As lovers prepare to mark another Valentine’s Day in ways old and new, Brenda Marston, curator of the Human Sexuality Collection in Cornell University Library's Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, notes the rapid evolution of sex and love in modern culture – and the timeless underlying needs that drive both.
“Sex and love has come a long way in just a few generations.
“There have been marriage, divorce, sodomy and prostitution laws changes. The way people identify themselves and the ways society regulates sexuality has changed all around the world. Even how people perceive and name same-sex attractions or gender nonconformity has changed.
“Still, despite these changes, some things stayed the same – loneliness, longing, passion, and the hope for fulfillment.”
Media Note: Beginning on Valentine’s Day, the Human Sexuality Collection celebrates 25 years through a new exhibit, Speaking of Sex. Running through National Coming Out Day, Oct. 11, the exhibition showcases rare books, letters, photographs and original artwork, films, erotica, and all sorts of ephemera related to sexuality.
• For more information about the exhibit: http://events.cornell.edu/event/speaking_of_sex_human_sexuality_collection_exhibition
• Images from the exhibition here: https://cornell.box.com/s/ep12b3gizftl94pbehok
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