Starting in the late nineteenth century, scholars and activists all over the world suddenly began to insist that understandings of sex be based on science. Ideas circulated through intellectual exchange, travel, and internationally produced and disseminated publications. Twenty scholars tackle specific issues, including the female orgasm and the criminalization of male homosexuality, to demonstrate how concepts and ideas introduced by sexual scientists gained currency throughout the modern world. Douglas E. Ryan M.
Sexual Science — Cynthia Russett | Harvard University Press
S ex is the most talked-about, joked about, thought-about issue in our culture. We are not short of information on sexual practices — thank you, Fifty Shades of Grey — but there is a general absence of accurate detail of what happens to our bodies during, and as a result of, the act. Yet sex is good for our mental and physical health. It lowers the heart rate and blood pressure. It may boost the immune system to protect us against infections and it certainly lowers stress.
The science of sex: what happens to our bodies when we're aroused?
University of California Riverside. This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables. In Sexual Science , Cynthia Russett writes a scholarly yet delightfully readable history of what passed for the science of sexuality in the 19th century.
One scarcely knows whether to laugh or cry. Surveying the work of real scientists as well as the products of more dubious minds, Russett has produced a learned yet immensely enjoyable chapter in the annals of human folly. At the turn of the century science was successfully challenging the social authority of religion; scientists wielded a power no other group commanded. These men were not necessarily misogynists.