Over the course of the past thirty years, there has been an explosion of work on sexuality, both conceptually and methodologically. From a relatively limited, specialist field, the study of sexuality has expanded across a wide range of social sciences. Yet as the field has grown, it has become apparent that a number of leading edge critical issues remain.

This theory-building book explores some of the areas in which there is major and continuing debate, for example, about the relationship between sexuality and gender; about the nature and status of heterosexuality; about hetero- and homo-normativity; about the influence and intersection of class, race, age and other factors in sexual trajectories, identities and lifestyles; and about how best to understand the new forms of sexuality that are emerging in both rich world and developing world contexts.

With contributions from leading and new scholars and activists from across the globe, this book highlights tensions or ‘flash-points’ in contemporary debate, and offers some innovative ways forward in terms of thinking about sexuality – both theoretically and with respect to policy and programme development. An extended essay by Henrietta Moore introduces the volume, and an afterword by Jeffrey Weeks offers pointers for the future.

The contributors bring together a range of experiences and a variety of disciplinary perspectives in engaging with three key themes of sexual subjectivity and global transformations, sexualities in practice, and advancing new thinking on sexuality in policy and programmatic contexts. It is of interest to students, researchers and activists in sexuality, sexual health and gender studies, especially those working from public health, sociological and anthropological perspectives.

chapter 1|17 pages

Sexuality encore

part 1|70 pages

Global transformations and sexual subjectivities

chapter 4|17 pages

The paradox of pluralisation

Masculinities, androgyny and male anxiety in contemporary China 1

chapter 5|9 pages

Rights amidst wrongs

The paradoxes of gender rights-based approaches towards AIDS in South Africa

chapter 6|14 pages

The ambivalent sexual subject

HIV prevention and male-to-male intimacy in India

part 2|80 pages

Sexualities in practice

chapter 8|16 pages

Beyond resistance

Gay and lala recreation in Beijing

chapter 9|14 pages

The limits of ‘lesbian’

Nomenclature and normativity in feminist approaches to sexuality, gender and development

chapter 11|16 pages

Bodies and their signs

Acknowledging and interpreting erotic responses

part 3|89 pages

Sexualities in theory, policy and programmatic contexts

chapter 13|17 pages

Transnationalism in sexuality studies

An ‘Africanist’ perspective

chapter 14|15 pages

The right to say no

Gender empowerment in US global HIV-prevention policy