ELLIS, AND FREUD
Three men dominated sexology during the early years of the twentieth century: Magnus Hirschfeld (1868—1935), Havelock Ellis (1859-1939), and Sigmund Freud (1856—1939). Hirschfeld and Ellis could be called empirical data gatherers, while Freud was a system maker who, on the basis of his system, developed a new therapy for those afflicted with sexual and other problems. Though each man knew of the work of the others and had contact with the others, Freud increasingly distanced himself from not only Hirschfeld and Ellis but other sex researchers to devote his energy to developing his own model.
For a time, at least in the United States, Freudian ideas about sexuality were the dominant ones. One of the reasons for this is that Freud, through his treatment modalities, provided a way for those interested in sexology to earn a living. Hirschfeld was independently wealthy, and though he practiced medicine and treated patients, his research was supported by his own funds. Ellis, while also a physician, supported himself almost entirely by his own writings, many of which were outside of the sex field. Freud, on the other hand, earned his living as a practicing physician and as such was far more interested in treatment than the other two. Thus while the data that Hirschfeld and Ellis collected were invaluable, these men did not necessarily provide treatment modalities that a practicing physician could use to help patients. Inevitably, Freud, the new system maker, became the model for much of the medical community, particularly in America, where the developing field of psychiatry came to dominate not only the treatment of
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Publication information: Book title: Science in the Bedroom:A History of Sex Research. Contributors: Vern L. Bullough - Author. Publisher: Basic Books. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1994. Page number: Not available.
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