SEX AND REASON

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Harvard University Press, Jan 1, 1994 - Law - 468 pages
9 Reviews
How much of a say do we have in our own sexuality? More than is commonly assumed, Richard Posner asserts in this intellectually sweeping and compulsively readable account of sexuality and its social control. While acknowledging that sexual drives and orientations are formed in a fundamentally biological matrix, Posner contends that they are also subject to self-interested choice constrained by perceived costs and benefits. With this approach, he explores numerous puzzles presented by sexual history. Why, for instance, are "macho" cultures generally more tolerant of sexual deviance than their otherwise more sexually liberal Anglo-Saxon counterparts? Why were women in Victorian England less free sexually than women a century earlier? Why might the AIDS epidemic have reduced the ratio of illegitimate to legitimate births? Why is marital rape increasingly criminalized? Economics provides Sex and Reason with its unifying perspective, but Posner also draws heavily on biology, law, psychology, anthropology, history, philosophy, sociology, theology, and women's studies. The scope of his analysis is broad, ranging from ancient Greece to modern Sweden, from African tribal societies to the American Catholic priesthood, from Islamic sexual regulation to the sexual jurisprudence of the U.S. Supreme Court, from polygamy and homosexuality to abortion, surrogate motherhood, and pornography. In all these areas, Posner argues, the rational choice approach can illuminate temporal and cultural variance in sexual norms and practices and point the way to enlightened reform. A widely respected judge and legal scholar, Posner seeks to dispel the clouds of ignorance, prejudice, shame, and hypocrisy that befogthe public discussion of sex. His effort is especially timely, coming as it does at a juncture when the American legal system is strained to its limits by such phenomena as the AIDS epidemic, the abortion controversy, the homosexual rights movement, battles over the federal fundin
  

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Review: Sex and Reason

User Review  - Igor Faynshteyn - Goodreads

Written by one of the leading American legal jurists of all time, and a heavy-weight intellectual generally, the book does not disappoint. It is a multi-disciplinary, comprehensive survey of history ... Read full review

Review: Sex and Reason

User Review  - Aleksandra - Goodreads

Very informative in the sense of understanding the development of social behavioral patterns (as all of Posners treatises). However, sexuality reasons of the female gender is not examined at all ... Read full review

Contents

II
13
III
23
IV
30
V
37
VI
66
VII
70
VIII
85
IX
88
XXVII
237
XXVIII
243
XXIX
260
XXX
267
XXXI
272
XXXII
291
XXXIII
309
XXXIV
314

X
98
XI
108
XII
111
XIII
115
XIV
142
XV
146
XVI
151
XVII
161
XVIII
173
XIX
181
XX
183
XXI
199
XXII
204
XXIII
211
XXIV
213
XXV
220
XXVI
224
XXXV
324
XXXVI
341
XXXVII
351
XXXVIII
366
XXXIX
375
XL
383
XLI
384
XLII
395
XLIII
405
XLIV
420
XLV
429
XLVI
435
XLVII
443
XLVIII
445
XLIX
447
Copyright

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About the author (1994)

Richard A. Posner is Circuit Judge, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and a senior lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School.

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