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Transgression and the Making of 'Western' Sexual Sciences

Johnson, Mark

Authors

Mark Johnson



Contributors

Hastings Donnan
Editor

Fiona Magowan
Editor

Abstract

This chapter explores some of the connections between the contemporary anthropology of gender and sexual diversity and nineteenth- and early twentieth- century sexology. As others have suggested, present-day anthropological work on gender and sexual diversity tends to suffer from genealogical and historical amnesia (Roscoe 1995; Weston 1998: 1–28; Lyons and Lyons 2004). The important question is: what are the effects of this amnesia? Here I want to suggest two. First, the distinction between ‘Western’ and ‘non-Western’ discourses of sexuality and erotic practice have not been sufficiently interrogated. Secondly, there is an assumption that a distinct epistemological and ethical gulf separates the recent anthropological study of gender and sexual diversity from the work of the early sexologists and earlier ethnographic imaginings and representations of the gender and sexuality of the ‘Other’. This chapter challenges such straightforward assumptions and distinctions.

Publication Date 2009-02
Journal Transgressive sex: subversion and control in erotic encounters
Publisher Berghahn Books
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Pages 167-189
Series Title Fertility, reproduction and sexuality
Series Number 13
Book Title Transgressive sex: subversion and control in erotic encounters
Chapter Number 9
ISBN 978-1-84545-539-2
Institution Citation Johnson, M. (2009). Transgression and the Making of 'Western' Sexual Sciences. In H. Donnan, & F. Magowan (Eds.), Transgressive sex: subversion and control in erotic encounters, 167-189. Berghahn Books
Publisher URL https://www.berghahnbooks.com/title/DonnanTransgressive
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