Science in the Bedroom: A History of Sex Research

By Vern L. Bullough | Go to book overview

10
PROBLEMS OF AN
EMERGING SCIENCE

As sexology entered the twentieth century, it had become essentially another aspect of medical research. As such, research was based on patient populations and was aimed at helping physicians diagnose and treat individuals who consulted them. The course of the twentieth century saw the field broaden its horizons to include large numbers of nonphysician researchers who were not so much interested in establishing new diagnostic categories and treatment modalities as exploring new frontiers. Data were gathered not only from patients but also from carefully chosen statistical samples. Even many of the physicians who continued to do research in the field, such as Ellis, Hirschfeld, Bloch, Dickinson, and Masters, tended to abandon the diagnostic categories and to turn to data-gathering methods of the social sciences and even humanities. Biochemists, geneticists, physiologists, and endocrinologists all established a strong presence in the field, helping strengthen the scientific knowledge about sex.

The very complexity of the subject, however, worked against the dominance of research by any one discipline. While biology in its various specialties is essential to understanding sexual functioning, so is a knowledge of the social, cultural, and psychological aspects of sexuality. This requires the expertise of anthropologists, historians, psychologists, sociologists, literary specialists, art historians, musicologists, and others. If help or treatment is sought by an individual, a number of professions can become involved, not only the physicians who dominated the field in the nineteenth century but nurses, social workers, psychologists, social psychologists, and various kinds

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Science in the Bedroom: A History of Sex Research
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents *
  • Acknowledgments *
  • Introduction *
  • 1 - Sex Research and Assumptions *
  • 2 - Homosexuality and Other Factors in Bringing about Sex Research *
  • 3 - Hirschfeld, Ellis, and Freud *
  • 4 - The American Experience *
  • 5 - Endocrinology Research and Changing Attitudes *
  • 6 - From Freud to Biology to Kinsey *
  • 7 - From Statistics to S Exology *
  • 8 - Th E Matter of Gender *
  • 9 - Other Voices, Other Views *
  • 10 - Problems of an Emerging Science *
  • Notes *
  • Index *
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