White, Kevin 1959-
WHITE, Kevin 1959-
PERSONAL: Born August 22, 1959, in Shoreham, Sussex, England; Education: University of Durham, B.A., 1981, Ohio State University, M.A., 1983, Ph.D., 1990.
ADDRESSES: Office—58 Beaumont Rd., Worthing, Sussex BN14 8HD, England. E-mail—[email protected] port.ac.uk.
CAREER: Ohio State University, Columbus, lecturer at Center for Comparative Studies, 1986–90; Thames Valley University, London, England, part-time lecturer in American studies, 1992–93; University of Sussex, Brighton, England, tutorial fellow in American studies, 1993–; Portsmouth University, School of Education, assistant coordinator of the Access Program in Contemporary Studies, 2000–.
Sexual Liberation or Sexual License?: The American Revolt against Victorianism, Ivan R. Dee (Chicago, IL), 2001.
SIDELIGHTS: Kevin White's books survey the history of sexuality and gender distinctions in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He is particularly interested in the so-called "sexual revolution" and in issues relating to masculinity. The First Sexual Revolution: The Emergence of Male Heterosexuality in Modern America explores the confusion that faced American men as Victorian ideals faded and were replaced with masculine ideals promoted by popular literature and advertising. In the Journal of Social History, Stephen M. Frank commended The First Sexual Revolution as "a valuable contribution to the literature on early twentieth-century masculinity." Frank added that White's "provocative style and approach are bound to stimulate future study of this important and still relatively unexplored area. In particular, the questions White raises in his conclusion about the limits of gender as a category of historical analysis should caution scholars to think critically about the complex ways that economics and gender interacted as sexual ethics were renegotiated in this period."
Sexual Liberation or Sexual License?: The American Revolt against Victorian Sexuality takes an overview approach to the history of sexuality through the twentieth century. White does not dismiss the Victorian ideal of romantic love, sexual fidelity within marriage, and respectful treatment of the opposite sex; rather, he suggests that the increased sexual content of film, advertisements, and public discourse has raised anxiety in some spheres and has had little influence on marital behavior in others. David Wolcott in the Journal of Social History felt that the author "offers an extremely lucid overview of the recent history of sexuality in the United States and does a remarkable job of assimilat-ing a wide-ranging literature…. [The book's] main strength is that it synthesizes the history of sexuality within a useable framework that could be a starting point for future debate."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Historical Review, April, 1994, Lewis A. Erenberg, review of The First Sexual Revolution: The Emergence of Male Heterosexuality in Modern America, p. 669.
Journal of American History, March, 1994, Timothy J. Gilfoyle, review of The First Sexual Revolution, p. 1496.
Journal of Social History, fall, 1994, Stephen M. Frank, review of The First Sexual Revolution, p. 178; summer, 2002, David Wolcott, review of Sexual Liberation or Sexual License?: The American Revolt against Victorian Sexuality, p. 1004.
New Republic, April 19, 1993, Christopher Lasch, review of The First Sexual Revolution, p. 30.