Women, Physiology, and the Solitary Vice in Nineteenth-Century America
University of Chicago Press
April R. Haynes is an assistant professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In Riotous Flesh: Women, Physiology, and the Solitary Vice in Nineteenth- Century America (University of Chicago Press, 2015) Haynes shows how the campaign against masturbation redefined women's sexuality and reformulated the battle for political rights. Beginning with Sylvester Graham's "Lecture to Mothers" to reform-minded women to the black abolitionists Sarah Mapps Douglas's sex education lectures to African American women, masturbation became a topic with both gender and racial import. After a long history of neglect, it became tied to issues of purity, virtue and self-government. Through women reformers the proscriptions against masturbation were popularized and institutionalized. Haynes sheds light on the continued attention given to masturbation in American culture and the women's movement, demonstrating its political significance.
Lilian Calles Barger, www.lilianbarger.com, is a cultural, intellectual and gender historian. Her current book project is entitled The World Come of Age: Religion, Intellectuals and the Challenge of Human Liberation.
Lilian Calles Barger is a cultural, intellectual and gender historian. Her most recent book is entitled The World Come of Age: An Intellectual History of Liberation Theology (Oxford University Press, 2018). Her current writing project is on the cultural and intellectual history of women and the origins of feminism seen through the emblematic life and work of Simone de Beauvoir.