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Sex and Reason

Sex and Reason

Richard A. Posner

ISBN 9780674802803

Publication date: 01/01/1994

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.

Praise

  • [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.

    —Martha C. Nussbaum, New Republic

Author

  • Richard A. Posner retired as a judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in 2017. He was previously a senior lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School.

Book Details

  • 468 pages
  • 6-1/2 x 9-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press

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