RT Book, Whole DB /z-wcorg/ DS http://worldcat.org ID 754723395 LA English T1 Sex and punishment : four thousand years of judging desire A1 Berkowitz, Eric., PB Counterpoint : Distributed by Publishers Group West PP Berkeley, CA YR 2012 SN 9781582437965 1582437963 1619021552 9781619021556 AB The 'raging' frenzy of the sex drive, to use Plato's phrase, has always defied control. However, that is not to say that every civilization has not tried, using its most powerful weapon: the Law. At any given point in history some forms of sex were condoned while others were punished mercilessly. Jump back or forward a century or two or cross a border and the harmless fun of one society becomes the gravest crime in another. This work tells the story of the struggle to regulate the most powerful engine of human behavior. The author, a lawyer, uses flesh and blood cases to evoke the entire sweep of Western sex law, from the savage impalement of an ancient Mesopotamian adulteress to the imprisonment of Oscar Wilde in 1895 for 'gross indecency.' The subjects of the book include royal mistresses, gay charioteers, medieval transvestites, misbehaving government officials, lonely goat-lovers, priests, prostitutes, and London rent boys. Each had forbidden sex, and each was judged, though justice, as the author shows, rarely has much to do with it. Here the author goes behind closed doors to reveal the essential history of human desire.