But in one area of life, human sexuality, someespouse that there is one good, ignorance, and one evil, knowledge. In our culture, the value of sexual knowledge is debated. Sex research faces many issues that other areas of scientific inquiry do not, largely because human sexuality in our culture is too often surrounded by fear and denial, and its expression is often accompanied by shame, guilt, and embarrassment. These discomforts, particularly the fear of sexual knowledge, have fueled efforts to refute sex research. Some opposed to sex research believe that it has little value, and the research may be discredited.
As such, the researchers may face public scorn, as Alfred Kinsey did. In fact, because of public outcry, Alfred Kinsey lost foundation funding for his research following the publication of his first book on male sexuality. For example, a study of relationships between masturbation and mental health among older adults who no longer have a partner would most likely not be federally funded. Herman B. Wells, president of IU then, defended Alfred Kinsey by declaring that the search for truth is an important function of a university and that a fundamental university tenet and core value is that a faculty member is free to conduct research on any subject in which the person has competence.
In the face of criticism, sex research has shown value—many individuals and society have benefited in so many ways from the deeper understanding of human sexual expression that research brings.
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But not all persons agree. Here are just three examples of the cultural Ambiguity surrounding sex research and sexual knowledge:.
Supporters of sex research contend that we all suffer and the public loses when sex research is hampered. Does my reaction stem from prudery or intellectual snobbishness, a feeling that the secrets of science are only for the scientist? I suspect it is the former, for somehow I find the thought disconcerting that at bejeweled dinner parties across this nation and England too, for the book is to be released simultaneously in Great Britain, gentlemen on miladies' right will ask, "Did you know that old Sigmund Freud was wrong?
Masters found that clitoral and vaginal orgasm are essentially the same?
Therefore, out of fairness to the authors, perhaps my sensitivity is both Victorian and a little too precious. Most of the vast public that will read this book are not disciplined to keep constantly in mind the fact that the study- population represents an extraordinarily skewed sample. In the first place, the original research group consisted of female and 27 male prostitutes. They were the guinea pigs who taught the facts of sex to the authors. Though the authors take precise pains to exclude from the book both historical and laboratory data obtained from these prostitutes, undoubtedly their contributions must have made some impression on the study team.
In the second place, the unmarried and married females and the unmarried and married males who furnished the material upon which the book is built are atypical, as the authors point out. Each is a volunteer and most were drawn from "selected segments of a metropolitan community associated with a large university-hospital complex" and therefore, the sample is weighted by upper socio-economic and intellectual participants.
The sample was also composed of singular sexual extroverts, for "sexual activity first was encouraged in privacy in the research quarters and then continued with the investigative team present until the study subjects were quite at ease in their artificial surroundings.
I venture the opinion that they will falsely conclude that the data presents the sexual response profile of Mrs. And when they compare their own sexual capacity and performance to such a troupe of sexual athletes one male subject was observed to ejaculate three times within ten minutes , most will feel abjectly inferior. A word of caution should be inserted.
Those who plan purchase of the book to add to their collection of pornography will make a poor investment; this is a scientific treatise which will not titillate. It is not written "down," though its extensive glossary attests that it is tailored for the general reader as well as the scientist.
Gender and Sexuality | Perspectives: An Open Invitation to Cultural Anthropology
Some phrases will recall the lay reader's student days in foreign-language study. Let me offer one quotation, "This maculopapular type of erythematous rash first appears over epigastrium. Sexual response is divided into the same four phases in male and female: 1 excitement; 2 plateau; 3 orgasm; 4 resolution.
Masters and Johnson used both masturbation and coitus among the subjects to establish their findings. Many of the experiments were filmed.
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They compared coitus among unmarried partners and husbands and wives and "established unequivocally that there is no basic difference in the anatomy and physiology of sexual response" in the two groups. The progressive and retrogressive response of specific organs to sexual tension is analyzed first in the female and then in the male: breasts, skin, muscle structures, bladder, rectum, lungs, pulse rate and blood pressure.
The reactions of the external and internal reproductive organs of both sexes are then studied and recorded in greater depth. Twenty- two pages are devoted to the clitoris and 42 pages to the vagina. To an obstetrician, sexual response during pregnancy has especial interest.