Archive for Sexology

III. Modern Sex Research (1938 - )

1938 Alfred C. Kinsey, a zoologist at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN, USA begins his mostly sociological studies of human sexual behavior.
After many years of pioneering work for family planning in Scandinavia, the Swedisch social and sexual reformer Elise Ottesen-Jensen lays the groundwork for the founding of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF).

1947 Alfred C. Kinsey founds the "Institute for Sex Research" (today called Kinsey Institute) at Indiana University.
The Japanese researcher Shin'ichi Asayama begins his statistical surveys of the sexual behavior of Japanese students. He repeats such surveys every five years for over 30 years, eventually reaching a total of over 20.000 respondents.

In the USA penicillin (discovered in 1928 by Alexander Fleming) and other antibiotica are, on a grand scale, used to cure sexually transmitted diseases.

1948 Alfred C. Kinsey and his collaborators Wardell B. Pomeroy and Clyde E. Martin publish their first great study "Sexual Behavior in the Human Male".
In Bombay, the physician A. P. Pillay edits the "The International Journal of Sexology", incorporating the older journal "Marriage and Hygiene", first issued in 1934. For several years, Dr. Pillay's journal has no competition in the field. Among other things, in 1950 it publishes Ernst Gräfenberg's pathbreaking article on female ejaculation.
In London, the Australian-born gynecologist Norman Haire begins the publication of "The Journal of Sex Education", a scientific journal for the educated general public. Haire, a friend of Hirschfeld's and a former leader in the World League for Sexual Reform, is also the founder and president of a "Sex Education Society", which offers public lectures.
1949 Simone de Beauvoir publishes her historical and socio-cultural study "Le deuxième sexe" (The Second Sex), which demands an end to the traditional discrimination against women. It becomes an important literary milestone for a newly awakened feminist movement.
1950 In New York, the gynecologist Ernst Gräfenberg, who had escaped his persecution by the Nazis in his hometown Berlin, again describes the phenomenon of female ejaculation and calls attention to a female erogenous zone in connection with the paraurethral glands - the so-called Gräfenberg spot (G-spot).

Hans Giese in Frankfurt/M. founds the "Deutsche Gesellschaft für Sexualforschung" (German Society for Sex Research).

1951 Clellan S. Ford and Frank A. Beach publish their study "Patterns of Sexual Behavior". The authors compare nearly 200 human societies with regard to their sexual behavior. By implication, the book further undermines the traditional Western moral absolutism in sexual matters.

The first hormonal contraceptive is developed. After being tested for several years, "the pill" becomes widely available beginning in 1960.

In Los Angeles, the first American homosexual liberation organization, the "Mattachine Society", is founded. It soon develops chapters in other parts of the US. Some of its members begin to publish the first American gay rights journal "ONE".


The Hungarian-born American psychoanalyst Therese Friedmann Benedek publishes  “Psychosexual Functions in Women”, dealing with the emotional response of women to the fluctuations of hormones during the sexual cycle.


1953 Alfred C. Kinsey and his collaborators Wardell B. Pomeroy, Clyde E. Martin and Paul H. Gebhard publish "Sexual Behavior in the Human Female". Both "Kinsey Reports" are based on personal interviews (not questionnaires!) with over 12.000 individuals from all over the USA. The extent of demonstrated premarital and extramarital intercourse, the sexual capacities of women as well as the extent of homosexual behavior lead to vehement attacks by conservative religious and political leaders. As a result of this pressure, Kinsey is denied further financial support for his research.
The physician Harry Benjamin, a friend of Hirschfeld's, who, in 1913, had moved to New York from Berlin, introduces the term "transsexuals", distinguishing them for the first time from the transvestites. 13 years later, he publishes the first book on the subject: "The Transsexual Phenomenon".
1955 The American medical psychologist John Money introduces the distinction between "sex" and "gender". This contributes to a new and more sophisticated discussion of the differences between men and women. The distinction gains increasing importance in sexology and also in Women's Studies.
In San Francisco, Del Martin, Phyllis Lyon and other women found the first Lesbian emancipation organization "The Daughters of Bilitis". (The name  "Bilitis" was taken from a work by the French author Pierre Louys, The Songs of Bilitis (1894) supposedly translated from a song cycle by an ancient Greek poetess and rival of Sappho.) Their journal "The Ladder" becomes one of the most influential vehicles for their cause in the US.
1957 The New York gynecologist Hans Lehfeldt, who had escaped from the Nazis in Berlin, founds, together with others, the American "Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality" (SSSS).
1960 The American sociologist Ira Reiss in his book "Premarital Sexual Standards in America" rejects the notion of a biological sex drive, stressing instead human "social heredity". He also predicts the soon following "sexual revolution" in the US.
1963 The American Betty Friedan publishes her book "The Feminine Mystique", which articulates a rebellion against the imposed traditional role of the housewife. Three years later, Friedan co-founds the "National Organization for Women" (NOW).
1964 In New York, the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the US (SIECUS) is founded by the physician Mary Steichen Calderone and others. This membership organization is devoted to sexuality education for people of all ages and backgrounds. It maintains a research library and publishes a bimonthly journal, the "SIECUS Report".
1965 First issue of the "Journal of Sex Research", a publication of the SSSS.

The institute founded by Alfred C. Kinsey publishes "Sex Offenders: An Analysis of Types". The authors are Paul H. Gebhard, John Gagnon, Wardell B. Pomeroy and Cornelia Christenson.

1966 The American gynecologist William H. Masters and Virginia Johnson publish their study of the physiological processes during sexual activity: "Human Sexual Response". After Moll and Reich, they again suggest a 4-phase model of the sexual response. 1. excitement, 2. plateau, 3. orgasm, 4. resolution.
1967 The "American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists" (AASECT) is founded. In the absence of American governmental standards, this non-profit professional organization certifies sexual health practitioners as qualified in their respective fields. The AASECT example is later followed in Japan, India, and South America.
1968 The British scholar Mary McIntosh investigates "The Homosexual Role", coming to the conclusion that homosexuality is not a definite biological or psychological condition of certain individuals, which distinguishes them from everyone else, but rather a label attached to them by others and/or by themselves. It is a socially constructed role which is played voluntarily or involuntarily by some men and women, but not by others whose actual sexual behavior may not be much different. Ideas such as this eventually lead to a dispute between "essentialists" (mostly natural scientists), who continue to believe in some essential homosexuality, and "constructionists" (mostly social scientists), who no longer share this belief.
1970 Masters and Johnson publish their study of sexual dysfunctions: "Human Sexual Inadequacy". The book becomes the basis for a new behavioral "sex therapy".
1971 The American psychiatrist Richard Green founds the "International Academy of Sex Research". The Academy publishes the journal "Archives of Sexual Behavior".

Rolf Gindorf founds the "Deutsche Gesellschaft für Sozialwissenschaftliche Sexualforschung" (DGSS = German Society for Social-Scientific Sex Research).

1973 The American sociological sex researchers John Gagnon and William Simon publish their book "Sexual Conduct: The Social Sources of Human Sexuality". They describe sexual behavior as 'scripted' behavior i.e. as a pattern of conduct following a certain 'script' or rather an interactively acquired individual combination of several, sometimes contradictory scripts provided by social institutions, family, friends, peer groups etc. Such scripts provide models, patterns, or definitions of what is or is not 'sexual' in a particular situation, how to interpret it and how to deal with it. Since the individual is often faced with competing or even mutually exclusive sexual scripts, personal conflicts of various kinds in this area are common. With these and similar arguments, the authors dismiss the once popular notion of a universal human 'sex drive'.

The American Psychiatric Association strikes the diagnosis "homosexuality" from its "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual". Thus, literally with the stroke of a pen, the label of illness is removed from millions of men and women. From that moment on, 'homosexuals' are healthy again - the greatest and fastest mass cure in medical history.

1974 The World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva convenes a meeting of sexologists and experts in public health. As a result, it publishes a report in the following year: "Education and Treatment in Human Sexuality: The Training of Health Professionals". The report recommends, among other things, that sexology should become an autonomous discipline in the education and training of health professionals.
At the initiative of Hans Lehfeldt, the first World Congress of Sexology is organized in Paris. Other such congresses follow in Montréal (1976), Rome (1978), Mexico City (1979), Jerusalem (1981), Washington, DC. (1983), New Delhi (1985), Heidelberg (1987), Caracas (1989), Amsterdam (1991), Rio de Janeiro (1993), Yokohama (1995), and Valencia (1997). The next congresses will be held in Hong Kong (1999) and Paris (2001).
First issue of the "Journal of Homosexuality", edited by Charles Silverstein. Within a few years, its editorship passes into the hands of the psychologist John P. De Cecco who turns it into the leading journal of research on sexual orientation that it remains to this day.

In Great Britain, the Association of Sexual and Marital Therapists is formed, later to become the British Association for Sexual and Marital Therapy (BASMT).

1976 At the request of the American Humanist Association, the sex educator Lester A. Kirkendall formulates a "A Bill of Sexual Rights and Responsibilities". The statement is signed by many prominent American and foreign sexologists.

In San Francisco, "The Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality" is founded, a state-approved private graduate school which offers state-approved Master's and Doctoral degrees in sexology. Its Academic Dean is Wardell B. Pomeroy, formerly the closest collaborator of Alfred C. Kinsey's.
1977 In England, Charlotte Wolff, a Berlin-born therapist who had escaped the Nazis, publishes her pioneering book "Bisexuality: A Study".
1978 In Rome the World Association for Sexology (WAS) is founded. It assumes the responsibility of organizing the subsequent World Congresses of Sexology.
1981 In Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York, the first cases of a new, deadly infectious disease are reported. It soon becomes known under the name of AIDS (HIV Infection), and it spreads all over the globe. Since the disease is sexually transmissible, it has enormous implications for both sexual behavior and the study of sex.
1986 The "American Board of Sexology" (ABS) is organized in Washington, D.C. This professional organization awards the status of diplomate to sexologists who meet its rigorous standards.
1988 First issue of the new German "Zeitschrift für Sexualforschung" (Journal for Sex Research).
1989 The "European Federation of Sexology" (EFS) is founded in Geneva.
1990 The "Asian Federation for Sexology" (AFS) is founded in Hongkong on the occasion of the "First Conference of Sexuality in Asia".

The "American Academy of Clinical Sexologists" is organized in Washington, D.C. This sister organization of the American Board of Sexology provides professional recognition for qualified physicians, sex therapists and sex counselors.

At the Charité and at the Reichstag the III. "International Berlin Conference for Sexology", organized by the DGSS and colleagues from Humboldt- University, unites participants from 20 countries. (The first two comparable conferences had been organized by Hirschfeld in 1921 and Moll in 1926). This meeting is also the 10th national conference of the DGSS, which awards its newly created Magnus Hirschfeld Medals for Sexual Science and Sexual Reform to Ernest Borneman (Austria) and Herman Musaph (Netherlands).
1991 The Indian physician Prakash Kothari organizes the "First International Conference on Orgasm" in New Delhi.
1992 IV. "International Berlin Conference for Sexology", again organized by the DGSS and colleagues from Humboldt University. This meeting is also the 11th national conference of the DGSS, which awards its Magnus Hirschfeld Medals for Sexual Science and Sexual Reform to John De Cecco (USA) and Imre Aszódi (Hungary).
The Shanghai sociologist Dalin Liu and his collaborators publish their voluminous study "Sexual Behavior in Modern China: Report of the Nation-Wide Survey of 20 000 Men and Women". The book (written and printed in Chinese) is presented at the Second Asian Conference of Sexology (American edition published in 1997).

"First Conference of the European Federation of Sexology" (EFS) in Taormina.

1994 V. "International Berlin Conference for Sexology", again organized by the DGSS and colleagues from Humboldt University, commemorating the 75th anniversary of the opening of Magnus Hirschfeld's Institute for Sexology (founded in 1919). This meeting is also the 12th national conference of the DGSS.

The federal Robert Koch Institute in Berlin opens its Archive for Sexology in a suburb of Berlin, thereby reviving the city's sexological tradition, especially that of Hirschfeld's institute. The Archive is accessible to the public at regular openig hours.

Third Asian Conference of Sexology in New Delhi.

1995 In collaboration with the Robert Koch Institute, Archive for Sexology, the sexological collection of Dalin Liu, Shanghai, is shown in Berlin under the title "5.000 Years of Sexual Culture in China".

XII. World Congress of Sexology in Yokohama, Japan.

1996 The Archive for Sexology of the Robert Koch Institute moves to the center of Berlin.

The Institute for Sexology and Sexual Medicine is founded at the Charité Berlin.

The Asian Federation for Sexology (AFS) holds its IV. Asian Conference of Sexology in Taipei.

1997 XIII. World Congress of Sexology and Human Rights in Valencia, Spain. The congress issues a declaration of sexual rights.

VI. International Berlin Conference for Sexology: "100 years of Gay Liberation". From May to August, the Academy of Arts in Berlin shows an exhibition "100 Years of Gay Activism".

1998 The Asian Federation for Sexology (AFS) holds its V. Asian Conference of Sexology in Seoul, Korea.
1999 The World Association of Sexology (WAS) holds its XIV. World Congress of Sexology in Hong Kong.
2000 The European Federation of Sexology (EFS) holds its 5th Congress in Berlin.

2001 Social Science Conference on Human Sexuality in Dubrovnik, Croatia.
15th World Congress of Sexology in Paris.

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