Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2015
Sex in China introduces readers to some of the dramatic shifts that have taken place in Chinese sexual behaviours and attitudes, and public discussions of sex, since the 1980s. The book explores what it means to talk about sex in present-day China, where sex and sexuality are more and more visible in everyday life. Elaine Jeffreys and Haiqing Yu situate Chinas changing sexual culture, and how it is governed, in the socio-political history of the Peoples Republic of China. They demonstrate that Chinese governmental authorities and policies do not set out strictly to repress sex; they also create spaces for the emergence of new sexual subjects and subjectivities. They discuss the complexities surrounding the ongoing explosion of commentary on sex and sexuality in the PRC, and the emergence of new sexual behaviours and mores.
Sex in China offers clear, critical coverage of sex-related issues that are a focus of public concern and debate in China - chapters focus on sex studies; marriage and family planning; youth and sex(iness); gay, lesbian and queer discourses and identities; commercial sex; and HIV/AIDS. This book will be an invaluable resource for students and scholars both of modern China and of sex and sexualities, who wish to understand the role that sex plays in contemporary China.
List of Abbreviations
1 Sex in China: Introduction
2 Marriage and ‘Family Planning’
3 Youth and Sex(iness)
4 Gay, Lesbian and Queer
5 Commercial Sex
6 Sex and Public Health
7 Sex Studies
8 Concluding Comments
This nuanced reading of a vast nations sexual evolution offers a sensible corrective to simplistic notions of a sexophobic government or increased freedom as a result of Chinas economic spurt. By placing sexuality as negotiated within the socio-political and economic context rather than positing it as some wild, elusive thing that subverts this context, this book wipesdown romance with the washcloth of the real.
"Sex in China introduces readers to some of the most dramatic shifts that have taken place in sexual behaviours and mores since economic reform unleashed massive social changes upon China. Moving from family concerns through to commercial sex, from HIV/AIDS to youth culture, from gay and lesbian relations through to the developing field of sexual studies in China, this comprehensive study shows how a range of factors have come together to produce spaces where new sexual subjectivities and more inclusive forms of citizenship can emerge. This is an iconoclastic study that overturns Western preconceptions and received wisdom about Chinese sexuality. Intrinsically interesting, clearly written, and thoroughly researched, this book will be a must read for anyone interested in the emerging sexual culture of contemporary China."
Michael Dutton, Goldsmiths, University of London