VFA Recommended Books


Sex is Not a Natural Act
Leonore Tiefer

As Leonore Tiefer provocatively states in
Sex is Not a Natural Act, "A kiss is not a kiss; your orgasm is not the same as George Washington's, premarital sex in Peru is not premarital sex in Peoria, abortion in Rome at the time of Caesar is not abortion at the time of John Paul II, and rape is neither an act of sex nor an act of violence - all of these actions remain to be defined by individual experience within one's period and culture." This newly revised collection by one of the foremost sex researchers today explores sex and its "experts" in colorful, original, and perceptive ways.

In 1972 at age 28 Tiefer got the news about feminism while teaching psychology and directing an animal mating behavior research lab at Colorado State University in beautiful Ft. Collins. She went on to help organize the Ft. Collins chapter of NOW, the CSU Commission on Women, a CSU study group on part time employment and tenure. By 1977 she had given up animal sex research and shifted to sex therapy and human sex, challenging biological essentialism and promoting feminist approaches to sex research and education.

In her second book, Sex is Not a Natural Act, first published in 1995 and now updated, she argues that the medical model was not helpful in understanding women's sexual lives, and it would be better to think of sexuality as a social and psychological construct. The expanding universe of medicalization had encroached on many areas of women's lives, such as pregnancy and menstruation, and Tiefer urges drawing the line at sexuality before it damages too much of our potential for sexual emancipation.

In the 1990s, she began to examine the economic, political, regulatory aspects of sexuopharmaceuticals and founded an educational campaign which now has a website, books, videos, a listserv, conferences, and a manifesto (www.newviewcampaign.org). A PhD, she has a psychotherapy practice in sex therapy in Manhattan but mostly takes the feminist anti-pharma message on the road - both real and virtual.

This newly updated collection includes a new section on Tiefer's most recent essays on female sexual dysfunction. Her background as a sexologist is unusually broad, including sex therapy, classification of dysfunctions and feminist analysis, and they all add up to a lively, controversial presentation of the forces shaping sex in our culture.

You can purchase Sex is not a Natural Act AT

A click on the author’s name will bring up a description/review in some cases a picture of the cover of the book.
Many will be available in your local library. If not, ask the librarian to order.
For purchase, try Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Back to Front Page Amazon Barnes & Noble