cover image Women as Revolutionary Agents of Change: The Hite Reports and Beyond

Women as Revolutionary Agents of Change: The Hite Reports and Beyond

Shere Hite. University of Wisconsin Press, $24.95 (544pp) ISBN 978-0-299-14294-0

The extensive excerpts from Hite's widely discussed and influential first survey and two later books on sexuality and love provide a coherent overview of her work over the last 18 years. Hite's research, based on long and detailed replies to questions about sexual feelings, behavior and attitudes, was first derided by experts in the field, who called her sampling of respondents inadequate and her work unscientific. But her original 1976 study ( The Hite Report on Female Sexuality ), which challenged conventional beliefs about women's sexuality and explored the issues from a woman's perspective, was hailed in other quarters for its revelations. In her later books, she used similar methodology, first to report on male sexuality, and then to focus on women and the effects of the so-called sexual revolution on heterosexual and same-sex relationships, being single, friendships and family life. Distinguished social scientists have come to champion the validity of Hite's unorthodox style of research and her findings, and she concludes this compilation with a diverse collection of essays defending her studies by such scholars as Joseph P. Fell, Wardell Pomeroy and Cheris Kramarae. For readers unfamiliar with Hite's work, this compendium offers convincing evidence of her importance in the feminist canon. (Apr.)