Humanae Vitae predicted the disintegration of marriage and family life, partly as a result of the widespread use of contraception. Pope John Paul II has since articulated a fresh understanding of marriage, love and sexuality which takes account of the dignity of the human person, and especially of women. <br>Mary Shivanandan examines the scientific data and the theological analysis that underlie these teachings on marriage and sexuality. <br>Her book will be an essential text for the study of the development, meaning and implications of Catholic doctrine in this controversial area. Its appearance marks a new stage in the debate over sexuality in the modern world.