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Money Isn't Everything

Money Isn't Everything

Buying and Selling Sex in Twentieth-Century Argentina

by Patricio Simonetto
Publication Date: 03/12/2024

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Just a few years before becoming President, Juan Domingo Peron penned a letter demanding the reopening of government sponsored brothels near military bases. This, he believed, was a necessary preventative for homosexuality. His letter exemplified the then widespread panic over sexual deviance that came just a few years after a panic surrounding immigrant sexualities led to the criminalization of prostitution. In this book, available for the first time in English, Patricio Simonetto captures the anxiety, regulation, and tolerance of sex work that has defined Argentina's heterosexual and patriarchal national identity.

Consulting judicial papers, prison archives, and secret police reports, Simonetto illustrates the state's authoritarian, violent, and moralistic interventions against dissident sexualities and how they transcended political shifts across liberal and military governments. He narrates the life stories of those who offered, exploited, or were consumers of sex work and draws connections between sex work, government policy, and Argentina's economy. This impressive study provides a lens into the ever-shifting constructions of heteronormative masculinities that produced political agendas and social hierarchies that continue to influence Argentina today.

Social & cultural history
Publication Date:
University of North Carolina Press
Country of origin:
United States
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