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Sex Acts

Sex Acts
Practices of Femininity and Masculinity

160 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Drawing on original empirical research, this book provides a critical understanding of current theory in the study of sexuality.

Inter-disciplinary in approach, Jennifer Harding identifies a series of key issues on contemporary discourses: essentialism vs constructionism; gender and sexuality; representation and concepts of identity; Foucalut's notion of `discourse'; and Butler's theory of gender `performance'. These topics are explored in the light of contemporary cultural contexts - for instance, the debate on hormone theory and the social construction of sexuality, `gender bending' and masculinity, the maternal body, queer families, and constructions of motherhood and fatherhood. Critical summaries of the main debates in the field are presented in an accessible way, while the text forms an insightful guide to the dilemmas involved in the private/public divide.

The Power of Sex
An Introduction

Investigating Sex
Essentialism and Constructionism

Private Sex, Public Danger
Sex/uality and Representation
Chemical Sex and Social Control
`Gender-Bending' and Masculinity
Sex/uality and the Maternal Body
Queer Families
Sexual Parody
Lesbians in Popular Culture


'Readable, accessible, interesting and lively ... This is a very good course text especially for undergraduates in years one to three' - Maggie O'Neil, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Staffordshire University

`Sex Acts has much to recommend it to students of communications, sociology, psychology and feminism, for it examines the unwitting polarization of gender possible in each of these fields.' - Feminism and Psychology

Jenny Harding