Sociology of Sexualities

About This Book

Sociology of Sexualities is the first comprehensive text to approach the study of sexuality from a sociological perspective. Drawing on the most up-to-date social scientific research on sexuality, it discusses fundamental concepts in the field and helps students integrate knowledge about sexuality into their larger understanding of society. Topics covered include the emergence of sexual identities, inequalities and discrimination faced by sexual and gender minorities, heterosexual and cisgender privilege, activism and mobilization to challenge such discrimination, the commodification of sexuality, and the ways sexuality operates in and through various institutions. Throughout the text, the authors show how sexuality intersects with other statuses and identities.

This text focuses, not just on the social construction of sexuality, but also on the sexual status hierarchy, which emphasizes the privileges heterosexual and cisgender individuals experience and the discrimination sexual minorities face. Transgender issues are addressed in every chapter, and the book examines the decades of activism that have contributed to increasing equality for LGBTQ people. A range of social problems and inequalities are discussed that affect both sexual minorities and heterosexuals, including sexual assault, sex trafficking, pornography, the sexual abuse of children, and discrimination against pregnant women in the workforce. The text includes a series of chapters that look at the ways sexuality operates in and through social institutions: the workplace, family, religion, sports, media, and schools. Global/transnational perspectives on sexuality offer students a cross-cultural understanding of the social construction of sexuality. The text also covers the science of sexuality, from early sexologists to queer theory; sexuality and reproduction; and sexual health.


“This is an important addition to the sociology of sexualities market. I appreciate the focus on LGBTQ histories/identities/politics and its feminist perspective.” -Maura Ryan, Georgia State University


“[Sociology of Sexualities] takes power seriously, by analyzing social justice movements for sexual equality and by problematizing heterosexuality as well homosexuality.” -Antonia Randolf, Christopher Newport University


“It is difficult to find a book that reflects broadly on sexuality in historical, cultural, and scientific perspective. [Sociology of Sexualities] seems to accomplish that. The discussions of the history of sexuality studies and reproductive and sex education matters makes it appealing as well.” -Todd Penner, Austin College

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