The rise of Louise Perry

I am pleased to see Bryan Caplan reviewing the new Louis Perry book The Case Against the Sexual Revolution.  He opens with this:

I read Louise Perry’s The Case Against the Sexual Revolution: A New Guide to Sex in the 21st Century in a single day. If you want a page-turner, look no further. The sentences are gripping, the anecdotes are shocking, and the thesis is eyebrow-furrowing. For pure entertainment, I honestly don’t think I can compete with this book, which strives to convert today’s young feminists to a heretical syncretic creed of sex-negative feminism and social conservatism.

On Amazon the book has a five-star average with 716 ratings, and I strongly suspect it still will be read and referenced in ten or twenty years.  I disagree with much of what Bryan says on this topic, but am glad to see he recognizes the importance of the book.  In my view, Bryan is insufficiently Freudian, unwilling to see both “sexual freedom” and “sexual repression” as embodying a complex bundle of options, with no unproblematic way out and with no truly stable solution.  I read Perry (who is an Emergent Ventures winner, by the way) as embodying the Freudian perspective, and not denying it, but not willing to emphasize it either.  She has chosen her side, and would rather tell the woman not to let the guy choke you for his own fun.

On that I can agree.  I am pleased to see this book doing so well.



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