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How Debbie Harry Owned Her Sexuality

Smithsonian Channel
Early in her career, Blondie's frontrunner Debbie Harry got a lot of flack for her overt sexuality and explicit lyrics. Get Blondie's New York on iTunes now: From: BLONDIE'S NEW YORK

Unfinished Volume of Foucault’s ‘History of Sexuality’ Released in France

Smithsonian Magazine

Prior to his death in 1984, the French philosopher Michel Foucault published three volumes of The History of Sexuality, a seminal study of sexuality in the western world. He never finished the fourth volume, and explicitly stated that he did not want it to be published posthumously. But as Alison Flood of the Guardian reports, a French publisher recently released the final volume, with permission from Foucault’s family.

Confessions of the Flesh hit shelves last week, decades after the publication of the preceding volumes (The Will to Knowledge, The Use of Pleasure and the Care of Self). The publisher, Gallimard, has said that Confessions of the Flesh explores Christian doctrine between the 11th and 14th centuries. The first portion of the book links the ancient Greek notion of aphrodisia to Christian ideas of the flesh, while the latter portions explore attitudes towards virginity and marriage.

Foucault scholar Stuart Elden tells Flood that he views the fourth volume as crucial to unlocking the entire series, which traces contemporary thinking about sex back through the ages. The first volume deals with the modern period, while the second and third volumes contend with sex literature of the Greek and Roman worlds. According to the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, the unpublished fourth book, which focuses on Christian history, “serves to link the second and third volumes to the first.”

The newly published volume is based on a handwritten version of Confessions of the Flesh, a typed but incomplete manuscript, and a third manuscript that Foucault had started to correct. “With all three versions in my hands, I realized that it was possible to have a proper final edition,” Henri-Paul Fruchaud, Foucault’s nephew, tells Peter Libbey of the New York Times.

Though Foucault specified in his will that he did not want his writing to be published after his death (in the book Foucault Now, John Forrester writes that the philosopher instructed his friends not to pull the “Max Brod-Kafka trick”), his family and heirs decided that the time had come to proceed with the publication of the fourth History of Sexuality volume. Foucault’s longtime partner, Daniel Defert, sold Foucault’s archives to the National Library of France in 2013. The sale made the material available to researchers, but Defert and Foucault’s family wanted a broader audience to be able to access the work.

“What is this privilege given to Ph.D students?” as Defert put it in the journal Revue Recto/Verso in 2010. “I have adopted this principle: It is either everybody or nobody.”

keychain, novelty, sexual

National Museum of American History

Passion Plus Sexual Exciter

National Museum of American History

playing cards, novelty, sexual

National Museum of American History

Sexual dimorphism

Smithsonian Libraries

Exotic Sexual Positions From Around The World

National Museum of American History

Exhibition catalog for (en)Gendered Visions: Race, Gender and Sexuality in Asian American Art

Archives of American Art
Exhibition Catalog : 8 p. : ill. ; 28 x 22 cm. Exhibition catalog, eight pages, for (en)Gendered Visions: Race, Gender and Sexuality in Asian American Art at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center. The exhibition was curated by Margo Machida.

The Sexual Outlaw

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Front cover depicts the title "THE SEXUAL OUTLAW A DOCUMENTARY," in black with the word "SEX" cut out of a red rectangle. The phrase "A DOCUMENTARY" is also cut out of a black rectangle. Below the title is the first name of the author in black and their last name italicized in red. Framing this text are two short horizantal red bars. This text is superimposed on a tear between pixalated images of a figure's faces. Spine depicts the title and the name of the author in a similar format to the cover printed vertically above the Grove Weidenfeld colophon. Back cover depicts printed text in a tear framed by the pixalated images of a figures face.

Sexual Warfare

Archives of American Art
1 photographic print : b&w ; 21 x 17 cm. Photographs show the hands of feminist photographer, Alexis Hunter, demonstrating 18 methods of killing a male partner.
Identification on verso: "Sexual Warfare" 1975; Alexis Hunter series of 18 colour photographs.

Sexual Conflict and Female Choice

Smithsonian Libraries

Hybrid Zones and Sexual Selection

Smithsonian Libraries

Sexual dimorphism and directional sexual selection on aposematic signals in a poison frog

Smithsonian Libraries
It is commonly assumed that natural selection imposed by predators is the prevailing force driving the evolution of aposematic traits. Here, we demonstrate that aposematic signals are shaped by sexual selection as well. We evaluated sexual selection for coloration brightness in populations of the poison frog in Panama's Bocas del Toro archipelago. We assessed female preferences for brighter males by manipulating the perceived brightness of spectrally matched males in two-way choice experiments. We found strong female preferences for bright males in two island populations and weaker or ambiguous preferences in females from mainland populations. Spectral reflectance measurements, coupled with an -specific visual processing model, showed that coloration was significantly brighter in island than in mainland morphs. In one of the island populations (Isla Solarte), males were significantly more brightly colored than females. Taken together, these results provide evidence for directional sexual selection on aposematic coloration and document sexual dimorphism in vertebrate warning coloration. Although aposematic signals have long been upheld as exemplars of natural selection, our results show that sexual selection should not be ignored in studies of aposematic evolution.

Sexual selection drives speciation in an Amazonian frog

Smithsonian Libraries
One proposed mechanism of speciation is divergent sexual selection, whereby divergence in female preferences and male signals results in behavioural isolation. Despite the appeal of this hypothesis, evidence for it remains inconclusive. Here, we present several lines of evidence that sexual selection is driving behavioural isolation and speciation among populations of an Amazonian frog (Physalaemus petersi ). First, sexual selection has promoted divergence in male mating calls and female preferences for calls between neighbouring populations, resulting in strong behavioural isolation. Second, phylogenetic analysis indicates that populations have become fixed for alternative call types several times throughout the species' range, and coalescent analysis rejects genetic drift as a cause for this pattern, suggesting that this divergence is due to selection. Finally, gene flow estimated with microsatellite loci is an average of 30 times lower between populations with different call types than between populations separated by a similar geographical distance with the same call type, demonstrating genetic divergence and incipient speciation. Taken together, these data provide strong evidence that sexual selection is driving behavioural isolation and speciation, supporting sexual selection as a cause for speciation in the wild.

Sexually Selected Infanticide in a Polygynous Bat

Smithsonian Libraries
Background: Adult individuals of many species kill unrelated conspecific infants for several adaptive reasons ranging from predation or resource competition to the prevention of misdirected parental care. Moreover, infanticide can increase the reproductive success of the aggressor by killing the offspring of competitors and thereafter mating with the victimized females. This sexually selected infanticide predominantly occurs in polygynous species, with convincing evidence for primates, carnivores, equids, and rodents. Evidence for bats was predicted but lacking. Methodology/Principal Findings: Here we report the first case, to our knowledge, of sexually selected infanticide in a bat, the polygynous white-throated round-eared bat, Lophostoma silvicolum. Behavioral studies in a free-living population revealed that an adult male repeatedly attacked and injured the pups of two females belonging to his harem, ultimately causing the death of one pup. The infanticidal male subsequently mated with the mother of the victimized pup and this copulation occurred earlier than any other in his harem. Conclusions/Significance: Our findings indicate that sexually selected infanticide is more widespread than previously thought, adding bats as a new taxon performing this strategy. Future work on other bats, especially polygynous species in the tropics, has great potential to investigate the selective pressures influencing the evolution of sexually selected infanticide and to study how infanticide impacts reproductive strategies and social structures of different species.

The Sexual Identity of These Snails is Complicated

Smithsonian Channel
Snails are hermaphrodites, so they’re capable of producing both eggs and sperm. Interestingly, their genitals aren’t where you’d expect. From the Series: Wild Castles: Carcassonne
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