Dialogues of the Sexual Revolution: Homosexuality as behavior and identity

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Haworth Press, 1990 - Social Science - 265 pages
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An indispensable addition to any collection of information on homosexuality and sexuality, this major new volume focuses on the evolution of concepts of sexual and homosexual identity.

Homosexuality as Behavior and Identity further explores several trends that were examined in Homosexuality and Sexuality: Dialogues of the Sexual Revolution--Volume I, which contains interviews from 1979--1987. The chapters show a continuing movement away from the pursuit of a science that can establish the “normality” of homosexuality in favor of explorations of gay and lesbian history and encouraging gay and lesbian people to guide themselves in the personal and political decisions that will shape their future. Accordingly, this unique volume shifts in its reliance on the opinions about gay and lesbian life from nongay and nonlesbian “experts” and “allies” to the observations, experiences, and research findings of gays and lesbians.

Concentrating on the years 1985--1989, Homosexuality as Behavior and Identity features interviews and conversations on homosexuality and art and homosexuality and society. The dialogues of the first part extend the work of such pioneering authorities on homosexuality, film, and art as Vito Russo and James Saslow. Within this section are discussions of homosexuality and film with directors Rosa von Praunheim and Paul Schrader, and landmark conversations on homosexuality and music--a subject that remains more closeted than possibly any other area of gay studies in the arts--with scholar Philip Brett, gay opera authority George Heymont, and Pulitzer prize-winning composer Ned Rorem.

If the dialogues of the first part make a convincing case for identifying gay and lesbian persons, themes, and issues in the arts, those in the second part reevaluate such assumptions. The striking sexological insights of James Weinrich, John De Cecco's scathing indictments of sexology, and a look at the future course for the odyssey of lesbian and gay studies further reveal the controversies that are reshaping contemporary thinking about homosexuality and sexuality.

Homosexuality as Behavior and Identity will be essential reading for anyone interested in the evolution of concepts of sexual and homosexual identity in our time, particularly academicians and scholars from the gay community, social scientists, mental health professionals, sex researchers, historians, and musicologists. Students of homosexuality and art will be especially intrigued by the most substantial discussions of the subject of homosexuality and music ever published.

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