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Taken from the Introduction to The International Encyclopedia of Human Sexuality, published May 2015, edited by Patricia Whelehan and Anne Bolin www.encyclopediaofhumansexuality.com
Sexuality as an academic, legal, medical, and social subject has become increasingly visible over the past thirty years as attested to by the dramatic increase in the number of courses, scholarly and applied peer-reviewed publications, and other resources on the topic. It has also been an ongoing source of anthropological study since the nineteenth century.
However, recent anthropological interest in sexuality has been heightened as a consequence of globalization, the AIDS pandemic, national and international concerns over issues such as sex education, same sex marriage, transgender issues, and sex work among others.
In response to these widespread concerns and an attendant critical need for understanding human sexuality in a broad context, Wiley-Blackwell has commissioned us to produce an inter-disciplinary three-volume encyclopedia titled The International Encyclopedia of Human Sexuality (IEHS). This print and electronic reference work will be an important resource for undergraduate and graduate universities, law schools, medical schools, and public libraries nationally and internationally. Not only will this encyclopedia cover the essential content areas as do the other widely selling encyclopedias on human sexuality–including human physiology, life-course issues, contraception, and contemporary Euro-American sexuality and ethnic issues– but the Wiley-Blackwell IEHS will contextualize these topics within their socio-cultural milieu and integrate the cross-cultural and global records of other nationalities.
Given the contemporary cultural and academic concerns for cultural diversity in education, we believe that our encyclopedia has the potential to offer new and richer perspectives on human sexual behavior. No other encyclopedia currently on the market incorporates cultural diversity as a central theme for both the Euro-American and cross-cultural material. In addition, the IEHS’ attention to evolutionary and primatological considerations are attractive to those disciplines that have a biological and evolutionary emphases such as ethology, evolutionary psychology, biology, ecology, medicine, nursing and health among others, providing a deeply historical and bio-cultural lens.
Find out more at www.encyclopediaofhumansexuality.com
Patricia Whelehan and Anne Bolin