Shortlist year: 
2013
Shortlist category: 
Prize for Australian History
Published by: 
Black Inc

About the book

Book cover- The Sex Lives of Australians - A History by Frank Bongiorno

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.