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Tearoom Trade: Impersonal Sex in Public Places (Observations) Paperback – January 2, 1976
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* Recipient of the C. Wright Mills Award
“I found the book interesting and descriptively informative. I learned how the tearoom operates, and this is valuable for sociological understanding of urban America and potentially for sex-role analysis.”
—Ira L. Reiss, American Sociological Review
“For the anthropologist, and for other social scientists, Tearoom Trade is noteworthy for two reasons. First, it deals with a heretofore underdescribed aspect of American society. Second, it contains a candid discussion of the methodological problems of studying deviance.”
—E. B. Eiselein, American Anthropologist
“Few sociological books in recent years have received the attacks and accolades that Tearoom Trade has. In addition to being viewed extensively in both the professional and public media, it has received the 1969 C. Wright Mills award from the Society for the Study of Social Problems.”
—Lawrence Rosen, Journal of Marriage and the Family
“From 1985 to 1988, the arrests of large numbers of men involved in impersonal sex in public toilets became a major Canadian news story… The present study examines this deviant activity using information generated by police surveillance of seven public washrooms in five Canadian communities.”
—Frederick J. Desroches, Qualitative Sociology
"Tearoom Trade was Laud's most significant book...what emerged in this ground-breaking research was a sociological portrait of conservative and tormented lives: married men, family men, conservative men, whose personal proclivities and preferences were powerful enough, institutionally grounded enough, to break through the conventions of social life."
—Glenn A. Goodwin, Irving Louis Horowitz, and Peter M. Nardi, Sociological Inquiry
About the Author
Laud Humphreys received his divinity degree from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary and spent fourteen years in the ministry of the Episcopal Church. After returning to graduate school, he received his Ph.D. in sociology from Washington University in 1968. Dr. Humphreys taught at SUNY Albany, Southern Illinois University, and until his death in 1988 was professor of sociology at Pitzer College in Claremont, California.