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The Social Organization of Sexuality: Sexual Practices in the United States Paperback – December 15, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-0226470207 ISBN-10: 0226470202

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 750 pages
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press (December 15, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226470202
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226470207
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,357,477 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Based on the National Health and Social Life Survey, a 1992 nationwide survey of 3432 American men and women between the ages of 18 and 59, this is one of two books reporting on the findings. This book is intended for professional social scientists, counselors, and health professionals, while Robert T. Michael and others' Sex in America, just published by Little, Brown, anticipates a more general audience. Beginning with the theoretical foundations, rationale for, and design of the methodology, the authors put the work in historical context as they assert its accuracy and generalizations, urging caution about interpretation and implications of their sometimes surprising findings. Though the study was designed largely to "fill significant gaps in our knowledge of sexual behavior associated with the acquisition of the AIDS virus," this book achieves a refreshingly readable examination of masturbation, sexually transmitted infections, cohabitation and marriage, fertility, and homosexuality. The text throughout is buttressed by graphs, charts, tables, diagrams, appendixes, bibliographic references, and author and subject indexes (not seen). For academic collections.
James E. Van Buskirk, San Francisco P.L.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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New York Times Book Review Notable Book of the Year

The Social Organization of Sexuality reports the complete results of the nation's most comprehensive representative survey of sexual practices in the general adult population of the United States. This highly detailed portrait of sex in America and its social context and implications has established a new and original scientific orientation to the study of sexual behavior.

Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Jack Little on December 22, 2007
Format: Paperback
I am not a sexual scientist nor a professional survey taker, but I am very comfortable with statistics, data gathering and analysis as used in statistical process and machinery control. I purchased S. O. S. for use as an unbiased source of statistics on male/female couples sexual practices, preferences and fantasies. Unfortunately this survey and report are not that unbiased source.
Throughout this book the authors make reference to the political opposition to this survey. Those politicians and others opposed fear that if the survey shows that a certain sexual act is common (and it's something they personally feel is wrong) then that will encourage others to do it. I have come to realize the extent and far reaching effects of this pressure.
My first hint of something wrong was the use of entirely bogus figures to calculate the preference match of receiving and giving oral sex (page 166). Their calculations showed only 9% of couples where both partners liked giving and receiving oral sex. The calculation using the real statistics (taken from their own tables on page 162) shows a 60% agreement mutually enjoying oral sex.
When I found more things like this, missing data, unreported group statistics, unlabeled graphs not described in text, and some unbelievable statistics, I finally went to the questionnaire in the appendix. WOW, I could not believe my eyes. They were not guaranteeing confidentiality. In fact, they were taking personal information to positively identify not only the test taker, but the NAMES of all sexual partners, ALL. I don't know about you, but that would inhibit my responses. Privacy, confidentiality and security are easily accomplished and absolutely necessary for a survey of this kind of sensitive subject.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful By S. M Marson on February 13, 2000
Format: Hardcover
We have adopted this title as a textbook for our Social Aspect of Human Sexuality course. In addition to our sexuality course, I use data from The Social Organization of Sexuality: Sexual Practices in the United States for my courses in Social Statistics and Research Methods. I note the importance of employing random sampling by contrasting this data to data collected found in Shere Hite's The Hite Report: A Nationwide Study of Female Sexuality (#06963).
The Social Organization of Sexuality: Sexual Practices in the United States is clearly a scholarly book. The authors also published a volume for the general public entitled: Sex in America: A Definitive Survey. This title includes nearly the same information. However, it is much more readable, but doesn't included all the scholarly details.
At this point in time, it is not likely that readers can find a more comprehensive study on human sexuality.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful By David Champion on August 30, 2008
Format: Paperback
I am not a person of scientific stature or training. I am a relatively skeptical person. The writers of this piece of work describe the problems that ran with the initial setting up of the survey, political/religious issues that influenced the survey among other items. The survey renders their own faults in reccomending further work in specific populations. You have to read the book to learn about which populations were not represented. It is still a fairly broad look at what happens in surveys on this topic among others. We must remember...All people lie about Sex. I still believe that this book does open some interesting door for conversation on sex and surveys.
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