Every society has had to confront the issue of sexual expression or behavior, in practice, if not in theory. It is a basic management issue which must be addressed. Theorizing about sex is a relatively recent phenomenon in American history, dating from no earlier than the beginning of the 20th century. In recent decades this interest has produced an enormous outpouring of literature of sexuality, dealing largely with what we do, how we do it, and how to do it better. Such inquiry has been, however, essentially the province of anthropology, psychology, and sociology. The historical perspective on sexuality has been less well treated. Some attention to this omission has occurred in recent years. Even so, minimal attention has been given to practices beyond the boundary of "acceptable" sexuality, namely sexual deviance or stigmatized sexual behavior. The primary aim of this volume is to provide a compact and selective perspective on sexual deviance as one dimension of American societal history. It does so by examining attitudes and practices from the colonial era onward. The essays speak collectively to the history of American culture as well as to the history of variant practice. This is basic reading for all students of American social and sexual history, and gender specialized courses.