Over time, sexuality in America has changed dramatically. Frequently redefined and often subject to different systems of regulation, it has been used as a means of control; it has been a way to understand ourselves and others; and it has been at the center of fierce political storms, including some of the most crucial changes in civil rights in the last decade. Edited by Thomas A. Foster, Documenting Intimate Matters features seventy-two documents that collectively highlight the broad diversity inherent in the history of American sexuality.
Complementing the third edition of Intimate Matters, by John D’Emilio and Estelle B. Freedman—often hailed as the definitive survey of sexual history in America—the multiple narratives presented by these documents reveal the complexity of this subject in US history. The historical moments captured in this volume will show that, contrary to popular misconception, the history of sexuality is not a simple story of increased freedoms and sexual liberation, but an ongoing struggle between change and continuity.