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Breathtaking in its historical and geographical scope, this book provides a sweeping examination of the construction of male and female homosexualities, stressing both the variability of the forms same-sex desire can take and the key recurring patterns it has formed throughout history.

"[An] indispensable resource on same-sex sexual relationships and their social contexts. . . . Essential reading." —Choice

"[P]romises to deliver a lot, and even more extraordinarily succeeds in its lofty aims. . . . [O]riginal and refreshing. . . . [A] sensational book, part of what I see emerging as a new commonsense revolution within academe." —Kevin White, International Gay and Lesbian Review

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
List of Tables
Introduction: Types of Homosexuality
Part One: Age-Structured Homosexualities
1. The Reproduction of Warriors
Australia and Melanesia
Pederasty in Ancient Greece
The Mamlocks of Medieval Egypt
Pages and Janissaries in the Ottoman Empire
Ldab Ldob: A Tibetan Monastic Role
The Hwarang of Ancient Korea
Acolytes and Pages in Japan
2. Neither Masculinizing nor Feminizing Relations
The Hawaiian Aik~ne
Ancient Athenian Pederasty: Eros, Idealization, and Normative Constraints
Latin America
Love of Pueri Delicati in Republican and Early Imperial Rome
Accommodations to Pederasty across the Abode of Islam
"Sodomites" in Early Modern Europe
"Sodomites" and Cruising Grounds in Early Modern Italy
Male Homoeros in Tudor England
Boy-Wives in the Sudan
Wives of South African Mines and Prisons
Early-Twentieth-Century Korean Pretty Boys
Feminized Boy Actors in Japan
Effeminization and Commercialization of Male Beloveds in Demilitarized Tokugawa Japan
Late Imperial China
Effeminized Boy Entertainers/Prostitutes in Some Islamic Societies
3. Boy "Tops"
American Hustlers
4. Age-Stratified Female Homosexualities
Female-Female Eros on Lesbos and Elsewhere in Ancient Greece
Scattered Indications of Female Age-Stratified Homosexualities on Pacific Islands
Eastern and Southern Africa
Part Two: Gender-Stratified Organization of Homosexuality
5. Gender-Stratified Female Homosexualities
North American Butch/Femme
Ancient Athens
Ancient Rome
Early Modern Europe
Pacific Societies
Asian Societies
Sub-Saharan African Peoples
6. Male Receptacles for Phallic Discharges
Ancient Greek and Hellenistic Pathics
Roman Effeminates
A Nod at Effeminate Homosexual Roles in Early Modern Europe
Latin America: Activos and Pasivos: Simplistic Cultural Norms and Not-So-Simple Homosexual Conduct in Latin America
The Sohari Khanith
Polynesian Gender-Defined Homosexual Roles
7. Purportedly Sacralized Male Homosexual Roles
The Myth of Male "Temple Prostitutes"
Claims about the Prostitution of Temple Functionaries during the Conquest of Peru
Ancient South and Southwest Asia
Contemporary South Asia
Northeastern Siberia’s Transformed Shamans
Araucanian Machi
Transformed Shamans in Borneo, the Philippines, and Mainland Southeast Asian
Spiritual Vocations in Western Africa
Hausa Roles
Common but Incidental Male Homosexuality in Afro-Brazilian Possession Religions
Native North America
8. Premodern
Egalitarian Female Homosexuality in "Tribal" Societies
Egalitarian Male-Male Sexual Relationships in "Tribal" Societies
Heroic Male Couples in Ancient Greek Literature
Ancient Greece and Rome
Muslim Non-Role-Demarcated Male Homosexual Relations
Representations of Female Sexual Reciprocity in China
Part Three: Egalitarian Homosexualities
9. Modern Egalitarian Homosexualities
The "Modern Homosexual"
An Aside on Modernity
New Bottles: Stigma Transformation and Relexification of Gendered Homosexuality in the International Diffusion of Gay and Lesbian
Emerging "Modern Lesbian" Homosexualities in Thailand, India, and Japan
"Modern" Homosexual Behavior in Mexico and Peru
Incipient Muslim Gay Organization of Male Homosexuality
AIDS as a Rationale for Some Public Discussion of Homosexuality
10. Conclusions
Correlating Organizations of Homosexuality and Other Social Structures
Subsistence Activities
Sexual Division of Labor
Lack of Male Sexual Access to Females
Adolescent Male Isolation and Genital Mutilation
Class and Urbanization
Who Is Desiring Whom? And Does It Matter?


Association for Queer Anthropology (American Anthropological Association): Ruth Benedict Prize

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