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About the Book

Beyond the Book

240 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, notes, bibl., index

Prescription for Heterosexuality

Sexual Citizenship in the Cold War Era

In Prescription for Heterosexuality, Carolyn Herbst Lewis explores how medical practitioners, especially family physicians, situated themselves as the guardians of Americans' sexual well-being during the early Cold War years. She argues that many doctors believed that a satisfying sexual relationship with very specific attributes and boundaries was the foundation of a successful marriage, a source of happiness in the American family, and a crucial building block of a secure nation. Drawing on hundreds of articles and editorials in both medical journals and popular and professional literature, Lewis traces how medical professionals affirmed certain heterosexual desires and acts while labeling others as unhealthy or deviant.

About the Author

Carolyn Herbst Lewis is assistant professor of history at Grinnell College.

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