Science in the Bedroom: A History of Sex Research

By Vern L. Bullough | Go to book overview
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7
FROM STATISTICS
TO S EXOLOGY

The two decades following the appearance of the first Kinsey report in 1948 saw a radical change in public attitudes about sexuality spurred both by the development of the oral contraceptive and by new studies in human sexuality, including additional ones by Kinsey and his team and by William Masters and Virginia Johnson. The results of these studies included the establishment of a new discipline, sexology ; the emergence of a new helping profession, sex therapist; and a reorientation of the way sex was taught. Individually and collectively, there was also a changing attitude, more positive if you will, toward sexuality.


KINSEY'S RESEARCH

Kinsey is a good marker of these changes because, unlike almost all previous American sex researchers, Kinsey emphasized the sex part of sex research and held that sex was as legitimate a subject to study as any other. He recognized the many facets of sexual behavior from biology to history and gathered together one of the great resource libraries of the world devoted entirely to sex. He openly challenged the traditional medical dominance of sexual topics and, in the process, opened up the field to many other disciplines. Though some of his statistics can be challenged, it was the combination of all his contributions that make him the most influential American sex researcher of the twentieth century.

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