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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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“Much the Same Desires as Men”

“Much the Same Desires as Men”

Sexual Behavior in the Human Female and the “American Woman”

(p.86) Three “Much the Same Desires as Men”
American Sexual Character

Miriam G. Reumann

University of California Press

Sexual behavior in the human male had created a public disturbance and made American sexual behavior a popular subject of discussion. While the first volume had created unprecedented coverage of Americans' sexual behavior and focused attention on the gap between moral ideals and actual practices, the second volume entered into an already heated discourse on sex in the United States. Sexual Behavior in the Human Female confirmed some long-standing ideas about women's sexuality, but it also allowed for the development and articulation of new, often-conflicting theories of female desire and behavior. Beliefs of female heterosexuality had often relied on an opposition between “good” and “bad” women, defined as sexually chaste versus sexually active. Though this dichotomy was still powerful, its influence was on the wane, and it could not ultimately serve to explain the findings of the Kinsey Report and what women's changing sexual behavior meant culturally to postwar Americans.

Keywords:   moral ideas, United States, opposition, postwar

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