As the anthropological study of sex becomes more focused within the discipline, this volume offers a cross-section of current research that examines the biological and cultural interface of sexuality. Through articles dealing with the difficulties in obtaining observational data and the relationship between biological and cultural influences, the contributors seek to understand why anthropology has not been better able to integrate behavioral and ideological approaches.
Contributions range from methodological concerns such as the proposal for more holistic studies and the problem of relying strictly on people’s reports of their sexual behavior, to substantive issues such as cultural implications of biological research and how different cultures distinguish between romantic love and erotic sex. Integrating a wide range of viewpoints, the volume demonstrates that the study of sexuality is becoming more relevant to anthropology and provides a touchstone for scholars confronted with an increasingly bewildering array of approaches to this topic.
David N. Suggs is an associate professor of cultural anthropology and director of African and African American studies at Kenyon College. He is co-editor of Culture and Human Sexuality. Andrew W. Miracle is a professor and chair of the Department of Health Sciences, Cleveland State University.