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American Sexual CharacterSex, Gender, and National Identity in the Kinsey Reports$
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Miriam Reumann

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780520238350

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520238350.001.0001

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“Sexual Order in Our Nation”

“Sexual Order in Our Nation”

American Sexuality and National Character in the Postwar United States

(p.17) One “Sexual Order in Our Nation”
American Sexual Character

Miriam G. Reumann

University of California Press

Authorities expressed their concern between the late 1940s and early 1960s about the nation's condition and future by linking them to the state of American sexuality. Many of the authorities who saw American sexuality as an important social issue believed that the nation's sexual license and moral decay were rooted in the war years. The management of soldiers' and civilians' sexuality, maintenance of long-distance marriages, and arrival of war brides all focused state and public attention on Americans' sexual behavior. Many scientists believed that the war years offered new opportunities and justifications for illicit sex. Sex had entered the domain of discussion; authorities increasingly recognized that changes in sexual behavior were taking place, and that such changes needed to be subjected to further study. Military and civilian authorities had seen sexuality as one of several problem areas, identified by a popular wisdom as threatening to the war effort.

Keywords:   American sexuality, illicit sex, soldiers, scientists, marriages

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