By Shuly Rubin Schwartz
Shame, a powerful emotion, leads individuals to feel vulnerable, victimized, rejected. In Shameless , noted scholar and writer Arlene Stein explores American culture's attitudes toward shame and sexuality.
Some say that we live in a world without shame. But American culture is a curious mix of the shameless and the shamers, a seemingly endless parade of Pamela Andersons and Jerry Falwells strutting their stuff and wagging their fingers. With thoughtful analysis and wit, Shameless analyzes these clashing visions of sexual morality.
While conservatives have brought back sexual shame- by pushing for abstinence-only sex education, limitations on abortion, and prohibitions of gay/lesbian civil rights- progressives hold out for sexual liberalization and a society beyond "the closet." As these two Americas compete with one another, the future of family life, the right to privacy, and the very meaning of morality hang in the balance.