Sex, Ethics, and Communication

A Humanistic Approach to Conversations on Intimacy (Second Edition)
By Valerie V. Peterson
©2013, 160 pages

Cognella Direct Ebook: $12.95

Learn about all formats available for adoption

Bookstore Managers: contact to place an order

Customize Sex, Ethics, and Communication

* Required Fields

Your Customization
Sex, Ethics, and Communication

In stock


    Sex, Ethics and Communication: A Humanistic Approach to Conversations on Intimacy addresses the need for thoughtful consideration of human sexuality and sexual communication. Written from a secular humanist perspective, the book places communication, rather than biology, psychology, or religion, at the heart of our understanding of sex and sexual behavior. The book steers away from strict standards of “normal” behavior, case studies and hypothetical examples, and encourages readers to contribute their own examples and reflect on their own experiences.

    Designed to encourage classroom discussion, Sex, Ethics and Communication can be used in courses on human sexuality, women's studies, communication ethics, and interpersonal communication. Written in a serious, honest style, the material still effectively employs humor to increase reader comfort with challenging topics.

    The book is divided into three sections. Part I covers sexual ethics, and discusses responsibility, vulnerability, the problems of categorization, and different ethics of communication. Part II is devoted to sex as a form of communication, and the ways in which sex and spoken communication interact. Part III addresses ethical sex and how it is related to other areas of social and cultural concerns such as work, pay, and marriage.

    Specific topics include:

    • Why Statistics are Useless for Ethics
    • Sexual Metaphors and Narratives
    • Making Good Sex More Likely
    • Innocence vs. Experience
    • Marriage and Family

    This thoughtful, theoretical treatment of sex will engage a generation of students reared on the internet, Facebook, and YouTube who want and need help with face-to-face communication skills, and who are interested in understanding how to negotiate sex as an interpersonal activity.

    Valerie V. Peterson (Ph.D., University of Iowa) is Professor of Communication Studies at Grand Valley State University. She writes about visual communication, rhetoric, communication theory, sex and sexuality, popular culture, and pedagogy. Her published work includes 20+ scholarly articles, book chapters, encyclopedia entries, and other writings on such topics as rhetorical and communication theory, visual rhetoric, the media ecology of birth control and sex related drugs, argument and identity, interdisciplinarity, Sophistic thought, sexual politics, the Ellen TV sitcom, The Joy of Sex, and the Kama Sutra. She served as managing editor of Explorations in Media Ecology (2008-2010).

    In the Media

    - Article in West Michigan Woman Magazine by Valerie (June 2012)
    - Valerie interviewed on WZZM 13 (February 2012)
    - Review by Ann Byle of the Grand Rapids News Press (June 2011)
    - Valerie interviewed on NPR affiliate station WGVU (May 2011)
    - Review by David A. Clanaugh, Michigan Tech University in Women & Language (Fall 2011, Volume 34.2, pages 135-136)
    - Grand Valley Magazine Book Suggestion
    Formats and Bulk Order Pricing for Confirmed Adoptions

    Publisher Direct Versions — Available through the Cognella Student Store for confirmed adoptions

    Best Value!
    Publisher Direct Ebook Publisher Direct ebooks are available in your Cognella account immediately after purchase and provide access for 180 days. Our ebooks run on RedShelf and VitalSource with annual/perpetual options available.
    Ships Free!
    Publisher Direct Paperback These special, discounted paperback editions are sold exclusively through the Cognella Student Store ( for confirmed adoptions. They are not available through other retailers. The books are printed on demand, do not have an ISBN, and are not intended for resale, which results in savings we pass along to students. Most Publisher Direct Paperbacks also come with free, immediate access to the first 30% of the ebook and FREE shipping.

    Bookstore Pricing (MSRP) — These suggested retail prices include a total projected mark-up of 25%

    Binder Ready/Loose Leaf
    Talk to a rep for ISBN details
    Binder Ready versions have pages that are loose leaf, three-hole punched, and fit into any standard three-ring binder (not included). They are fully typeset, include front and back covers, and are available at a discount compared to standard paperbacks. Contact us for course adoptions; not available for individual purchase.
    $12.95 Paperback
    Standard paperback version. Contact us for course adoptions; also available for individual purchase through national wholesalers and retailers — and from our website directly — see Purchase button above.
    See more options
    $26.95 Hardcover
    Great for libraries and rental programs. Contact us for course adoptions; also available for individual purchase through national wholesalers and retailers.
    $22.45 Other Formats
    Talk to a rep for details
    Other formats (spiral bind, perforated, etc.) may be available. Contact us for course adoptions; specialty formats are not available for individual purchase.