Sexual drives are rooted in biology, but we don’t act on them blindly. Indeed, as the eminently readable judge and legal scholar Richard Posner shows, we make quite rational choices about sex, based on the costs and benefits perceived.
Drawing on the fields of biology, law, history, religion, and economics, this sweeping study examines societies from ancient Greece to today’s Sweden and issues from masturbation, incest taboos, date rape, and gay marriage to Baby M. The first comprehensive approach to sexuality and its social controls, Posner’s rational choice theory surprises, explains, predicts, and totally absorbs.
[Posner] is one of the most distinguished and prolific legal thinkers of his generation [and this is an] extraordinary book… Like [George Bernard] Shaw, he combines a passion for exposing humbug and pseudo-profundity with an odd but genuine sort of social compassion, a delight in shocking the self-righteous with a love of human diversity and freedom… We will remember, and profit by, the wit and the courage of his attacks on bigotry, folly, and cruelty.
An incisive tour through theories of sexuality and legal regulation of such matters as marriage, pregnancy, homosexuality, sexual revolution in the courts, erotic art, pornography and nudity, sexual abuse, and the separation of reproduction from sex… At a time when intellectual shoddiness permeates our highest court, [Posner] is a true philosopher of law.
- 468 pages
- 6-1/2 x 9-1/4 inches
- Harvard University Press
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