Science in the Bedroom: A History of Sex Research

By Vern L. Bullough | Go to book overview
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4
THE AMERICAN
EXPERIENCE

So far in this book, there has been an emphasis on homosexuality as a major factor in sex research. Krafft-Ebing, Hirschfeld, and Ellis all were concerned with variant sexuality, and the first works of each of them dealt with it, although Krafft-Ebing did so in less detail than the others. Freud was not so concerned with homosexuality per se, but many of his psychoanalytic followers devoted considerable attention to it. One reason for this attention, as indicated earlier, was a growing public awareness of the existence of individuals who loved members of their own sex more than those of the opposite. Another reason for the concern with homosexuality was the rapid growth of cities and the challenges this posed to traditional patterns and assumptions of living. Some of this concern by sex researchers with homosexuality, as in the case of Hirschfeld, was probably also to get a get a better understanding of themselves.


MEDICAL RESEARCHERS

American medical observers were conscious of some of the research taking place in Europe, but for the most part, they did not do any major research on sexual topics in the nineteenth century, although toward the end of the century, they did contribute case histories and discussions of various "deviant" sexual practices, including homosexual behavior. 1 Probably the best informed American medical writer on the subject was Lydston of Chicago (discussed

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