and the histories of medicine, psychiatry, and sexuality. No other volume offers as thorough an account of the interactions among Anglo-European (largely German) scientific approaches to the study of sex and local traditions in India, Argentina, Morocco, Africa, China, Mexico, Japan, Chile, and Israel. The gracefully written contributions to this superbly assembled anthology are accessible to both specialists and general readers and assure it will enjoy a spirited reception for many decades to come.”—Edward Dimendberg, Professor of Humanities and European Languages and Studies, University of California, Irvine

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