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The Social Organization of Sexuality

Sexual Practices in the United States

The Social Organization of Sexuality reports the complete results of the nation’s most comprehensive representative survey of sexual practices in the general adult population of the United States. This highly detailed portrait of sex in America and its social context and implications has established a new and original scientific orientation to the study of sexual behavior.

"The most comprehensive U.S. sex survey ever." —USA Today

"The findings from this survey, the first in decades to provide detailed insights about the sexual behavior of a representative sample of Americans, will have a profound impact on how policy makers tackle a number of pressing health problems." —Alison Bass, The Boston Globe

"A fat, sophisticated, and sperm-freezingly serious volume. . . . This book is not in the business of giving us a good time. It is in the business of asking three thousand four hundred and thirty-two other people whether they had a good time, and exactly what they did to make it so good." —Anthony Lane, The New Yorker

New York Times Book Review Notable Book of the Year

750 pages | 42 line drawings, 164 tables | 6 x 9 | © 1994

Gay and Lesbian Studies

Gender and Sexuality

Sociology: Social Psychology--Small Groups

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
List of Tables
1: Theoretical Background
2: The Study Design
3: Sexual Practices and Profiles of Sexual Expression
4: The Social Organization of Subjective Sexual Preferences
5: The Number of Partners
6: Sexual Networks
7: Epidemiological Implications of Sexual Networks
8: Homosexuality
9: Formative Sexual Experiences
10: Sex, Health, and Happiness
11: Sexually Transmitted Infections
12: Sex and Fertility
13: Sex, Cohabitation, and Marriage
14: Normative Orientations toward Sexuality
Appendix A: Sampling Procedures and Data Quality
Appendix B: Comparisons of the NHSLS with Other Data Sets
Appendix C: Text of the NHSLS Questionnaire
Author Index
Subject Index


The University of Chicago Press: Gordon J. Laing Award

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