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The War on Sex

Edited by
David M. Halperin
David M. Halperin

David M. Halperin is W. H. Auden Distinguished University Professor of the History and Theory of Sexuality in the English Department at the University of Michigan and the author, most recently, of How to Be Gay.

Trevor Hoppe is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University at Albany, State University of New York, and author of Punishing Disease.

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Trevor Hoppe
Trevor Hoppe

David M. Halperin is W. H. Auden Distinguished University Professor of the History and Theory of Sexuality in the English Department at the University of Michigan and the author, most recently, of How to Be Gay.

Trevor Hoppe is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University at Albany, State University of New York, and author of Punishing Disease.

Search for other works by this author on:
Duke University Press
ISBN electronic:
978-0-8223-7314-8
Publication date:
2017
Book Chapter

The Politics of Sex

Published:
March 2017

Historians and sociologists have mapped the racial dimensions of the emergent culture of control, with its bloated prison system and far-flung surveillance techniques. This chapter draws out the sexual dimension, emphasizing how the figure of the imperiled child stands at center stage in the national drama. Beginning in the mid-1970s, a succession of modern sex crime panics have redefined childhood, reshaped American social institutions, fostered new forms of identity based on victimization, eroded democratic legal norms, and contributed to the development of a deeply seated culture of fear.

Historians and sociologists have mapped the racial dimensions of the emergent culture of control, with its bloated prison system and far-flung surveillance techniques. This chapter draws out the sexual dimension, emphasizing how the figure of the imperiled child stands at center stage in the national drama. Beginning in the mid-1970s, a succession of modern sex crime panics have redefined childhood, reshaped American social institutions, fostered new forms of identity based on victimization, eroded democratic legal norms, and contributed to the development of a deeply seated culture of fear.

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