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The Sexual Organization of the City

Edward O. Laumann, Stephen Ellingson, Jenna Mahay, Anthony Paik, and Yoosik Youm


We think of the city as a place where anything goes. Take the sensational fantasies and lurid antics of single women on Sex and the City or young men on Queer as Folk, and you might imagine the city as some kind of sexual playground—a place where you can have any kind of sex you want, with whomever you like, anytime or anywhere you choose. But this book argues that this idea is a myth. Drawing on extensive surveys and interviews with Chicago adults, it shows that the city is—to the contrary—a place where sexual choices and options are constrained. From Wicker Park and Boys Town to the South Si ... More

Keywords: city, single women, Queer as Folk, sex, Chicago, sexual choices, Wicker Park, Boys Town, South Side, sexual behavior

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2004 Print ISBN-13: 9780226470313
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226470337.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Edward O. Laumann, editor

Stephen Ellingson, editor

Jenna Mahay, editor

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Part One) Introduction

1) The Theory of Sex Markets

Stephen Ellingson, Edward O. Laumann, Anthony Paik, and Jenna Mahay

2) The Chicago Health and Social Life Survey Design

Martha Van Haitsma, Anthony Paik, and Edward O. Laumann

Part Two) The Structure of Urban Sexual Markets

3) Neighborhoods as Sex Markets

Jenna Mahay and Edward O. Laumann

Part Three) Sexual and Social Consequences of Sexual Marketplaces

5) Meeting and Mating over the Life Course

Jenna Mahay and Edward O. Laumann

7) Commitment, Jealousy, and the Quality of Life

Anthony Paik, Edward O. Laumann, and Martha Van Haitsma

8) Violence and Sexuality

Jennifer Tello Buntin, Zohar Lechtman, and Edward O. Laumann

9) Social Networks and Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Yoosik Youm and Edward O. Laumann

Part Four) Institutional Responses and Silences

11) Religion and the Politics of Sexuality

Stephen Ellingson, Martha Van Haitsma, Edward O. Laumann, and Nelson Tebbe

12) The Cultural Economy of Urban Sexuality

Stephen Ellingson, Jenna Mahay, Anthony Paik, and Edward O. Laumann