“The War on Sex” edited by David Halperin and Trevoe Hoppe— A Different Story

Halperin, David and Trevor Hoppe (editors). “The War on Sex”, Duke University Press, 2017.

A Different Story

Amos Lassen

In the past fifty years, this country has experienced a change regarding the expansion of sexual rights and liberties in the United States. As progress has been made in marriage equality, reproductive rights, access to birth control, and other areas, however government and civil society have been waging a war on stigmatized sex by means of law, surveillance, and social control. In this collection of essays, contributors document the history and operation of sex offender registries and the criminalization of HIV, as well as the punitive measures against sex work that do more to harm women than to combat human trafficking. We see that sex crimes are punished more harshly than other crimes and new legal and administrative regulations drastically restrict who is permitted to have sex. In examining how the ever-intensifying war on sex affects both privileged and marginalized communities, we see why sexual liberation is indispensable to social justice and human rights.
  Contributors include Alexis Agathocleous, Elizabeth Bernstein, J. Wallace Borchert, Mary Anne Case, Scott De Orio, David M. Halperin, Amber Hollibaugh, Trevor Hoppe, Hans Tao-Ming Huang, Regina Kunzel, Roger N. Lancaster, Judith Levine, Laura Mansnerus, Owen Daniel McCarter, Erica R. Meiners, R. Noll, Melissa Petro, Carol Queen and Penelope Saunders.

These scholars and activists who work on the front lines, give us an important and vital tool for understanding how the regulation and criminalization of sex relates to the struggles in racial, economic, gender, and disability justice.

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