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Leigh Ann Wheeler
Bowling Green State University (Bowling Green, OH 43403-0001)

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars
Research Programs

[Grant products][Media coverage]

$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2007 – 12/31/2007

How the American Civil Liberties Union Shaped U.S. Policy and Culture in the 20th Century

This book will be the first to explain how, why, and to what effect ACLU activists gradually adopted sexual expression and practice as civil liberties, persuaded juridical bodies to do the same, and joined with state affiliates and commercial media to promote these understandings of sexuality to a broader public. The ACLU helped to define a liberal, rights-based sexual ethos in the U.S., playing a prominent role in nearly every major court decision related to sexuality. By showing how, with regard to sexual issues, the ACLU formulated and revised its own policies, influenced public policy, and shaped mainstream public discourse, LIBERATING SEX will illuminate important sources and shapers of this nation's polarized sexual culture.