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Sex and Punishment: Four Thousand Years of Judging Desire - Eric Berkowitz
Sex and Punishment: Four Thousand Years of Judging Desire
by: (author)
4.00 10
The “raging frenzy” of the sex drive, to use Plato’s phrase, has always defied control. However, that’s not to say that the Sumerians, Victorians, and every civilization in between and beyond have not tried, wielding their most formidable weapon: the law. At any given point in time, some forms of... show more
The “raging frenzy” of the sex drive, to use Plato’s phrase, has always defied control. However, that’s not to say that the Sumerians, Victorians, and every civilization in between and beyond have not tried, wielding their most formidable weapon: the law. At any given point in time, some forms of sex were condoned while others were punished mercilessly. Jump forward or backward a century or two (and often far less than that), and the harmless fun of one time period becomes the gravest crime in another. Judging Desire tells the story of the struggle throughout the millennia to regulate the most powerful engine of human behavior.Writer and lawyer Eric Berkowitz uses flesh-and-blood cases—much flesh and even more blood—to evoke the entire sweep of Western sex law, from the savage impalement of an Ancient Mesopotamian adulteress to the imprisonment of Oscar Wilde in 1895 for “gross indecency.” The cast of Judging Desire is as varied as the forms taken by human desire itself: royal mistresses, gay charioteers, medieval transvestites, lonely goat-lovers, prostitutes of all stripes, London rent boys. Each of them had forbidden sex, and each was judged—and justice, as Berkowitz shows, rarely had much to do with it.With the light touch of a natural storyteller, Berkowitz spins these tales and more, going behind closed doors to reveal the essential history of human desire.
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Format: hardcover
ISBN: 9781582437965 (1582437963)
Publisher: Counterpoint
Pages no: 436
Edition language: English
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Community Reviews
Wyvernfriend Reads
Wyvernfriend Reads rated it
4.0 Sex and Punishment: Four Thousand Years of Judging Desire
Interesting look at Sex and the control of it over the years. Starts with ancient history and moves to the late 19th early 20th century. It concentrates on western culture and the effect Christianity had on pre-existing European culture after looking at Classical Greek and Roman society. A mess w...
Warwick
Warwick rated it
In March 1320, eleven-year-old Joan Seler was playing outside her father's house in central London when she was grabbed by a passing French merchant. The assailant dragged her back to his place, where, according to trial testimony, heraised the clothes of the same Joan…to her navel, she being clothe...
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