Sex and Sexuality in Early America

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Merril D. Smith
NYU Press, Sep 1, 1998 - History - 341 pages
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What role did sexual assault play in the conquest of America? How did American attitudes toward female sexuality evolve, and how was sexuality regulated in the early Republic?

Sex and sexuality have always been the subject of much attention, both scholarly and popular. Yet, accounts of the early years of the United States tend to overlook the importance of their influence on the shaping of American culture. Sex and Sexuality in Early America addresses this neglected topic with original research covering a wide spectrum, from sexual behavior to sexual perceptions and imagery. Focusing on the period between the initial contact of Europeans and Native Americans up to 1800, the essays encompass all of colonial North America, including the Caribbean and Spanish territories.

Challenging previous assumptions, these essays address such topics as rape as a tool of conquest; perceptions and responses to Native American sexuality; fornication, bastardy, celibacy, and religion in colonial New England; gendered speech in captivity narratives; representations of masculinity in eighteenth- century seduction tales, the sexual cosmos of a southern planter, and sexual transgression and madness in early American fiction. The contributors include Stephanie Wood, Gordon Sayre, Steven Neuwirth, Else L. Hambleton, Erik R. Seeman, Richard Godbeer, Trevor Burnard, Natalie A. Zacek, Wayne Bodle, Heather Smyth, Rodney Hessinger, and Karen A. Weyler.

 

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Contents

EuropeanNative American Contact
7
Native American Sexuality in the Eyes of
35
Gender Speech and Gendered
55
Regulating Sex and Sexuality in Colonial
87
Sexuality
116
Race Sex and Social Control in
133
The Sexual Life of an EighteenthCentury Jamaican
163
Sex Sexuality and Social Control in the Eighteenth
190
Images of Masculinity Femininity
215
CrossDressing
240
Sexual
283
Selected Bibliography
315
Contributors
333
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American Sexual Histories
Elizabeth Reis
No preview available - 2001
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About the author (1998)

Merril D. Smith is the editor of Sex and Sexuality in Early America and Breaking the Bonds: Marital Discord in Pennsylvania, 1730-1830. She lives in National Park, New Jersey.

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