Monday, October 23, 2006

America's War on Sex: The Attack on Law, Lust, and Liberty

America's War on Sex: The Attack on Law, Lust and Liberty (Sex, Love, and Psychology)

Marty Klein

Date: 2006-08-30 — Book

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Review of America's War on Sex: The Attack on Law, Lust and Liberty (Sex, Love, and Psychology)

America's War on Sex is a look at the various violations of our civil liberties in reference to sexual freedom. The author, Dr Marty Klein, a certified sex therapist, clearly shows that sexual freedom for all consenting adults is an integral part of our rights under the First Amendment.

Dr Klein believes that "those who are trying to 'clean up' America say they're fighting for a number of critical reasons; children, the family, marriage, morals, education, community safety. But this isn't really true. It's a war against sex: sexual expression, sexual exploration, sexual arrangements, sexual privacy, sexual choice, sexual entertainment, sexual health, sexual imagination, sexual pleasure....The public is manipulated into fighting sexual expression, not sexual ignorance or poor sexual decision making."

Elaborating on his original premise, Dr Klein talks about abstinence-only vs comprehensive sex education, the campaigns to suppress and censor pornography, abortion, contraception, attempts to censor the broadcast media, adult entertainment, and the internet. He also takes a look at those involved in censorship and anti-sex campaigns, particularly religious fundamentalists, showing what drives them and how they operate. One chapter is nothing but outrageous quotes by many people who would seek to limit the sexual rights of others.

Most useful is a chapter about sexual privacy, particularly how it related to sexual minorities, which includes examples of how the law discriminates against sexual minorities, which is pretty much everyone who doesn't practice heterosexual monogamy within a legally recognized marriage. In this chapter, Klein focuses mainly on gay people, swingers, and aficionados of BDSM, but what he writes applies to other sexual minorities as well.

Also included are extensive source notes and an up-to-date bibliography.

He's preaching to the choir here, but I took one star away for his writing style which is a little strident and over the top. Nevertheless, this is a book that should be in the library of anyone who takes the American ideal of liberty and privacy seriously, especially as how it pertains to our sexuality.

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