Riotous Flesh: Women, Physiology, And The Solitary Vice In Nineteenth-century America

Paperback | October 21, 2015

byApril R. Haynes

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Nineteenth-century America saw numerous campaigns against masturbation, which was said to cause illness, insanity, and even death. Riotous Flesh explores women’s leadership of those movements, with a specific focus on their rhetorical, social, and political effects, showing how a desire to transform the politics of sex created unexpected alliances between groups that otherwise had very different goals.

As April R. Haynes shows, the crusade against female masturbation was rooted in a generally shared agreement on some major points: that girls and women were as susceptible to masturbation as boys and men; that “self-abuse” was rooted in a lack of sexual information; and that sex education could empower women and girls to master their own bodies. Yet the groups who made this education their goal ranged widely, from “ultra” utopians and nascent feminists to black abolitionists. Riotous Flesh explains how and why diverse women came together to popularize, then institutionalize, the condemnation of masturbation, well before the advent of sexology or the professionalization of medicine.

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Nineteenth-century America saw numerous campaigns against masturbation, which was said to cause illness, insanity, and even death. Riotous Flesh explores women’s leadership of those movements, with a specific focus on their rhetorical, social, and political effects, showing how a desire to transform the politics of sex created unexpect...

Format:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.1 inPublished:October 21, 2015Publisher:University of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022628462X

ISBN - 13:9780226284620

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Table of Contents

Introduction

1. The Gender of Solitary Vice

2. Licentiousness in All Its Forms

3. Making the Conversation General

4. A Philosophy of Amative Indulgence

5. Flesh and Bones

Epilogue

Acknowledgments
Notes
Index

Editorial Reviews

Riotous Flesh sets a new standard for how to study together black and white female reformers while ultimately recognizing how their ideas, tactics, and the resulting consequences necessarily diverged. Haynes has produced a work of lasting influence that is distinguished for its novel and exacting research, brilliant analysis, sharp and engaging prose, and a keenly perceptive eye for historiographic debate.”