Regulating Desire: From the Virtuous Maiden to the Purity Princess

SUNY Press
Free sample

Examines the organized efforts to reshape the law relating to young women’s sexuality in the United States.

Starting with the mid-nineteenth-century campaign by the American Female Moral Reform Society to criminalize seduction and moving forward to the late twentieth-century conservative effort to codify a national abstinence-only education policy, Regulating Desire explores the legal regulation of young women’s sexuality in the United States. The book covers five distinct time periods in which changing social conditions generated considerable public anxiety about youthful female sexuality and examines how successive generations of reformers sought to revise the law in an effort to manage unruly desires and restore a gendered social order. J. Shoshanna Ehrlich draws upon a rich array of primary source materials, including reform periodicals, court cases, legislative hearing records, and abstinence curricula to create an interdisciplinary narrative of socially embedded legal change. Capturing the complex and dynamic nature of the relationship between the state and the sexualized youthful female body, she highlights how the law both embodies and shapes gendered understandings of normative desire as mediated by considerations of race and class.

“Extremely thorough and very enjoyable to read, this book provides an authoritative scholarly voice on its subject matter.” — Alesha E. Doan, coauthor of The Politics of Virginity: Abstinence in Sex Education
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About the author

J. Shoshanna Ehrlich is Associate Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She is the author of Family Law for Paralegals, Sixth Edition and Who Decides? The Abortion Rights of Teens.
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Additional Information

Publisher
SUNY Press
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Published on
Sep 30, 2014
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Pages
224
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ISBN
9781438453064
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Language
English
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Genres
Family & Relationships / Love & Romance
History / Social History
History / United States / General
Law / Gender & the Law
Social Science / Criminology
Social Science / Human Sexuality
Social Science / Women's Studies
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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