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Against Sex – Identities of Sexual Restraint in Early America - North Carolina Scholarship Online
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Against Sex: Identities of Sexual Restraint in Early America

Kara M. French


How much sex should a person have? With whom? What do we make of people who choose not to have sex at all? As present as these questions are today, they were subjects of intense debate in the early American republic. In this richly textured history, Kara French investigates ideas about, and practices of, sexual restraint to better understand the sexual dimensions of American identity in the antebellum United States. French considers three groups of Americans—Shakers, Catholic priests and nuns, and followers of sexual reformer Sylvester Graham—whose sexual abstinence provoked almost as much soc ... More

Keywords: Celibacy, Chastity, Sexual Abstinence, Sexual Identity, Shakers, Sylvester Graham, Catholic priests, women religious, nuns, moral reformers

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2021 Print ISBN-13: 9781469662145
Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2022 DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469662145.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Kara M. French, author
Salisbury University