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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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“All America Is One Big Orgone Box”

“All America Is One Big Orgone Box”

American Sexual Character Revisited

(p.199) Epilogue “All America Is One Big Orgone Box”
American Sexual Character

Miriam G. Reumann

University of California Press

The discussion of sex in American culture changed between World War II and the mid-1960s. Historians and observers at the time documented intensified attention to sexual issues in civic culture as sexuality became viewed as central to personal identity, as knowable, and as accessible to measurement and description. The Kinsey Reports and the debates they provoked played a vital role in this process in the postwar United States. Americans had permission to talk about sex, as awkward, prurient, or naughty as they might feel. Kinsey gave them that justice, and he did so in the name of science. Americans were introduced to a new sexual vocabulary and were inundated with information about sex during the decade and a half after the war. Homosexuality arose into the public sphere and was discussed to an unprecedented extent. A range of popular sexual experts appeared, as Americans struggled to decide who was entitled to speak about sex.

Keywords:   observers, personal identity, civic culture, World War II, sexual experts

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