AskDefine | Define sexology

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. The study of sex and sexuality

Derived terms


The study of sex and sexuality
  • Arabic: طب جنسي
  • Catalan: sexologia
  • Chinese:
    Cantonese: sing3hok6
    Mandarin: xìngxué
  • Croatian: seksologija
  • Danish: sexologi g Danish
  • Dutch: seksuologie
  • Finnish: seksologia
  • French: sexologie
  • German: Sexualwissenschaft
  • Hebrew: סקסולוגיה
  • Italian: sessuologia
  • Japanese: 性科学 (せいかがく, seikagaku)
  • Lithuanian: seksologija
  • Norwegian: sexologi g Norwegian
  • Polish: seksuologia
  • Portuguese: sexologia
  • Romanian: sexologie
  • Russian: сексология
  • Spanish: sexología
  • Swedish: sexologi
  • Thai: เพศศาสตร์ (pêt sàat)
  • Turkish: seksoloji
  • Vietnamese: tình dục học
  • Welsh: rhywoleg

Extensive Definition

Sexology is the systematic study of human sexuality. It encompasses all aspects of sexuality, including attempting to characterise "normal sexuality" and its variants.
Modern sexology is a multidisciplinary field which uses the techniques of fields including biology, medicine, psychology, statistics, epidemiology, pedagogics, sociology, anthropology, and sometimes criminology to bear on its subject. It studies human sexual development and the development of sexual relationships as well as the mechanics of sexual intercourse and sexual malfunction. It also documents the sexuality of special groups, such as handicapped, children, and elderly, and studies sexual pathologies such as sex addiction and child sexual abuse.
Note that sexology is considered descriptive, not prescriptive: it attempts to document reality, not to prescribe what behavior is suitable, ethical, or moral. Sexology has often been the subject of controversy between supporters of sexology, those who believe that sexology pries into matters held sacred, and those who philosophically object to its claims of objectivity and empiricism.


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 treated sex as the subject of a formal field of scientific or medical research.
One of the earliest sex researchers prior to the 20th century sexology movement was Richard Freiherr von Krafft-Ebing, whose book Psychopathia Sexualis, published in 1886, recorded a dizzying array of sexual anomalies.
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.
Magnus Hirschfeld founded the Institut für Sexualwissenschaft (Institute for Sexology) in Berlin in 1919. When the Nazis took power, one of their first actions, on May 6, 1933, was to destroy the Institute and burn the library.
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.
The late Vern Bullough was a historian of sexology, as well as a researcher in the field. A list of his books is provided.

Interdisciplinary relations and limits

Sexology, as currently defined, is largely a 20th and 21st century phenomenon.
Sexology relates to a number of other fields of study:
Sexology also touches on public issues such as the debates over abortion, public health, birth control, sexual abuse and reproductive technology.

Notable contributors

This is a list of sexologists and notable contributors to the field of sexology, sorted by the year of their birth:
sexology in Arabic: طب جنسي
sexology in Catalan: Sexologia
sexology in Welsh: Rhywoleg
sexology in Danish: Sexologi
sexology in German: Sexualwissenschaft
sexology in Spanish: Sexología
sexology in French: Sexologie
sexology in Croatian: Seksologija
sexology in Italian: Sessuologia
sexology in Hebrew: סקסולוגיה
sexology in Lithuanian: Seksologija
sexology in Dutch: Seksuologie
sexology in Japanese: 性科学
sexology in Norwegian: Sexologi
sexology in Occitan (post 1500): Sexologia
sexology in Polish: Seksuologia
sexology in Portuguese: Sexologia
sexology in Russian: Сексология
sexology in Slovak: Sexuológia
sexology in Slovenian: Seksologija
sexology in Serbo-Croatian: Seksologija
sexology in Finnish: Seksologia
sexology in Swedish: Sexologi
sexology in Thai: เพศศาสตร์
sexology in Vietnamese: Tình dục học
sexology in Turkish: Seksoloji
sexology in Chinese: 性學
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