Institute for Sex Research  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Psychopathia Sexualis, sexology, history of anatomy



A number of 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 treat sex as the subject of a formal field of scientific or medical research.

Middle Ages

16th century

Gabriele Falloppio (1523 - October 9, 1562), often known by his Latin name Fallopius, was one of the most important anatomists and physicians of the sixteenth century, author of Observationes Anatomicae.

Realdo Columbo published his only work, De Re Anatomica, in 1559 shortly before his death. Many of the contributions made in De Re Anatomica overlapped the discoveries of Gabriel Falloppio, most notably the discovery of the clitoris.

17th century

Nicolas Venette (1633-1698) was a French physician, sexologist and writer.

Regnier de Graaf (July 30, 1641 – August 17, 1673) was a Dutch physician and anatomist who made key discoveries in reproductive biology. His first name is often spelled Reinier or Reynier.

William Cowper (c.1666 - 8 March 1709) was an English surgeon and anatomist, famous for his early description of what is now known as the Cowper's gland.

In certain works of fictions, such as the Satyrica Sotadica, descriptions of the male and female genitalia are given.

18th century

Martin Schurig (1656–1733) was the first physician to occupy himself with the anatomy of the sexual organs. He is known for his Spermatologia Historico-Medica, often known simply as Spermatologia, published in 1720.

In 1760, Samuel-Auguste Tissot published L'Onanisme, his own comprehensive medical treatise on the purported ill-effects of masturbation. Citing case studies of young male masturbators amongst his patients in Lausanne, Switzerland as basis for his reasoning, Tissot argued that semen was an "essential oil" and "stimulus" that, when lost from the body in great amounts, would cause "a perceptible reduction of strength, of memory and even of reason; blurred vision, all the nervous disorders, all types of gout and rheumatism, weakening of the organs of generation, blood in the urine, disturbance of the appetite, headaches and a great number of other disorders."

19th century

Alfred Binet

In 1837, De la prostitution dans la ville de Paris (Prostitution in the City of Paris) was published by Alexander Jean Baptiste Parent-Duchatelet. In that study, Parent-Duchatelet provided data from a sample of 3,558 registered prostitutes of Paris. That effort has been called the first work of modern sex research.

In 1886, Richard Freiherr von Krafft-Ebing published Psychopathia Sexualis. That work is considered as having established sexology as a scientific discipline.

In 1897, Havelock Ellis, a British sexologist, co-authored the first English medical text book on homosexuality, Sexual inversion (Das Konträre Geschlechtsgefühle). (The original German-languaged edition was published in 1896.) A friend of Edward Carpenter, Ellis was one of the first sexologists who did not regard homosexuality as a disease, immoral, or a crime. He preferred the term inversion to homosexuality, and developed concepts such as autoerotism and narcissism, which were later adopted by Sigmund Freud. He is regarded as having been one of the most influential scholars in opposing Victorian morality regarding sex.

20th century

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Sigmund Freud developed a theory of sexuality based on his studies of his clients. Wilhelm Reich and Otto Gross, were disciples of Freud, but rejected by him because of their emphasis of the role of sexuality for the revolutionary struggle for the emancipation of mankind.

In 1908, the first scholarly journal of the field, Journal of Sexology (Zeitschrift für Sexualwissenschaft), began publication and was published monthly for one year. Those issues contained articles by Sigmund Freud, Alfred Adler, and Wilhelm Stekel.

In 1913, the first academic association was founded: the Society for Sexology.

Sigmund Freud developed a theory of sexuality based on his studies of his clients, between the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Wilhelm Reich and Otto Gross, were disciples of Freud, but rejected by his theories because of their emphasis on the role of sexuality in the revolutionary struggle for the emancipation of mankind.

In 1919, Magnus Hirschfeld founded the Institut für Sexualwissenschaft (Institute for Sexology) in Berlin. Its library housed over 20,000 volumes, 35,000 photographs, a large collections of art and another objects. The Institute and its library were destroyed by the Nazi's less than three months after they took power, May 8, 1933. Hirschfeld developed a system which identified numerous actual or hypothetical types of sexual intermediary between heterosexual male and female to represent the potential diversity of human sexuality, and is credited with identifying a group of people that today are referred to as transsexual or transgender as separate from the categories of homosexuality, he referred to these people as 'transvestiten' (transvestites).

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. He wrote in his 1948 book that more was scientifically known about the sexual behavior of farm animals than of humans.

Masters and Johnson released their works Human Sexual Response in 1966 and Human Sexual Inadequacy in 1970. Their books sold well, and they were founders of what became to be known as the Masters & Johnson Institute in 1978.

Fritz Klein developed the Klein Sexual Orientation Grid a multi-dimensional system for describing complex sexual orientation, similar to the Kinsey scale, but measuring seven different vectors of sexual orientation and identity separately, and allowing for change over time. In 1978 Klein published The Bisexual Option, a groundbreaking psychological study of bisexuality and in 1998, he founded the American Institute of Bisexuality (AIB) to encourage, support and assist research and education about bisexuality.

Kurt Freund developed the penile plethysmograph in Czechoslovakia in the 1950s. The device was designed to provide an objective measurement of sexual arousal in males, and Freund used it to help dispel a number of myths surrounding homosexuality. This tool has since been used with sex offenders.

In 1966 and 1970, Masters and Johnson released their works Human Sexual Response and Human Sexual Inadequacy, respectively. Those volumes sold well, and they were founders of what became known as the Masters & Johnson Institute in 1978.

Vern Bullough was the most prominent historian of sexology during this era, as well as being a researcher in the field.

21st Century

Technological advances have permitted sexological questions to be addressed with studies using behavioral genetics, neuroimaging, and large-scale Internet-based surveys.

Sexology in the 21st Century made a paradigm shift from behaviorism to universal integralism which perceives sexology as the scientific study not only of sexual behavior but also of the sexual being as such. Sexology enhances from a either medical-clinical or cultural-social paradigm to an universal integralism of bio-,psycho-,socio-and cultural studies. ,

Notable contributors

This is a list of sexologists and notable contributors to the field of sexology, sorted by the year of their birth:

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Institute for Sex Research" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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