Sexology is the scientific study of human sexuality, including human sexual interests, behavior, and function. The term does not generally refer to the non-scientific study of sex, such as political analysis or social criticism.
In modern sexology, researchers apply tools from several academic fields, including biology, medicine, psychology, statistics, epidemiology, sociology, anthropology, and criminology. Sexology studies sexual development and the development of sexual relationships as well as the mechanics of sexual intercourse. It also documents the sexualities of special groups, such as the disabled, child development, adolescents, and the elderly. Sexologists study sexual dysfunctions, disorders, and variations, including such widely varying topics as erectile dysfunction, pedophilia, and sexual orientation.
Sexological findings, in spite of being scientifically based, can still become controversial when they contradict "mainstream", religious, or political beliefs in a given society.
Sexology as it exists today, as a specific research-based scientific field, is relatively new. While there are works dedicated towards sex in antiquity, the scientific study of sexual behavior in human beings began in the 19th century. Shifts in Europe's national borders at that time brought into conflict laws that were sexually liberal and laws that criminalized behaviors such as homosexual activity.
German society, under the sexually liberal Napoleonic code, organized and resisted the anti-sexual cultural influences. The momentum from those groups led them to coordinate sex research across traditional academic disciplines, bringing Germany to the leadership of sexology.
Germany's dominance in sexual behavior research ended with the Nazi regime, marked by the destruction of the Institut für Sexualwissenschaft (Institute for Sexology) in Berlin. But after World War II, sexology experienced a renaissance, beginning in the United States. Large scale studies of sexual behavior, sexual function, and sexual dysfunction gave rise to the development of sex therapy. Post-WWII sexology in the U.S. was influenced by the influx of European refugees escaping the Nazi regime and the popularity of the Kinsey studies. Until that time, American sexology consisted primarily of groups working to end prostitution and to educate youth about sexually transmitted diseases.
The advent of HIV/AIDS in the 1980s caused a dramatic shift in sexological research efforts towards understanding and controlling the spread of the disease.
Timeline of major events
Sexual manuals have existed since antiquity, such as Ovid's Ars Amatoria, the Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana, the Ananga Ranga and The Perfumed Garden for the Soul's Recreation. None of these treat sex as the subject of a formal field of scientific or medical research, however.
Pre World-War II
In 1837, De la prostitution dans la ville de Paris (Prostitution in the City of Paris) was published by Alexander Jean Baptiste Parent-Duchatelet. In that study, Parent-Duchatelet provided data from a sample of 3,558 registered prostitutes of Paris. That effort has been called the first work of modern sex research.
In 1886, Richard Freiherr von Krafft-Ebing published Psychopathia Sexualis. That work is considered as having established sexology as a scientific discipline.
In 1897, Havelock Ellis, a British sexologist, co-authored the first English medical text book on homosexuality, Sexual inversion (Das Konträre Geschlechtsgefühle). (The original German-languaged edition was published in 1896.) A friend of Edward Carpenter, Ellis was one of the first sexologists who did not regard homosexuality as a disease, immoral, or a crime. He preferred the term inversion to homosexuality, and developed concepts such as autoerotism and narcissism, which were later adopted by Sigmund Freud. He is regarded as having been one of the most influential scholars in opposing Victorian morality regarding sex.
In 1908, the first scholarly journal of the field, Journal of Sexology (Zeitschrift für Sexualwissenschaft), began publication and was published monthly for one year. Those issues contained articles by Sigmund Freud, Alfred Adler, and Wilhelm Stekel.
In 1913, the first academic association was founded: the Society for Sexology.
Sigmund Freud developed a theory of sexuality. These stages of development include: Oral, Anal, Phallic, Latency and Genital. These stages run from infancy to puberty and onwards. based on his studies of his clients, between the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Wilhelm Reich and Otto Gross, were disciples of Freud, but rejected by his theories because of their emphasis on the role of sexuality in the revolutionary struggle for the emancipation of mankind.
In 1919, Magnus Hirschfeld founded the Institut für Sexualwissenschaft (Institute for Sexology) in Berlin. Its library housed over 20,000 volumes, 35,000 photographs, a large collection of art and other objects. The Institute and its library were destroyed by the Nazis less than three months after they took power, May 8, 1933. Hirschfeld developed a system which identified numerous actual or hypothetical types of sexual intermediary between heterosexual male and female to represent the potential diversity of human sexuality, and is credited with identifying a group of people that today are referred to as transsexual or transgender as separate from the categories of homosexuality, he referred to these people as 'transvestiten' (transvestites).
Post World-War II
Alfred Kinsey founded the Institute for Sex Research at Indiana University at Bloomington in 1947. This is now called the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction. He wrote in his 1948 book that more was scientifically known about the sexual behavior of farm animals than of humans.
Kurt Freund developed the penile plethysmograph in Czechoslovakia in the 1950s. The device was designed to provide an objective measurement of sexual arousal in males, and Freund used it to help dispel a number of myths surrounding homosexuality. This tool has since been used with sex offenders.
In 1966 and 1970, Masters and Johnson released their works Human Sexual Response and Human Sexual Inadequacy, respectively. Those volumes sold well, and they were founders of what became known as the Masters & Johnson Institute in 1978.
This is a list of sexologists and notable contributors to the field of sexology, by year of birth:
- Carl Friedrich Otto Westphal (1833–1890)
- Richard Freiherr von Krafft-Ebing (1840–1902)
- Albert Eulenburg (1840–1917)
- Auguste Henri Forel (1848–1931)
- Sigmund Freud (1856–1939)
- Wilhelm Fliess (1858–1928)
- Havelock Ellis (1858–1939)
- Eugen Steinach (1861–1944)
- Robert Latou Dickinson (1861–1950)
- Albert Moll (1862–1939)
- Edvard Westermarck (1862–1939)
- Magnus Hirschfeld (1868–1935)
- Iwan Bloch (1872–1922)
- Theodor Hendrik van de Velde (1873–1937)
- Max Marcuse (1877–1963)
- Otto Gross (1877–1920)
- Ernst Gräfenberg (1881–1957)
- Bronisław Malinowski (1884–1942)
- Harry Benjamin (1885–1986)
- Theodor Reik (1888–1969)
- Alfred Kinsey (1894–1956)
- Wilhelm Reich (1897–1957)
- Mary Calderone (1904–1998)
- Wardell Pomeroy (1913–2001)
- Albert Ellis (1913–2007)
- Kurt Freund (1914–1996)
- Ernest Borneman (1915–1995)
- William Masters (1915–2001)
- Gershon Legman (1917–1999)
- Paul H. Gebhard (1917– )
- John Money (1921–2006)
- Ira Reiss (1925-)
- Virginia Johnson (1925– )
- Preben Hertoft (1928– )
- Oswalt Kolle (1928– )
- Vern Bullough (1928–2006)
- William Simon (1930–2000)
- John Gagnon (1931– )
- Edward Eichel (1932– )
- Fritz Klein (1932–2006)
- Milton Diamond (1934– )
- Erwin J. Haeberle (1936– )
- Gunter Schmidt (1938– )
- Rolf Gindorf (1939– )
- Volkmar Sigusch (1940– )
- Dorree Lynn (1941– )
- Martin Dannecker (1942– )
- Shere Hite (1943– )
- Ray Blanchard (1945– )
- Gilbert Herdt (1949– )
- Kenneth Zucker (1950– )
- Gender and sexuality studies
- Human sexuality
- List of academic journals in sexology
- List of sexology organizations
- List of sexology topics
- Philosophy of sex
- Sex education
- Sexological testing
- ^ a b c d Bullough, V. L. (1989). The society for the scientific study of sex: A brief history. Mt. Vernon, IA: The Foundation for the Scientific Study of Sexuality
- ^ a b c d Haeberle, E. J. (1983). The birth of sexology: A brief history in documents. World Association for Sexology.
- ^ Gagnon, J. (1988). Sex research and sexual conduct in the era of AIDS. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, 1, 593-601.
- ^ a b Hoenig, J. (1977). Dramatis personae: Selected biographical sketches of 19th century pioneers in sexology. In J. Money and H. Musaph (Eds.), Handbook of Sexology, (pp. 21-43). Elsevier/North-Holland Biomedical Press.
- ^ http://www.palgrave.com/products/title.aspx?PID=276359
- ^ Kewenig, W. A. (1983, May 22–27). Forward. In E. J. Haeberle, The birth of sexology: A brief history in documents (p. 3). World Association for Sexology.
- ^ Three Contributions to the Theory of Sex by Sigmund Freud - Project Gutenberg
- ^ Hirschfeld, Magnus (1910), Die Transvestiten. Eine Untersuchung über den erotischen Verkleidungstrieb. Mit umfangreichen casuistischen und historischen, Leipzig: Verlag von Max Spohr (Ferd. Spohr)
- ^ Hirschfeld, Magnus (1920), Homosexualitat des Mannes und des Weibes, Berlin
- ^ p. 3 of Kinsey, A. C., Pomeroy, W. B., & Martin, C. E. (1948). Sexual behavior of the human male. New York and Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders.
- ^ Associated Press (October 26, 1996). Kurt Freund, 82, notable sexologist.
- ^ Kuban, Michael (Summer 2004). Sexual Science Mentor: Dr. Kurt Freund. Sexual Science 45.2
- ^ Dr. Vern L Bullough - Publications - Vern Bullough
- ^ Mustanski, B.S., Dupree, M. G., Nievergelt, C., Schork, N. J., & Hamer, D. H. (2005). A genomewide linkage scan of male sexual orientation. Human Genetics, 116, 272-278.
- ^ Ferretti, A., et al. (2005). Dynamics of male sexual arousal: Distinct components of brain activation revealed by fMRI. NeuroImage, 26, 1086-1096.
- ^ Lippa, R. (2007). Guest Editor's introduction to the BBC special section. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 36, 145-145.
- ^ Jacqueline Comte. What is Sexology? Accessed 2011-07-07.
- ^ Foucault, Michel. The History of Sexuality Vol. 1: The Will to Knowledge. London: Penguin (1976/1998)
- ^ Humboldt-Universität, Berlin. Magnus Hirschfeld Archive for Sexology. Retrieved on November 23, 2007.
- ^ Malinowski as "Reluctant Sexologist in Irregular connections, by Andrew Lyons p.155-184 (2004)
- ^ The Sexual Life of Savages in North-Western Melanesia Bronislaw Malinowski (1929)(Wikipedia entry on The Sexual Life of Savages in North-Western Melanesia)
- ^ McMurry University, Texas Retrieved on July 02, 2009.
- ^ "Dr. Vern L Bullough Distinguished Professor Natural and Social Sciences" Retrieved on November 23, 2007.
- ^ a b SAGE Journals Online - Sexualities. Retrieved on July 02, 2009.
- ^ Marriage Science.com Retrieved on July 02, 2009.
- A resource list for professionals and students in human sexuality and sexual science[dead link]
- Magnus Hirschfeld Archive for Sexology at the Humboldt University of Berlin
- Masters and doctoral programs in sexology[dead link]
- Postdoctoral training programs in sexology[dead link]
- Glossary of clinical sexology (en - it)
- Proposed diagnostic criteria for sex and gender section of DSM5
- "Sexual Health protection" NGO Armenian Association of Sexologists (mostly in Armenian)
- "Sexologist in India" Dr.A Chakravarthy, President of International Association of Sexual Medicine )
Human sexuality and sexology Sexual relationship phenomena Sexual dynamics
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Look at other dictionaries:
sexology — [sek säl′ə jē] n. the science dealing with human sexual behavior sexological adj. sexologist n … English World dictionary
sexology — noun Date: 1902 the study of sex or of the interaction of the sexes especially among human beings • sexologist noun … New Collegiate Dictionary
sexology — sexological /sek seuh loj i keuhl/, adj. sexologist, n. /sek sol euh jee/, n. the study of sexual behavior. [1900 05; SEX + O + LOGY] * * * … Universalium
sexology — noun The study of sex and sexuality … Wiktionary
sexology — The scientific study of all aspects of sex, including differentiation and dimorphism, and, particularly, sexual behavior. [L. sexus, sex, + G. logos, study] * * * sex·ol·o·gy sek säl ə jē n, pl gies the study of sex or of the interaction of the… … Medical dictionary
sexology — sex|ol|o|gy [ sek salədʒi ] noun uncount the scientific study of people s sexual behavior ╾ sex|ol|o|gist noun count … Usage of the words and phrases in modern English
sexology — study of sexual behaviour Sciences and Studies … Phrontistery dictionary
sexology — sexÂ·olÂ·oÂ·gy || sek sÉ‘lÉ™dÊ’Éª / sÉ’l n. study of sexual behavior and human sexuality … English contemporary dictionary
sexology — noun the study of human sexual life or relationships. Derivatives sexological adjective sexologist noun … English new terms dictionary
sexology — noun (U) the study of sexual behaviour, especially among humans sexologist noun (C) … Longman dictionary of contemporary English