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

By Miriam G. Reumann

Whilst Alfred Kinsey's mammoth reviews Sexual habit within the Human Male and Sexual habit within the Human girl seemed in 1948 and 1953, their distinct info spurred an extraordinary public dialogue of the nation's sexual practices and ideologies. As they debated what behaviors have been general or normal, irregular or deviant, chilly conflict american citizens additionally celebrated and scrutinized the nation in their kingdom, bearing on obvious alterations in sexuality to shifts in its political constitution, economic climate, and folks. American Sexual personality employs the stories and the myriad responses they evoked to envision nationwide debates approximately sexuality, gender, and Americanness after global struggle II. targeting the mutual building of postwar principles approximately nationwide id and sexual lifestyles, this wide-ranging, sensible, and full of life research explores the various makes use of to which those intercourse surveys have been positioned at a time of maximum anxiousness approximately sexual habit and its results at the nation.

Looking at actual and perceived adjustments in masculinity, lady sexuality, marriage, and homosexuality, Miriam G. Reumann develops the inspiration of "American sexual character," sexual styles and attitudes that have been understood to be uniquely American and to mirror modern differences in politics, social lifestyles, gender roles, and tradition. She considers how obvious shifts in sexual habit formed the nation's places of work, houses, and households, and the way those can be associated with racial and sophistication transformations.

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Devoid of noisy explosions, its stormy scenes are confined to the privacy of the bedroom and involve only individuals. . It has no revolutionary army to fight its enemies . . no politbureau directs it. Without plan or organization, it is carried on by millions of individuals, each acting on his own. . Its name is the sex revolution. If left unchecked, Sorokin continued, the emerging phenomenon he labeled “the American sex revolution” promised to result in the “disintegration . . ”61 This linking of sexual and political threats demonstrates how American sexual behavior offered critics both a specific issue around which to rally and a trope through which to identify and critique other social changes affecting the nation.

Some objected to Kinsey’s effrontery in 26 chapter one conducting the studies at all, others merely to the volumes’ wide dissemination and the publicity they received. Still others based their criticism of Kinsey’s work and its possible effects on civic interests, arguing that his findings would serve to undercut the nation’s prestige or weaken family ties. No less an enforcer of right than J. ”27 A fourth major source of anti-Kinsey sentiment was psychiatry. 28 Practitioners held strong opinions on the reports and the new sexual cultures they described.

1 Americans had emerged victorious from the international conflict, surviving the war with less loss of life and more of its services and infrastructure intact than other combatant nations. In contrast to defeated Axis powers and to European allies, shortages and rationing were short-lived. Wartime industries had rescued the nation from the lingering depression, postwar assistance programs such as the GI Bill promised class and economic mobility, and Americans’ savings and pent-up consumer demand would fuel an era of economic growth and prosperity.

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