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Contraception is not an invention of modern times, nor is it a purely personal matter. Social institutions such as the church and the state have exerted their influence as effectively as doctors, population theorists, and the early pioneers of the feminist movement. All of these claim a special expertise in matters of ethics and morality, and so have shaped the discourses on and practices of birth control over the centuries. In this engaging new book Robert Jutte offers a history of contraception from the Ancient world to the present day. He distinguishes two broad phases: first, a long phase, extending from the Ancient world up to the 18th century, in which birth control was part of a traditional form of sexual knowledge what Jutte calls, following the French social philosopher Michel Foucault, the ars erotica. In the second phase, which began in the 19th century, practices of birth control are increasingly shaped by the emerging models of scientific knowledge, while still retaining some vestiges of the erotic arts. In addition to the contraceptives we know and use today, from coitus interruptus to the condom and the pill, Jutte considers other methods of birth control as diverse as the use of herbal potions and vaginal pessaries, the castration of young boys and the enforced sterilization of men and women. This comprehensive history of one of the oldest and most widespread of human practices offers a rich and nuanced account of how men and women across the centuries have struggled with the needs both for sexual gratification and for limitation of offspring, while also looking beyond the present to catch a glimpse of how contraception might evolve in the future.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780745632711
ISBN-10: 0745632718
Format: Paperback
(229mm x 152mm x 14mm)
Pages: 272
Imprint: Polity Press
Publisher: Polity Press
Publish Date: 11-Apr-2008
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Robert Jutte

Robert Jutte is Head of the Institute of Medicine at the Robert Bosch Foundation and Professor of Modern History at Stuttgart University. Translated by Vicky Russell.

Books By Author Robert Jutte

Contraception by Robert Jutte

Contraception

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History of the Senses by Robert Jutte

A History of the Senses

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Institutions of Confinement by Robert Jutte

Institutions of Confinement

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Poverty and Deviance in Early Modern Europe by Robert Jutte

Poverty and Deviance in Early Modern Europe

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