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Sexology is the systematic study of human sexuality. It encompasses all aspects of sexuality, including:

--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexology [Jul 2004]

History of the study of sex

A number ancient sex manuals exist, including Ovid's Ars Amatoria, the Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana, the Ananga Ranga and The Perfumed Garden for the Soul's Recreation. However, none of these treated sex as the subject of a formal field of research.

One of the earliest sex researchers prior to the 20th century sexology movement was Richard Freiherr von Krafft-Ebing, whose book Psychopathia Sexualis recorded a number of unusual sexual abnormalities.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Sigmund Freud developed a theory of sexuality based on his studies of his clients.

Magnus Hirschfeld founded the Institute for Sexology in Berlin in 1919. When the Nazis took power, one of their first actions, on May 6, 1933, was to destroy the Institute and burn the library.

In 1947, Alfred Kinsey founded the Institute for Sex Research at Indiana University at Bloomington, now called the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexology [Jul 2004]

What is sexology?

Sexology in its modern form is largely a 20th century phenomenon.

Sexology relates to a number of other fields of study:

Sexology also touches on public issues such as the debates over abortion, public health, birth control and reproductive technology. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexology [Jul 2004]

Notable sexologists

This is a list of notable sexologists, sorted by the year of their birth:

--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexology [Jul 2004]

1850-1900: Doctors Medicalize Sex

Doctors at the middle of the 1800s struggled to expand the market for their services and to garner greater professional respect even though few of the cures they offered did any good. Books like Acton's Functions and Disorders of the Reproductive Organs used scare tactics to warn readers that even innocuous practices like masturbation could be lethal, and that dangerous sexual disorders like spermattorhea could occur surreptitiously. The best course, Acton advised, was consultation with a qualified physician who could diagnose and treat such insidious threats.

The medical specialty that enjoyed the least prestige was the treatment of mental diseases. Early psychiatrists ("alienists" in the language of the day) lacked even diagnoses for the disorders they claimed to treat. By the 1850s, psychiatrists began an orgy of classification that included lists of sexual aberrations. Sexual inversion figured prominently in these lists after Karl Westphal coined the term in 1869. Diagnostic enthusiasm reached its apex in Krafft-Ebing's monumental Psychopathia Sexualis published in 1886.

Medicalization was greeted with mixed feelings by men who called themselves urnings, inverts, and homosexuals. Many were glad to be regarded as merely sick instead of desperately depraved, but others like Marc Andre Raffalovich insisted that they felt neither sick nor sinful. --© 1999 Andrew Wikholm, http://www.gayhistory.com/rev2/factfiles/ffmedicalization.htm

Medicine and sex

The development of antibiotics in the 1940s made most of the severe venereal diseases of the time curable, removing the threat of sexually transmitted diseases such as syphilis.

Twenty years later, The Pill became available; at first for married women only, but demand soon lead to it becoming available to unmarried women as well.

With the twin threats of disease and pregnancy removed, many of the traditional constraints on sexual behavior seemed unjustified.

The advent of genital herpes and AIDS have started the pendulum swinging in the reverse direction, but modern trends are towards harm reduction through education and safer sex rather than a return to sexual puritanism. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexual_revolution [Oct 2004]

Philosophy of sex

Philosophy of sex is the part of applied philosophy studying sex and love. It includes both ethics of phenomena such as prostitution, rape, sexual harassment and homosexuality, and conceptual analysis of concepts such as "what is sex"?

One of the leading contemporary philosophers of sex is Alan Soble. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy_of_sex [Aug 2004]

Karl-Heinrich Ulrichs (1825 – 1895) [...]

Karl-Heinrich Ulrichs (1825 – 95), pioneer gay rights activist, was born Germany.

From 1849 to 1857 Ulrichs worked as an official legal adviser for the district court of Hildesheim in the Kingdom of Hanover. He was dismissed in 1859 when his homosexuality became apparent.

In 1862, Ulrichs took the momentous step of telling his family and friends that he was, in his own word, a Uranian. He also wrote a statement of legal and moral support for a man arrested for homosexual offences. This was the first public "coming out" and the first recorded example of gay rights activism.

The idea of gay and lesbian rights originated in Germany, which in the 19th century was the most socially and scientifically advanced country in the world. In 1869 the Austrian writer Karl-Maria Kertbeny coined the word "homosexual", and from the 1870s the subject of sexual orientation (as we would now say) was widely discussed.


  1. Lovemaps: Clinical Concepts of Sexual/Erotic Health and Pathology, Paraphilia, and Gender Transposition in Childhood, Adolescence, and Maturity by John Money [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    0835210782 This is the most accessible of John Money's books. It is the real "Venus and Mars" book about relationships. Dr. Money has a long history of solid research and writing in the field of sexology that predates Comfort and others. His intense intellectual power limits the audience to those willing to struggle through complex descriptions of very complex concepts...you see our sexual brain is not so simple as to be covered in the prime time attention span of 30 minutes. If you take the time with this one, I am sure you will come away with more than that which the 10 most popular lay books out there COMBINED have to offer. This is the REAL truth, and not in a fancy package...all the best to Dr. Money...former student and author, Kenneth Giuffre MD, "The Care and Feeding of Your Brain", Career Press 1999. -- kenbrain@neurostuff.com

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