Sexuality, Society, and Feminism.

Author:Owens, Annette Fuglsang
Position:Book review

Sexuality, Society, and Feminism Editors: Cheryl Brown Travis & Jacquelyn W. White (2000) American Psychological Association. 432 Pages, USA $49.95 (hardcover) ISBN: 1-55798-617-7

Editors and Contributors:

Editors are Cheryl Brown Travis, PhD, professor of psychology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and Jacquelyn W. White, PhD, professor of psychology and director of women's studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Dr. Travis' extensive background in female health and psychology is complemented by Dr. White's knowledge on gender issues and aggression. A number of outstanding contributors have been gathered, producing a rich source of information regarding current women's issues.

The Books Audience:

Sexuality, Society, and Feminism appeals to a broad audience ranging from readers interested in sociology, cultural diversity, social work, and women's studies to those focusing on psychology, medicine, and other health sciences. A quick look at the table of contents demonstrates the broad area of topics discussed. Even an intriguing chapter on humor and sexuality is included.

General Comments:

This compilation of essays will serve as an important tool in current debates and it may evolve as an historic document describing the status quo of female issues at the beginning of the 21st century. Sexuality is viewed from a feminist perspective. I was impressed with the depth and expertise revealed in the various chapters. A wealth of information is presented and up-to-date reference lists provide rich sources for further reading. Results of past and current studies are critically reviewed while directions for future research are pointed out. Cultural diversity with respect to myths, morals and practices are described throughout the book and are the focus of Chapter 12. A wide spectrum of feminist issues is covered making it impossible for me to comment on each separate chapter in the context of this book review. Instead, I will highlight below some of the issues which I found particularly stimulating.

Female Development Through the Life Cycle: From Adolescence to Menopause

Section II, Life Course Developments, paints a detailed picture of women's development from adolescence until post-menopause, including pregnancy and the first post-natal year. At several stages during this development the female is not only affected by physiological hormone changes from within, but she simultaneously experiences a variety of external...

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