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An American Obsession: Science, Medicine, and Homosexuality in Modern Society
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An American Obsession: Science, Medicine, and Homosexuality in Modern Society

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  25 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews
Drawing on original research from medical texts, psychiatric case histories, pioneering statistical surveys, first-person accounts, legal cases, sensationalist journalism, and legislative debates, Jennifer Terry has written a nuanced and textured history of how the century-old obsession with homosexuality is deeply tied to changing American anxieties about social and sexua ...more
Paperback, 551 pages
Published December 15th 1999 by University Of Chicago Press
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Cecillia
Apr 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Excellent historical overview of the various medical and psychological theories applied to homosexuality in the US from the late 1800's through 1960's placed in their social and cultural context.
Tamlynem
Jan 10, 2014 rated it it was ok
While there are a few interesting nuggets (Margaret Meads views on homosexuality, some physicians back in the day were way more liberal you'd think, the proliferation of "pansy acts" in the 1920s were frequented by the well-to-do, and the transgender persons in some Native American tribes)this read like a thesis turned into a book. Also the cover is awkward to say nothing of some of the research photos on the inside.
Kathy
Although a bit of a slow read, this book covers well the breadth of scientific and medical views of homosexuality, and the social interplay throughout the 19th/20th centuries.
Beth
Nov 10, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: for-school
Nice overview of the medical debates over homosexuality during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Relies heavily on gender theory and Foucault, and is well-researched.
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Jennifer Terry is Professor of Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of California, Irvine, the author of An American Obsession: Science, Medicine, and Homosexuality in Modern Society, and coeditor of Processed Lives: Gender and Technology in Everyday Life and Deviant Bodies: Critical Perspectives on Difference in Science and Popular Culture.