Special Report

The Sex Issue

The Sex Issue

When U.S. magazines devote special issues to sex, they are usually of the celebratory variety (see: Esquire, April 2012 edition; Cosmopolitan, every month). Suffice it to say that is not what we had in mind with Foreign Policy‘s first-ever Sex Issue, which is dedicated instead to the consideration of how and why sex — in all the various meanings of the word — matters in shaping the world’s politics. Why? In Foreign Policy, the magazine and the subject, sex is too often the missing part of the equation — the part that the policymakers and journalists talk about with each other, but not with their audiences. And what’s the result? Women missing from peace talks and parliaments, sexual abuse and exploitation institutionalized and legalized in too many places on the planet, and a U.S. policy that, whether intentionally or not, all too frequently works to shore up the abusers and perpetuate the marginalization of half of humanity. Women’s bodies are the world’s battleground, the contested terrain on which politics is played out. We can keep ignoring it. For this one issue, we decided not to.


  • Why Do They Hate Us?
    By Mona Eltahawy

  • The Aytollah Under the Bedsheets

    The Aytollah Under the Bedsheets
    By Karim Sadjadpour

  • The Startling Plight of China’s Leftover Ladies
    By Christina Larson

  • Seriously, Guys: Why Women Are a Foreign Policy Issue
    By Melanne Verveer

  • The 25 Most Powerful Women You’ve Never Heard Of

  • The FP Survey: Women in Politics

    The FP Survey: Women in Politics

  • The Bedroom State

    The Bedroom State
    By Joshua E. Keating

  • Fill In The Blanks: The Sex Edition

  • More from the Issue