Featherstone, Lisa: Sex

Featherstone, Lisa

Let’s Talk about Sex: Histories of Sexuality in Australia from Federation to the Pill, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK, 2011

Covering the period to 1961, the book ‘explores the ways sexuality has been constructed, understood and experienced in Australia’ and ‘explains why sex is of social, cultural, political and economic importance’.

Let’s Talk About Sex is an inclusive history, surveying multiple and interwoven forms of sexuality, desire, pleasure, regulation and resistance. It begins with the long Victorian period: the hidden desires of women and the “hydraulic’ sexual needs of men, both in the cities and on the frontier. It moves across the decades, considering heterosexuality, homosexuality, lesbians and nascent ideas about queer and sexual difference. (blurb)

The book touches on venereal disease, homophobia, birth control, rape and child sexual assault and ‘non-normative sexuality’. There is a review here and another one here. Issues of sexuality and how it is dealt with in Australia are covered here.

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