Hidden Anxieties

Hidden Anxieties : Male Sexuality, 1900-50

3.66 (3 ratings by Goodreads)
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Male sexuality is often seen as simple and monolithic, the "normal" male appears unchanging and unproblematic. In this study, Leslie Hall examines the historical figure of the sexually "normal" male and addresses the assumptions inherent in this concept. Common male difficulties, the author argues, are concealed by assumptions that desire is crude, insurgent, spontaneous and unproblematic, and are therefore ignored. She explores this view, examining the letters of men who wrote to Marie Stopes, author of "Married Love", seeking help for problems that were otherwise unmentionable. Hall clarifies the concepts of the "normal" male which changed considerably between the late Victorian era and the end of World War II. While examining these evolving ideas, she shows how men, as well as women, were the victims of a repressive climate in relation to their sexuality.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 222 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 19.05mm | 345g
  • Polity Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • index
  • 0745609333
  • 9780745609331

Review quote

..". a most worthwhile book which questions many facile assumptions. It has a good bibliography and is worthy of a wide readership." British Medical Journal ..". an extremely valuable addition to the growing debate about the historical construction of sexuality." Jeff Weeks, author of Sex, Politics and Society: The Regulation of Sexuality since 1880 ..". sensitive, scholarly ... Her book could not be more timely." Lynne Segal, author of Slow Motion: Changing Masculinities, Changing Men ..". an interesting contribution to the growing body of feminist writing on changing masculinity." Everywoman ..". an absorbing and illuminating account" The Independent ..". an important new book... it deserves a wide, attentive readership." Journal of the Social History of Medicine "Hall's book offers an illuminating insight into the male-female relationship and the sexual conundrum." Sexual And Marital Therapy "Lesley Hall has done the study of gender and sexuality a service ... this is a valuable sourcebook of new voices attesting to the importance of understanding the ways in which men were gendered at the beginning of the modern era." American Journal of Sociology " Hidden Anxieties is a fascinating read ... organised with great skill and thoroughness." British Journal of Sociology " Hidden Anxieties will be an indispensable text." History Workshop Journal
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Table of contents

Deconstructing the monolithic phallus; "a very delicate and difficult subject" - orthodox and respectable views on sex to 1920; evil companions, scarlet women and pernicious quacks - the subculture of sex; "most men act in ignorance" - the marriage manual and changing concepts of marriage; "not such a selfish beast" - men's problems in marriage; "the most miserable of all patients" - men with sexual problems; "I shouldn't care to face the experience again" - male sexual problems in the consulting room.
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About Lesley A. Hall

Lesley Hall is the co-author of The Making of Sexual Knowledge (forthcoming 1991) with Roy Porter. She is a professional archivist and has published several articles on archival matters as well as on her research in Afghanistan.
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Rating details

3 ratings
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4 67% (2)
3 33% (1)
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