The Secrets of Sex

10 05 2010

The major purpose of Michel Foucault’s History of Sexuality is to overturn the idea that the formulation of sex in the modern context goes along the lines of repression and permission. This is the premise behind the “Sexual Revolution”: the concept that, within our enlightened epoch, sexuality is freed from the repressive Victorian past. Foucault shows throughout the book that not only was sex part of societal discourse in the Enlightenment and Victorian eras, but sex was spoken of more often, and was more central to this discourse than it had ever been. The tendency then becomes that of sexuality defining one’s inclusion in the normal or the pathologically excluded: it no longer becomes an issue of what one does, but of who one is.
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