Winner of the 2013 ACT Book of the Year Award
Cross-dressing convicts, effeminate bushrangers and women-shortage woes - here is the first ever history of sex in Australia, from Botany Bay to the present-day.
In this fascinating social history, Frank Bongiorno uses striking examples to chart the changing sex lives of Australians. Tracing the story up to the present, Bongiorno shows how the quest for respectability always has another side to it.
Along the way he deals with some intriguing questions - What did it mean to be a 'mate'? How did modern warfare affect soldiers' attitudes to sex? Why did the law ignore lesbianism for so long? - and introduces some remarkable characters both reformers and radicals. This is a thought-provoking and enlightening journey through the history of sex in Australia.
With a foreword by Michael Kirby, AC CMG.
Praise for The Sex Lives of Australians
'Remarkable and highly readable' - Michael Kirby
'A great book, a compound of wit and tragedy, as you'd expect from the subject matter, plus wide learning and common sense.' - Alan Atkinson, author of The Europeans in Australia
'The Sex Lives of Australians is such a treasure trove that it is hard to do it justice ... a work of real significance that makes a fresh contribution to understanding our culture.' - the Australian
'This is highly readable, serious history about our most intimate yet most culturally sensitive selves.' - the Canberra Times
'A fascinating tale.' - the Sydney Morning Herald
'An engaging book...both educational and entertaining' - the Daily Telegraph
'Entertaining, enlightening, infuriating and frequently hilarious. Highly recommended.' - MX Sydney
Winner of the 2013 ACT Book of the Year Award.
Shortlisted for the Australian History Prize in the 2013 Prime Minister's Literary Awards.
Shortlisted for the Australian History Prize in the 2013 NSW Premier's History Awards.