Challenging the way the Middle Ages have been treated in general histories of sexuality, Sexuality in Medieval Europe shows how views at the time were conflicted and complicated; there was no single medieval attitude towards sexuality any more than there is one modern attitude. Focusing on marital sexual activity, as well as behavior that was seen as transgressive, the chapters cover such topics as chastity, the role of the church, and non-reproductive activity.
Combining an overview of research on the topic with original interpretations, Ruth Mazo Karras demonstrates that medieval culture developed sexual identities that were quite distinct from the identities we think of today, yet were still ancestral to our own. Using a wide collection of evidence from the late antique period until the fifteenth century, this fully revised third edition has been updated to include the latest scholarship throughout, including expanded coverage of Islamic and Jewish cultures and new ideas on how medieval sexual violence relates to the modern world. A new companion website supplements the text featuring an interactive timeline of key events, links to key primary sources, and references to further reading.
Sexuality in Medieval Europeis essential reading for those who study medieval history and culture.
In this comprehensive reference, readers can explore the history of birth control from a variety of perspectives: anthropological, biological, economic, feminist, medical, political, and psychological. From wet nurses to chastity belts, from animal-dung contraceptives to the Dalkon Shield, readers will learn how women have attempted birth control, contraception, and abortion throughout history and throughout the world. Readers will also discover why opposition to birth control was so fierce early in the 20th century that many American women and men were jailed for disseminating information on avoiding pregnancy, and why family planning remains hotly controversial almost a century later.