Sexed Up: How Society Sexualizes Us, and How We Can Fight Back

Seal. May 2022. 336p. ISBN 9781541674806. $30. SOC SCI
Biologist and activist Serano (Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity) takes a deep dive into the sexualization of American society and offers solutions on how individuals can unlearn these ingrained behaviors. Through a combination of social science research and anecdotal experiences, Serano describes how sexual stereotypes become embedded and accepted norms. Serano also examines the ways in which language reinforces these sexual double standards and tropes, pigeonholing people into roles they don’t fit into, and how damaging this can be not only to individuals, but to society as well. Stigmatization plays a big role in exacerbating the problem, as does the portrayal of sexuality by mainstream media outlets (which, while not the focus of this book, is a topic readers can explore further in the 2020 Netflix documentary Disclosure). Serano shows how virtually everyone does this, including examples of times she exhibited such behavior; it’s a consequence of growing up with and unconsciously absorbing all these cultural messages and biases, she writes. The good news? Serano believes that once people are aware of these behaviors, they can begin confronting and eradicating them. Includes bibliographical references.
VERDICT An engaging and thoughtful addition for any library’s popular human sexuality collection.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing