Sex in Canada
204 pages, 6 x 9
73 graphs
Release Date:14 Feb 2024
Release Date:14 Feb 2024

Sex in Canada

The Who, Why, When, and How of Getting Down Up North

UBC Press

What do we do in the bedroom? Do other people do the same? How often? Who with? Movies and the internet seem saturated in sex, but it’s difficult to separate fact from fiction, and real talk about our own sexual lives can feel uncomfortable. Sex in Canada pulls the covers off, breaking through myths with frank talk and hard facts.

Guided by the results of a one-of-a-kind survey of adults aged eighteen to ninety – and infusing her research with a sense of humour – Tina Fetner delves into sex among singles and couples, marriage and monogamy, hooking up and committed relationships, cheating, desire, risk, and pleasure. Is there such a thing as “normal” sexual behaviour? How do age, gender, sexual identity, education, region, and other dimensions of our social lives affect our sex lives? Fetner shows us how the social forces that shape us also nudge our sexual behaviour into patterns that reflect the world we see.

In applying the tools of social science to a formerly taboo topic, Sex in Canada offers the most accurate picture to date not just of Canadians’ sex lives but of why we act the way we do.

Any reader with a curiosity about human behaviour will find their interest piqued by this lively work, which is bound to teach them something new. It will also be useful to students and scholars of human sexuality, the sociology of sex and gender, and the sociology of sexualities.

[an] unprecedented look into Canadians’ bedrooms. Nicole Thompson, Canadian Press
To date, we haven't had much breadth and depth of knowledge about Canada’s sexual practices. And now we do – and it’s so very well done! I am very excited about Tina Fetner’s work. Alicia M. Walker, author of The Secret Life of the Cheating Wife: Power, Pragmatism, and Pleasure in Women’s Infidelity
Sex and religion, to me, are two of the most fascinating doors into human behaviour. The ‘why’ to a lot of the choices we make…even, or especially, the ones that seem counterintuitive. In Canada, as in all over the globe, talking openly about diverse sexual identities, orientations and experiences fosters inclusivity. Tina Fetner’s Sex in Canada not only educates, it also challenges stereotypes, advocates for science-based approaches to understanding one another and, most importantly, empowers us to be completely ourselves. I wish I’d had access to this kind of content when I was slowly wading into my own sexual growth. Sheima Benembarek, author of Halal Sex: The Intimate Lives of Muslim Women in North America

Tina Fetner is a professor of sociology at McMaster University. She is the author of How the Religious Right Shaped Lesbian and Gay Activism and has published in Gender & Society, Archives of Sexual Behavior, and Men & Masculinities. Fetner has served as president of the Canadian Sociological Association and is currently co-chair of the Canadian regional chapter of Sociologists for Women in Society.

Introduction: The Social Science of Sexuality

1 Thinking about Sexual Identity

2 How Much Sex Are We Having?

3 Commitment, Casual Sex, and Cheating

4 What Are We Doing in the Bedroom?

5 Pleasure, Pain, and Risk

6 The Social Organization of Sexuality

Conclusion: Sex in Canada

Appendix: Research Methods and Limitations

Notes; Bibliography; Index

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