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History of Sex Research. Greeks to 1800 Early knowledge gained from watching animals 400 B.C. Aristotle, “History of Animals, Parts of Animals, and Generation.

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Presentation on theme: "History of Sex Research. Greeks to 1800 Early knowledge gained from watching animals 400 B.C. Aristotle, “History of Animals, Parts of Animals, and Generation."— Presentation transcript:

1 History of Sex Research

2 Greeks to 1800 Early knowledge gained from watching animals 400 B.C. Aristotle, “History of Animals, Parts of Animals, and Generation of Animals,” –foundation of western sexology –developed classification system: reproduction by sexual, asexual, and spontaneous generation During this period, believed male contributed the seed, the woman brought to fruition. Plato - wandering uterus causes hysteria in women

3 Greeks to 1900 1600: Vesalius –discounted wandering uterus theory –female anatomy still misunderstood 1653 William Harvey: discovered importance of female egg to reproduction by studying animals 1678 Anton van Leeuwenhoek –used early microscope to identify sperm as “seed” –compared healthy/unhealthy men –sperm survived longer in warm environment –coined term: “spermatozoa” –reasserted idea of male supremacy in reproduction 1873 Eduard van Beneden: fertilization the result of two half sets of chromosomes joining to form full set

4 Greeks to 1800 354-430 St. Augustine - ideal Christian life one of celibacy 1668-1738 Dutch, Hermann Boehaave, “Institutiones Medicae” - “rash expenditure of semen brought on a lassitude, a feebleness, a weakening of motion, fits, wasting, dryness, fevers, aching of the cerebral membranes, obscuring of the senses, and above all the eyes, a decay of the spinal chord, a fatuity, and other like evils.” all non-procreative sex “dangerous” - fornication better than masturbation Doctors expected to give medical advice about sexuality –infertility not understood –sexual activity potentially dangerous Protestants & Puritans: sex within marriage a source of pleasure

5 Greeks to 1900 One physician published case history: –“the husband had the fatal habit of applying the tongue and lips to his wife’s genitals to provoke in her venereal orgasm.” –believed woman’s life may be in danger –husband may develop cancer of the tongue

6 Greeks to 1800 Women must be careful not to enjoy sex –women expected to be maternal, not sexual –diseased women had “excessive animal passion” Elizabeth Osgood Goodrich Willard –coined term “sexology” –“humankind must stop the waste of energy through the sexual organs, if we would have health and strength of body. Just as sure as that the excessive abuse of the sexual organs destroy their power and use, producing inflammation, disease, and corruption, just so sure it it that a less amount of abuse in the same relative proportion, injures the parental function of the organs and impairs the health and strength of the whole system. Abnormal action is abuse.” Preventative measures: –perforated foreskin of the penis –applied ointments that severely increased sensitivity –applied hot irons to the inner thighs

7 Homosexuality & Sex Research 1825 Karl Ulrichs: –argued that homosexual men had “female element” -> homosexual activity acceptable –argued homosexuality was congenital 1840-1902 Krafft-Ebing: –viewed sexual behavior as pathological –“Psychopathia Sexualis” - coined terms for homosexuality, fetishism, sadism, masochism –Sadism - named after Marquis de Sade –Masochism - named after Leopold von Sacher-Masoch 1857-1911 Alfred Binet: –emphasized early childhood experience 1854-1900 Oscar Wilde: prosecution for homosexuality brought widespread public attention 1821-1890 Richard Burton: translated the Kama Sutra

8 Magnus Hirschfeld Early sexuality researcher Homosexual & transvestite Argued that most people born bisexual Conducted sex surveys 1903: Reported 2.2 % homosexual Proposed that “secretions” responsible for sexual feelings (endocrinology) 1921: helped organize the International Conference of Sexual Reform Based on Sexual Science - importance of “secretions” discussed

9 Havelock Ellis Sex reformer 1896-1928 Studies in the Psychology of Sex - individual and cultural relativism w/ sex Believed deviations from normal were harmless Believed sexual experimentation part of adolescence Believed homosexuality was genetic, bisexuality the norm Non-scientific methods - used second hand accounts - used historical and cross-cultural data Argued for greater contraceptive information, marriage reform, rights for women and minorities

10 Sigmund Freud Sex researcher and reformer Studied physiology and medicine Early theories: –anxiety the result of masturbation –nocturnal emissions dangerous Later theories/beliefs: –every neurosis had a specific sexual cause –dreams are disguised fulfillment of unconscious sexual desires –children have sexual feelings –developed the theory of the Oedipus complex –all people bisexual –perverse sexual drives common

11 Sex in America Many early sex researchers were women Early research inspired by concerns about prostitution, pornography, sexually transmitted diseases, alcoholism, women’s rights, and the role of “virtuous” women. Clelia Mosher (1863-1940) - professor at Stanford 1910 –surveyed married women (48 subjects) –ignorance about sex upon marriage the norm –35 reported sexual desire –34 reported experiencing orgasms –absence of orgasm “bad, even disastrous, nerve wracking” –findings published in 1974

12 Sex in America Robert Latou Dickinson (1861-1950) –significant contribution to female sexuality –first wide scale data base: compiled data on 5,000 cases broad range of data - physical drawings, self-report longitudinal data –Findings: married women masturbated more than single women frequency of intercourse: 2-3 /week in married sample, 11% once a year or less –first to examine female sexual response examined women as they masturbated to orgasm demonstrated that female orgasm also involved physiological changes

13 Sex in America Katharine Bement Davis (1860-1935) –on board of the Bureau of Social Hygiene –Warden at a reformatory for women, primarily prostitutes –advocated assessment of prostitutes prior to sentencing –1912: laboratory formed to study prostitutes –later involved in the study of sexuality in women in general subjects drawn from women’s colleges findings: –71% reported sex before marriage –9.3% reported having at least 1 abortion Bureau of Social Hygiene provided funding - explosion in sexuality research

14 Alfred Kinsey 1948 Published the Kinsey Report on sexual practices in the U.S. based on extensive interviews –concerned with validity of findings - used checks for consistency –concerned with bias by interviewer - used multiple raters –1.5 hours to 17 hours (with a pedophile) –used likert scale regarding homosexuality/heterosexuality Findings: –37% of males had one homosexual experience –4% subjects identified as exclusively homosexual Criticisms –subjects not randomly selected - subjects primarily Midwesterners –subjects volunteers

15 William Masters & Virginia Johnson One of the first to study the sexual act in the laboratory - 1950’s Initially used prostitutes Sexual Response Cycle –measured heart rate, respiratory functions, muscle tension, breast response etc. –observed changes in female sex organs: vaginal lubrication - “sweating” on vaginal walls - 10-30 seconds after sexual stimulation extension of vaginal barrel lifting of uterus darkening of vaginal walls orgasmic contractions –Four phase description: (1) excitement (2) plateau (3) orgasm (4) resolution

16 Contraception 1860 rubber condoms sold - prevent v.d., contraceptive 1870 rubber diaphragm available to women IUD –first recorded use by Arab camel drivers - put stones in camel’s uterus –widespread use in 1920 - wire IUD developed by Ernst Grafenberg Hormonal contraceptives - 1936 - experiment on rats demonstrated that daily progesterone injections inhibited estrous cycle. The Pill –1960 - FDA approved “Enovid” –contained progestin and estrogen

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