The Long Sexual Revolution

The Long Sexual Revolution : English Women, Sex, and Contraception, 1800-1975

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In this book Hera Cook traces the path of sexuality in England, and shows how its route was determined by the gradual exertion of control over fertility. Most sexual activity had major economic and social costs, the most fundamental of which was the physical cost of children upon women's bodies. Around 1800 birth rates reached historical heights. Using a combination of demographic and qualitative sources, Dr Cook examines the connection between the struggle to lower fertility and the increasing repression of sexuality throughout the nineteenth century. Contraception became a viable option in the early twentieth century. The book charts the resulting slow relaxation of attitudes to sexuality and the remaking of heterosexual physical behaviour, culminating in the sexual revolution of the 1960s.

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Product details

  • Paperback | 428 pages
  • 152 x 232 x 26mm | 662.26g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Numerous tables
  • 0199252181
  • 9780199252183
  • 1,380,189

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Review quote

Hera Cook's study of English Women, sex and contraception, is a welcome reminder of the struggle for sexual reform...a book full of useful information. Shaile Rowbotham, The English Historical Review This is an admirable book ... It is refreshing to find a monograph that is soundly researched, logically argued, and women-centered, on, of all subjects, women and sex. Judith S. Lewis, Journal of Social History ...a fascinating examination of sexual attitudes, practices, discourses and debates ... Expressed clearly but subtly, and clinically but sensitively, with many original insights and provocative explanations. M.L. Bush, History This is an ambitious and genuinely challenging book...[it] represents a productive intervention in ongoing debates in the history of sexuality. We would do well to take up the challenges posed by Hera Cook's work. Matt Houlbrook, History Workshop Journal Cook's compelling and convincing conclusions will reshape our understanding of nineteenth and twentieth-century sexuality. It is a refreshing challenge and essential reading. Anna Clark, American Historical Review ...a bold and ambitious book...essential bed-time reading. Local Population Studies, No. 78

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