The Invention of Heterosexuality

Jonathan Ned Katz

Jonathan Ned Katz

With a New Foreword by the Author
305 pages | 1 halftone | 5-1/2 x 8 | © 2005, 2007
Paper $17.50 ISBN: 9780226426013 Published June 2007

“Heterosexuality,” assumed to denote a universal sexual and cultural norm, has been largely exempt from critical scrutiny. In this boldly original work, Jonathan Ned Katz challenges the common notion that the distinction between heterosexuality and homosexuality has been a timeless one.  Building on the history of medical terminology, he reveals that as late as 1923, the term “heterosexuality” referred to a "morbid sexual passion," and that its current usage emerged to legitimate men and women having sex for pleasure. Drawing on the works of Sigmund Freud, James Baldwin, Betty Friedan, and Michel Foucault, The Invention of Heterosexuality considers the effects of heterosexuality’s recently forged primacy on both scientific literature and popular culture.

 

 “Lively and provocative.”—Carol Tavris, New York Times Book Review

 

 “A valuable primer . . . misses no significant twists in sexual politics.”—Gary Indiana, Village Voice Literary Supplement

 

 “One of the most important—if not outright subversive—works to emerge from gay and lesbian studies in years.”—Mark Thompson, The Advocate

 

Richard Horton | New York Review of Books

 “Superb and iconoclastic critique of the history of heterosexuality.”

Edmund White
"A pioneer in gay history now breaks new ground in uncovering the origins of heterosexuality. Not for the faint-hearted, this book is funny, compassionate, and seemingly all-knowing.
Samuel R. Delaney
"A necessary, important, and brilliant work."
Contents
Preface
 
1 The Geneology of a Sex Concept
   From Homosexual History to Heterosexual History
2 The Debut of the Heterosexual
   Richard von Krafft-Ebing and the Mind Doctors
3 Before Heterosexuality
   Looking Backward
4 Making the Heterosexual Mystique
   Sigmund Freud's Seminal Conceptions
5 The Heterosexual Comes Out
   From Doctor Discourse to the Mass Media
6 Questioning the Heterosexual Mystique
   Some Liberal Feminist and Radical Feminist Verdicts
7 The Lesbian Menace Strikes Back
   Some Lavender Feminist Critiques
8 Toward a New Pleasure System
   Looking Forward
           
Afterword by Lisa Duggan
Acknowledgements
Notes
Bibliography
Index
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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