Nelson Higher Education

Higher Education

Sex Matters: The Sexuality and Society Reader, 5th Edition

  • Mindy Stombier
  • Dawn M. Baunach
  • Wendy Simonds
  • Elroi J. Windsor
  • Elisabeth O. Burgess
  • ISBN-10: 0393623580
  • ISBN-13: 9780393623581
  • 0 Pages | Paperback
  • COPYRIGHT: 2019 Published
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About the Product

A sex-positive reader that presents sex as a social issue

This popular reader has a strong sociological focus, highlighting the ways that social institutions—and the individuals within them—shape our understanding of sexuality and influence our behaviors, attitudes, and identities. The readings, 50 percent of which are new to the Fifth Edition, cover a diverse range of sexual experiences, including new pieces on asexuality, online porn, and PrEP for HIV prevention. The editors mix qualitative and quantitative empirical pieces, sexual narratives, and articles from the popular press.


  • A BLEND OF EMPIRICAL WORK AND MORE PERSONALIZED ACCOUNTS Sex Matters is unique in offering a combination of research pieces, sociologically informed popular pieces, and personal narratives—many of which were written specifically for the volume. A mix of longer in-depth pieces and shorter features on specialized topics add variety and breadth.

  • A SEXUALITIES READER WITH A SEX-POSITIVE PERSPECTIVE The book challenges the cultural stigmatization and marginalization of some sexual behaviors and the valorization of others. For the Sex Matters editors, part of sex positivity means, for example, promoting the pursuit of sexual pleasure, not centering sex education around danger and disease.

  • A FOCUS ON BOTH SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION AND SOCIAL CONTROL The readings highlight the dual themes of social construction and social control. As the readings make clear, while society constructs our understanding of sexuality and influences our attitudes and behaviors, certain members of society and certain institutions have more power to define a society’s sexual agenda than others.

Table of Contents

*New to Fifth Edition
**Updated for Fifth Edition


Spotlight on Research: An Interview with Marysol Asencio
1. Gretta Christina, "Are We Having Sex Now or What?"
*Box: Kelsey K. Sewell and Donald S. Strassberg, “How Do Heterosexual Undergraduate Students Define Having Sex? A New Approach to an Old Question”
2. Georgiann Davis, "'Bringing Intersexy Back'? Intersexuals and Sexual Satisfaction"
3. Harper Jean Tobin, "The Perils and Pleasures of Sex for Trans People"
*4. Brandon Ambrosino, “I am Gay―But I Wasn't Born This Way”
*Box: Maura Ryan, “Queer: Identity and Praxis”
*5. Tony Silva, “Bud-Sex: Constructing Normative Masculinity among Rural Straight Men That Have Sex with Men”
Box: P. J. McGann, "Bisexuality and Bi-Identity"
*6. Jamie Budnick, “‘Straight Girls Kissing’? Understanding Same-Gender Sexuality beyond the Elite College Campus”
*Box: Eliza Brown and Paula England, “Sexual Orientation versus Behavior: Different for Men and Women?


Spotlight on Research: An Interview with Mignon R. Moore
7. Vern L. Bullough, "Alfred Kinsey and the Kinsey Report"
**8. Amanda M. Jungels and Stacy Gorman, "Large-Scale Sex: Methods, Challenges, and Findings of Nationally Representative Sex Research"
**Box: Mindy Stombler and Dawn M. Baunach, "Doing It Differently: Women's and Men's Estimates of Their Number of Lifetime Sexual Partners"
9. Allan M. Brandt, "Racism and Research: The Case of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study"
10. Teela Sanders, "Sexing Up the Subject: Methodological Nuances in Researching the Female Sex Industry"
**Box: Mindy Stombler and Amanda M. Jungels, "Challenges of Funding Sex Research"


Spotlight on Research: An Interview with Josh Gamson
*11. Tia C. M. Tyree and Morgan D. Kirby, “#THOTsBELIKE: The Construction of the THOT Female Sexual Stereotype in Social Media”
12. Chong-Suk Han, "Geisha of a Different Kind: Gay Asian Men and the Gendering of Sexual identity"
13. Jeffrey Escoffier, "Gay-for-Pay: Straight Men and the Making of Gay Pornography"
14. Loree Erickson, "Out of Line: The Sexy Femmegimp Politics of Flaunting It"
15. Carmine Sarracino and Kevin M. Scott, "The Porning of America"
*Box: Alyson Kreuger, “Virtual Reality Gets Naughty”
*16. Desmond Goss, “Race and Masculinity in Gay Porn”


*Spotlight on Research: An Interview with Jessica Fields
**17. Wendy Simonds and Amanda M. Jungels, "The Death of the Stork: Sex Education Books for Children"
*Box: Lea Grover, “Sex Positive Parenting, or We Don't Touch Our Vulvas at the Table”
*18. Maggie Jones, “What Teenagers Are Learning from Online Porn”
*19. Mona Malacane and Jonathon J. Beckmeyer, “Talking to Teens about Sex: Parent-Adolescent Communication about Sex and Sexuality”
*Box: Lauren Fannin, “Let’s Talk about Sex: How Parents of Color Communicate with Teens”
*20. Elizabeth A. Williams and Robin E. Jensen, “Conflicted Identification in the Sex Education Classroom”
*Box: Saskia de Melker, “The Case for Starting Sex Education in Kindergarten”
21. Human Rights Campaign, “LGBTQ Youth Need Inclusive Sex Education”
*Box: Bethany Stevens, “Disability and Sexuality Myth-Busting: Non-Normative Sex Liberates Us All”
22. Amy T. Schalet, "Sex, Love, and Autonomy in the Teenage Sleepover"
*23. Jessica A. Nodulman, “Put Me In, Coach, I'm Ready to Play: Sexuality Education for Adults at Good Vibrations”


Spotlight on Research: An Interview with Leonore Tiefer
**24. Elisabeth O. Burgess and Amy Palder, “The G-Spot and Other Mysteries”
Box: Scott Poulson-Bryant, “Hung: A Meditation on the Measure of Black Men in America”
*25. Brian D. Earp, “Female Genital Mutilation and Male Circumcision: Toward an Autonomy-Based Ethical Framework”
26. Lisa Wade, “The Politics of Acculturation: Female Genital Cutting”
*27. Matthew Hall, “‘When There's No Underbrush the Tree Looks Taller’: A Discourse Analysis of Men's Online Groin Shaving Talk”
*28. Tycho Vandenburg and Virginia Braun, “‘Basically, It's Sorcery for Your Vagina’: Unpacking Western Representations of Vaginal Steaming”
*29. Cat Pause, “Human Nature: On Fat Sexual Identity and Agency”
30. Lenore Manderson, “Boundary Breaches: The Body, Sex and Sexuality after Stoma Surgery”


Spotlight on Research: An Interview with Michael Reece
31. B. J. Rye and Glenn J. Meaney, "The Pursuit of Sexual Pleasure"
*Box: Christopher Vidmar, "Teen Sex in the United States"
*32. Orit Avishai and Kelsy Burke, “God’s Case for Sex”
*33. Nicolette K. Robbins, Kathryn Graff Low, and Anna N. Query, “A Qualitative Exploration of the ‘Coming Out’ Process for Asexual Individuals”
*34. Breanne Fahs and Eric Swank, “Adventures with the ‘Plastic Man’: Sex Toys, Compulsory Heterosexuality, and the Politics of Women’s Sexual Pleasure”
**Box: Christina Barmon, Alexis A. Bender, and Elisabeth O. Burgess, "Grandma Does What!?: Talking with Older Adults about Sex"
35: Tobin Siebers, "A Sexual Culture for Disabled People"
36. Margo Weiss, "Becoming a Practitioner: The Biopolitics of BDSM"
37. Elisabeth Sheff and Corie J. Hammers, "The Privilege of Perversities: Race, Class, and Education among Polyamorists and Kinksters"


Spotlight on Research: An Interview with Hector Carrillo
**38. Adam Sonfield, "Secondary Prevention of Sexually Transmitted Infections: Treating the Couple and Community"
39. Elizabeth Fee, "Venereal Disease: Sin versus Science.
*Box: CDC, “HIV among People Aged 50 and Over”
40. Adina Nack, "Damaged Goods: Women Managing the Stigma of STDs"
**Box: Evelina Sterling and Wendy Simonds, “HPV Vaccines: Kids and Controversy”
*41. Virginia Braun, “Proper Sex without Annoying Things”
*42. Griff Tester and Jennifer Rosen, “PrEP for HIV-Prevention: Community Controversy and Generational Sexualities”
*43. Linda Villarosa, “America’s Hidden HIV Epidemic”


Spotlight on Research: An Interview with Amin Ghaziani
44. Roger Lancaster, “The New Pariahs: Sex, Crime and Punishment in America” from The War on Sex
**Box: Elizabeth Cavalier and Elisabeth O. Burgess, "Too Young to Consent?"
45. Elroi J. Windsor, "Sick Sex" [UPDATED]
46. Jill Lepore, "Birthright: A History of Planned Parenthood"
**Box: Windy Simonds, "From Contraception to Abortion: A Moral Continuum"
**Box: Zakiya Luna, "Choice or Coercion? Abortion and Black Women"
*47. Han et al., “You're Better Respected When You Carry Yourself as a Man"
*48. Lisa Wade, “Unequal Pleasures” from American Hookup”
*49. Sarah A. Miller, “How You Bully a Girl”
50. Mary L. Gray, "Out in the Country"
Box: Chet Meeks and Marik Xavier-Brier, "LGBTQ Politics in America: An Abbreviated History”
51. Katie Acosta, "'How Could You Do This to Me?': How Lesbian, Bisexual, and Queer Latinas Negotiate Sexual Identity with Their Families"


*Spotlight on Research: An Interview with Kevin Swartout
52. Nicola Gavey, "'I Wasn't Raped, but ...': Revisiting Definitional Problems in Sexual Victimization"
*53. Megan M. Tesen, “Rampant or Rare? The Conundrum of Quantifying Rape and Sexual Assault on College Campuses and Beyond”
54. Katie M. Edwards, Jessica A. Turchik, Christina M. Dardis, Nicole Reynolds, and Christine A. Gidycz, "Rape Myths”
*Box: Caroline Catlin, “I Was Raped by a Woman”
*Box: Jillian Keenan, “Sex Workers Don't Deserve to Be Raped”
*55. Patricia Yancey Martin, “The Rape Prone Culture of Academic Contexts”
Box: Jake New, “Sexual Coercion among Athletes”
*56. Lara Stemple and Ilan H. Meyer, “The Sexual Victimization of Men in America”
*57. Zhana Vrangalova, “Everything You Need to Know about Consent That You Never Learned in Sex Ed”
**58. Joane Nagel, "Rape and War: Fighting Men and Comfort Women"


*Spotlight on Research: An Interview with Kari Lerum
*59. Kevin Walby, “What Male-for-Male Internet Escorts Say about What They Do”
*60. Brooke Jarvis, “Can We ‘Cure’ the Men Who Pay for Sex?”
Box: Katherine Frank, "Strip Clubs and Their Regulars”
61. Lisa Jean Moore, "Overcome: The Money Shot in Pornography and Prostitution"
*62. Elizabeth Bernstein and Elena Shih, “The Erotics of Authenticity: Sex Trafficking and ‘Reality Tourism’ in Thailand”
*63. Kimberly Kay Hoang, “Autonomy and Consent in Sex Work”
*64. Wendy Chapkis, “Performing Without a Net? Safer Sex in Porn”
**Elroi J. Windsor and Elisabeth O. Burgess, "Sex Matters: Future Visions for a Sex-Positive Society"

New to this edition

  • INTERVIEWS WITH SEX RESEARCHERS ENHANCE EMPIRICAL FOCUS “Spotlight on Research” features at the beginning of every chapter profile the work of cutting-edge sex researchers. Nearly a third are new to the Fifth Edition.