© 2010

Theorizing the Sexual Child in Modernity

  • Authors

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. R. Danielle Egan, Gail Hawkes
    Pages 1-11
  3. R. Danielle Egan, Gail Hawkes
    Pages 13-32
  4. R. Danielle Egan, Gail Hawkes
    Pages 33-50
  5. R. Danielle Egan, Gail Hawkes
    Pages 51-73
  6. R. Danielle Egan, Gail Hawkes
    Pages 75-95
  7. R. Danielle Egan, Gail Hawkes
    Pages 97-123
  8. R. Danielle Egan, Gail Hawkes
    Pages 125-145
  9. R. Danielle Egan, Gail Hawkes
    Pages 147-156
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 157-190

About this book


This ground-breaking work provides the first history of ideas about the sexual child in modernity. Beginning with twenty-first century panics about sexualization, the authors address why the sexual child excites such powerful emotions in the Anglophone west.


child childhood emotion Freud history of ideas hygiene Infantile Sexuality work

About the authors

R. DANIELLE EGAN is Associate Professor of Gender and Sexuality Studies at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York, USA.
GAIL HAWKES teaches sociology at the University of New England, Australia.

Bibliographic information


"Though we have been in the grips of a kind of high-voltage paralysis on the subject of sexualizing children for at least half a century, this book is really the first to provide not only a broad-ranging analysis and history, but a reasoned and humane way out of it. It is a powerful and highly significant work that should generate wide discussion and pointed action." - James R Kincaid, Aerol Arnold Professor of English, University of Southern California; author of Child-Loving: The Erotic Child and Victorian Culture and Erotic Innocence: The Culture of Child Molesting

"This timely and thought-provoking book locates anxieties about children and sexuality in historical perspective, prompting us to question the sexualization phobia that has become such a pervasive feature of debates on childhood in contemporary western societies." - Stevi Jackson, Professor of Sociology and Director of The Centre for Women s Studies, The University of York, UK; author of Childhood and Sexuality, Heterosexuality in Question; co-author of Theorizing Sexuality

"More than a history of ideas between 1840 and 1940, this book is also, importantly, a history of the present. Not only does it illuminate historical specificities and continuities in thinking about child sexuality, it also critically intervenes in contemporary debates by connecting the figure of the sexual child to the politics of recognition." - Steven Angelides, Monash Fellow, Centre for Women s Studies & Gender Research/Sociology, Monash University, Australia; author of The History of Bisexuality