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An Ordered Love
Author: Louis J. Kern

ISBN: 9780807840740
Format: Paperback
Number Of Pages: 445
Published: 25 January 1981
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.6 x 3.4
Description:
"An Ordered Love" is the first detailed study of sex roles in the utopian communities that proposed alternatives to monogamous marriage: The Shakers (1779-1890), the Mormons (1843-90), and the Oneida Community (1848-79).

The lives of men and women changed substantially when they joined one of the utopian communities. Louis J. Kern challenges the commonly held belief that Mormon polygamy was uniformly downgrading to women and that Oneida pantagamy and Shaker celibacy were liberating for them. Rather, Kern asserts that changes in sexual behavior and roles for women occurred in ideological environments that assumed women were inferior and needed male guidance. An elemental distrust of women denied the Victorian belief in their moral superiority, attacked the sanctity of the maternal role, and institutionalized the dominance of men over women.

These utopias accepted the revolutionary idea that the pleasure bond was the essence of marriage. They provided their members with a highly developed theological and ideological position that helped them cope with the ambiguities and anxieties they felt during a difficult transitional stage in social mores.

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