American sexual character reumann miriam g. Reumann, Miriam G. 1966 2019-01-26

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American Sexual Character: Sex, Gender, and National Identity in the Kinsey ...

american sexual character reumann miriam g

In examining the ways in which advice books described and valorized heterosexual intercourse as the cornerstone of modern marriage, I illuminate the connections that experts during the 1950s made between sexual and gender roles. New themes also spurred and shaped postwar nation building. Responses to the Kinsey Reports brought together debates about national identity, consumption and consumerism, family and gender roles, and racial and political liberalism. The term American sexual character thus suggests the ways in which a range of postwar discourses—having to do with the family, national security, popular culture, consumption, work, racial difference, and political affiliation, among others—borrowed from a common vocabulary. As well as finding a far higher incidence of same-sex sexual practices than many had previously believed existed in the United States, the reports found that sexual behaviors long believed to be the province of homosexuals, including oral and anal sex, were in fact widely practiced by heterosexuals.

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American Sexual Character: Sex, Gender, and National Identity in the Kinsey Reports by Miriam G. Reumann

american sexual character reumann miriam g

As they debated what behaviors were normal or average, abnormal or deviant, Cold War Americans also celebrated and scrutinized the state of their nation, relating apparent changes in sexuality to shifts in its political structure, economy, and people. I argue that homosexuality, which received unprecedented national attention after the appearance of Kinsey's statistics, was depicted in the mainstream press as simultaneously alluring and dangerous. When Alfred Kinsey's massive studies Sexual Behavior in the Human Male and Sexual Behavior in the Human Female appeared in 1948 and 1953, their detailed data spurred an unprecedented public discussion of the nation's sexual practices and ideologies. Kinsey also exposed the high percentage of infidelity at a time when divorce rates were climbing. Looking at real and perceived changes in masculinity, female sexuality, marriage, and homosexuality, Miriam G.

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American Sexual Character: Sex, Gender, and National Identity in the Kinsey Reports.

american sexual character reumann miriam g

American Sexual Character: Sex, Gender, and National Identity in the Kinsey Reports. She considers how apparent shifts in sexual behavior shaped the nation's workplaces, homes, and families, and how these might be linked to racial and class differences. Literally, sexuality was surveyed, mapped, and theorized as never before. Despite their complex graphs and charts and abstruse scientific language, the volumes became best-sellers and spurred unprecedented public discussion of national sexual practices and ideologies. As they debated what behaviors were normal or average, abnormal or deviant, Cold War Americans also celebrated and scrutinize When Alfred Kinsey's massive studies Sexual Behavior in the Human Male and Sexual Behavior in the Human Female appeared in 1948 and 1953, their detailed data spurred an unprecedented public discussion of the nation's sexual practices and ideologies. Responses to and appropriations of the studies were many, from scholarly symposia to joke books and novels, from articles in women's magazines and confessionals to news coverage in scientific journals and newspapers.

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Miriam G. Reumann: American Sexual Character (PDF)

american sexual character reumann miriam g

American Sexual Character : Sex, Gender, and National Identity in the Kinsey Reports. As they debated what behaviors were normal or average, abnormal or deviant, Cold War Americans also celebrated and scrutinized the state of their nation, relating apparent changes in sexuality to shifts in its political structure, economy, and people. Rather than exploring the Kinsey Reports as the title implies, Reumann uses the Kinsey Reports as a starting point to assess debates about sexuality in the post-war world. As they debated what behaviors were normal or average, abnormal or deviant, Cold War Americans also celebrated and scrutinize When Alfred Kinsey's massive studies Sexual Behavior in the Human Male and Sexual Behavior in the Human Female appeared in 1948 and 1953, their detailed data spurred an unprecedented public discussion of the nation's sexual practices and ideologies. As older definitions of normalcy and deviance came under attack in the wake of new research, the qualifications required to be an authority on sex changed. It examines the ways in which normative categories such as heterosexuality, masculinity, femininity, and Americanness itself were constructed and questioned. Experts disagreed, often vehemently, about exactly what was wrong with modern sexuality, but virtually all commentators who addressed the subject diagnosed grave problems with American behavior and mores.

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American sexual character : sex, gender, and national identity in the Kinsey reports in SearchWorks catalog

american sexual character reumann miriam g

These two massive sex surveys, compiled by the Indiana University zoologist Alfred Kinsey and a team of researchers, graphically presented the results of interviews with thousands of American men and women, including information on their age at first intercourse, number of partners, history of premarital and extramarital sex, incidence of homosexuality and lesbianism, and virtually every other imaginable sexual statistic. Reumann shows that once opened by Kinsey, discussions proliferated among critics and commentators in the post-war world, but most of these writers considered gender and sexuality--few spoke about sex acts. This begs the question of whether one can or should be neutral in the midst of a culture war especially if one is clear about what is at stake. Virtually all of them also had to negotiate issues of respectability and prurience, positioning their work as sober fact, lurid sensationalism, and every combination in between. While scanning postwar books and articles, I was repeatedly struck by the pervasiveness of the two reports: articles on gender, marriage, and the family devoted extensive attention to the studies, but so did texts probing the effects of suburbanization, assessing the national zeitgeist, comparing Americans to their counterparts in other countries, and analyzing the state of contemporary theater. Sexual deviance, whether understood as homosexual activity, promiscuity, interracial sex, or any other arrangement that violated the prescribed path of monogamous sexual expression within marriage, was coupled rhetorically with political subversion. In the epilogue, I consider how different sexual subjects, such as the average American, the married couple, the modal man or woman, and the homosexual, were constructed by and participated in the overall discourse of American sexual character during the 1950s.

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American Sexual Character: Sex, Gender, and National Identity in the Kinsey Reports by Miriam G. Reumann

american sexual character reumann miriam g

Sexual Behavior in the Human Male and Sexual Behavior in the Human Female struck a nerve within the American public. Individualism was one of the most crucial differences between American democracy and Communism, and warnings about the dangers of conformity often reminded the public of the need to understand themselves and encourage their personalities to flourish. Beyond these factors, though, the reports' immense popularity and controversy stemmed from something else: the studies offered a set of data through which critics, experts, and casual readers could address the sexual and social changes surrounding them. The midcentury political consensus known as cold war liberalism was a flexible and extensive category, and in battles where the cultural and the political merged, seemingly similar concerns could emerge from vastly different places. Upon the appearance of the first volume, Kinsey was simultaneously hailed as a liberator, denounced as a pornographer, compared to the scientific martyrs Darwin and Copernicus, and declared a Communist bent on destroying the American family, all themes that would persist in discussions of his work. The tension between these two themes—American sexuality as a sign of cultural disintegration and political weakness or as the locus for familial and social cohesion—shaped postwar discourse on sexuality. The masculinity of American males came under the microscope with Kinsey's findings that showed that as many as eighty percent had had a homosexual experience, which could have been a single incident or a lifetime relationship.

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American Sexual Character: Sex, Gender, and National Identity in the Kinsey Reports

american sexual character reumann miriam g

Looking at actual and perceived alterations in masculinity, girl sexuality, marriage, and homosexuality, Miriam G. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of Reumann's work is the way she provides a history for current debates about sexual issues like birth control, abortion, homosexuality, and same sex marriage. Looking at real and perceived changes in masculinity, female sexuality, marriage, and homosexuality, Miriam G. The reports, along with the host of other explorations of American sexuality that appeared in their wake, were received not only as collections of statistics but also as important statements about gender difference, social change, and American identity. For example, in chapter five writings by members of the emerging homophile community play a central role in the debate over homosexuality by expanding coverage of homosexual life, debunking negative myths and theories, criticizing Americans for their fear and repression, and linking respect for homosexuals as sexual minorities to American democracy, freedom, and the nation's standing in the world.

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American Sexual Character: Sex, Gender, and National by Miriam G. Reumann PDF

american sexual character reumann miriam g

Reumann draws on a broad array of materials, including writings in women's magazines and medical, social science, and scientific texts and journals. In examining postwar concerns about sexuality and national identity, the most important documents that I draw on are of course Alfred Kinsey's Sexual Behavior in the Human Male 1948 and Sexual Behavior in the Human Female 1953. Additional info for American Sexual Character: Sex, Gender, and National Identity in the Kinsey Reports Sample text. However, once discussed and debated in the public realm, the new loading of cultural meanings onto sexual problems no doubt affected the individual man even as he faced issues such as homosexuality, impotence, or sexual brutality in private. Popular magazines openly discussed homosexuality and sexual techniques, and experts complained that Americans were obsessed with sex. Focusing on the mutual construction of postwar ideas about national identity and sexual life, this wide-ranging, shrewd, and lively analysis explores the many uses to which these sex surveys were put at a time of extreme anxiety about sexual behavior and its effects on the nation. As experts debated the apparent increase of homosexuality, many articulated a deep concern that Americans were particularly susceptible to it, linking same-sex sexuality to broader concerns about American character.

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American Sexual Character: Sex, Gender, and National Identity in the Kinsey Reports: Sex, Gender and National Identity in the Kinsey Reports by Miriam G. Reumann

american sexual character reumann miriam g

In their best-selling sociological treatise The Lonely Crowd, David Riesman and Nathan Glazer suggest that changes in personal relationships, work, and consumption were crafting a new—and to many, sadly diminished—type of American character. A recent resurgence of interest in nationalism has encouraged scholars to focus less on traditionally defined political processes than on the social and cultural processes that shaped changing conceptions of national identity. The third term I highlight, character, weaves throughout postwar literature on national identity and sexual and social change, uniting a cultural critique of the present with nostalgia for a simpler and idealized past. Many of reformers' suspicions about modern sexuality—for example, the belief that changing sexual norms would lead to mass marital failure, the disappearance of heterosexuality, or a decline in American character—were vague threats, impossible to measure. As they debated what behaviors were normal or average, abnormal or deviant, Cold War Americans also celebrated and scrutinized the state of their nation, relating apparent changes in sexuality to shifts in its political structure, economy, and people. About the Book Beginning with a brief portrait of the reports and the cultural moment into which they emerged, the book moves from a general overview of the place of sexuality in postwar social thought to more focused readings of sources that target and analyze specific problems and populations.

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Library Resource Finder: Staff View for: American sexual character : sex, gender,

american sexual character reumann miriam g

Normal and abnormal, one sometimes suspects, are terms which a particular author employs with reference to his own position on that curve. She considers how apparent shifts in sexual behavior shaped the nation's workplaces, homes, and families, and how these might be linked to racial and class differences. Character—usually understood as sobriety, commitment to labor, upward economic and social mobility, and dedication to both family and civic duty—was essential to the American democracy and civic life. Author: Miriam G Reumann Publisher: Berkeley : University of California Press, 2005. This transformation of sexual discourse was reflected not only in the proliferation and popularity of examinations of American sexuality but also in the ways in which sexual information was managed and categorized. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

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