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December 31 , 2010

Sex in Development

Science, Sexuality, and Morality in Global Perspective


Sex in Development examines how development projects around the world intended to promote population management, disease prevention, and maternal and child health intentionally and unintentionally shape ideas about what constitutes “normal” sexual practices and identities. From sex education in Uganda to aids prevention in India to family planning in Greece, various sites of development work related to sex, sexuality, and reproduction are examined in the rich, ethnographically grounded essays in this volume. These essays demonstrate that ideas related to morality are repeatedly enacted in ostensibly value-neutral efforts to put into practice a “global” agenda reflecting the latest medical science.

Sex in Development combines the cultural analysis of sexuality, critiques of global development, and science and technology studies. Whether considering the resistance encountered by representatives of an American pharmaceutical company attempting to teach Russian doctors a “value free” way to offer patients birth control or the tension between Tibetan Buddhist ideas of fertility and the modernization schemes of the Chinese government, these essays show that attempts to make sex a universal moral object to be managed and controlled leave a host of moral ambiguities in their wake as they are engaged, resisted, and reinvented in different ways throughout the world.

Contributors. Vincanne Adams, Leslie Butt, Lawrence Cohen, Heather Dell, Vinh-Kim Nguyen, Shanti Parikh, Heather Paxson, Stacy Leigh Pigg, Michele Rivkin-Fish

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