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The Shere Hite Reader: New and Selected Writings on Sex, Globalism, and Private Life Paperback – April 4, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Somewhere between social science and pop sexology, this volume collects 40 years' worth of Hite's writings on the role of sex in our individual identities and our culture. Hite, a controversial figure when she emerged in the 1970s as an outspoken sex educator and feminist, has revised and condensed her best-known works as well as shorter essays and unpublished writings. Most of the book is founded on Hite's interviews and surveys of thousands of Americans, and while some have criticized her methodology, Hite's work is most compelling when she stands back and lets her respondents speak, openly grappling with the nuances and motivations of their sexual practices. Many of Hite's earlier conclusions seem surprisingly mundane (perhaps a testament to how far we've come in recent decades), and her more recent analysis of globalization and sex lacks the solid empirical foundation of previous Hite reports. By flattening decades of work into a single volume without offering the context in which that work emerged or its subsequent impact, the volume leaves readers with a general sense of the scope and breadth of Hite's ideas, but no greater understanding of where they fit in the big picture of research on human sexuality.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Cultural historian Hite offers a wide--ranging look at the complexities and the subtleties of female and male sexuality. Drawing on several independent research studies, the five Hite reports, and current essays and theories, Hite documents how girls and boys grow up and experience changes in their bodies. She argues that single-sided views of women harm both relationships and the need for women to balance their own sexual needs. Hite explores how sexuality fits into concerns about human rights, examining the pressures on women from religious fundamentalists and the countervailing pressures of modern culture that border on the pornographic. She reassesses sexual attitudes and behavior in the postfeminist era and explores aspects from the tensions between sexual equality and self-determination to the impact of Viagra on sexual performance. Hite urges readers to remember their earliest sexual feelings and to rediscover "original sexuality" versus the images imposed by the culture. In this fascinating exploration, Hite moves beyond the cliches of what pleases men and women and explores how attitudes on sex and pleasure have evolved and continue to evolve. Vanessa Bush
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Seven Stories Press; Seven Stories Press 1st Ed edition (April 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1583225684
  • ISBN-13: 978-1583225684
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.5 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,046,457 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By K. Hare on January 10, 2007
Format: Paperback
Fascinating. One of those books which women would long to show their lovers, "See Darling, you're no the only one who is frustrated by the clitoris connection to orgasm; shall I read you what it says and chill the champagne?" -- not to mention the intense relief as to the reality of most men's ineptitude and lack of interest in women's orgasm verses natural capacity / capability. (On an aside not addressed in the book, What would happen if he had to sleep in the wet spot every time SHE did not orgasm?)

Found the definition of how men have named coitus 'penetration' verses 'enfolding', vagina = sheath (named by an Italian as in 'to sheath a sword'), etc. refreshing. These are excellent examples for many of the questions Hite raises in the traditional valuation, naming and presentation of women's physiology.

Excellent research on the male point of view - both enlightening as well as daunting. Her survey excerpts are fascinating in their depth and spectrum. Reading these could be both enraging, `Another stupid question. The clitoris is on the inside of the vagina and my penis touches it when we fu_ _.' to `My girlfriend showed me where it was and what she liked. I felt honored she would trust me so.'..... How women raise their boys, son-in-laws, and nephews will greatly affect how these men-in-training address their girlfriends and lovers, children and ultimately view their societal roles.

With the [daft] preference of conservatives to maintain women's roles in the traditional light, Hite's future considerations remain paramount for all generations, cultures, socio-economic backgrounds and other persuasions.

The only downside continues to be the pervasive traditional stereotypes which can be daunting to read over a long haul.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this back in 2007 after seeing Shere Hite on the Colbert Report. It was a fascinating read, backed with data (although these studies are a bit flawed, both because of the material and the lower survey count).

Regardless, it was influential simply by prompting me to reflect on sex and gender interactions and bias. I highly recommend it.
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