Sexual Conduct: The Social Sources of Human Sexuality

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Transaction Publishers, Dec 31, 2011 - Psychology - 369 pages
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The first edition of Sexual Conduct, published in 1973, swiftly became a landmark text in the sociology of sexuality. It went on to profoundly shape the ideas of several generations of scholars and has become the foundation text of what is now known as the "social constructionist" approach to sexuality. The present edition, revised, updated, and containing new introductory and concluding materials, introduces a classic text to a new generation of students and professionals. Traditional views of human sexuality posit models of man and woman in which biological arrangements are translated into sociocultural imperatives. This is best summarized in the phrase "anatomy is destiny." Consequently, the almost exclusive concern has been with the power of biology and nature in sexual conduct as opposed to understanding the significance and impact of social life. In Sexual Conduct, Gagnon and Simon lucidly argue that sexual activities, of all kinds, may be understood as the outcome of a complex psychosocial process of development. Using the social script theory, the authors trace the ways in which sexuality is learned and fitted into particular moments in the lifecycle and in different modes of behavior. Sexual Conduct is a major attempt to consider sexuality within a non-biological, social psychological framework. It is a valuable addition to the study of human sexuality, and will be of interest to students of sociology, psychology, psychiatry, social work, and medicine.

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Childhood and Adolescence
Postadolescent Sexual Development
The Pedagogy of Sex
Homosexuality Among Men
A Conformity Greater than Deviance
The Prostitution of Women
Homosexual Conduct in Prison
Social Change and Sexual Conduct
The Writing of Sexual Conduct
The NeverEnding Conversation

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About the author (2011)

William Simon (1930-2000) was professor of sociology at the University of Houston. He also taught at Indiana University and from 1968 to 1975 was program supervisor at the Institute for Juvenile Research in Chicago. A pioneer in the development of the social constructionist approach to sexuality, Simon was a recipient of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality's Award for Distinguished Scientific Achievement.

John H. Gagnon was professor emeritus of sociology and psychiatry at the State University of New York, Stony Brook. He was a co-author of The Social Organization of Sexuality: Sexual Practices in the United States and Sex in America, and a coeditor of Encounters with AIDS: The Impact of the HIV/AIDS Epidemic on the Gay and Lesbian Communities.

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