SAGE Journal Articles

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Article 1: Chiang, H. H. (2010). Liberating sex, knowing desire: Scientia sexualis and epistemic turning points in the history of sexuality. History of the Human Sciences, 23(5), 42–69.

Learning Objective: Understanding major influences and scientists in the history of sexual research. Revealing the development of modern sexuality.

Summary: The history of sex research reveals a process of slow understanding of sex, along with the construction of sexuality and its norms. The author proposes two crucial moments in the history of sexology, which led to modern sex as we know it: (1) the differentiation of male and female and the reconceptualization of sex in 18th century and (2) the scientific approach and classification of sexual variations in 19th century.

Questions to Consider:

  1. What did first turning point—the reconceptualization of sex—change in sex research?
  2. How did the Kinsey reports affect the second turning point in sex research?
  3. In this article, the author describes how two large changes in the history of sexuality influenced homosexuality. Try to describe what kind of influence these two changes might have had on female sexuality.


Article 2: Irvine, J. M. (2014). Is sexuality research “dirty work”? Institutionalized stigma in the production of sexual knowledge. Sexualities, 17 (5–6), 632–656.

Learning Objective: Understanding the social stigma of sex researchers in the 20th century and examining its causes

Summary: Research on sexuality has always been a controversial topic. From condemnation, censorship, and ridicule to death threats, scientists studying sexuality faced the strong (often negative) emotions of the public but also of their colleagues. This is not surprising, considering that sexuality itself is a controversial topic. The author tries to explain how cultural schemas shape the outlook on sex research.

Questions to Consider:

  1. What are speaker’s benefit and speaker’s burden?
  2. Why is sexology dirty work? What’s the role of universities in reinforcing this idea?
  3. What has changed in sex research from the 20th century to modern times?


Article 3: Ellis, A. (1975). An informal history of sex therapy. Counseling Psychologist, 5(1), 9–13.

Learning Objective: Understanding the development of sex therapy

Summary: Ellis, as one of the most influential sex therapists, observes his predecessors and explains influences in the development of sex therapy.

Questions to Consider:

  1. According to Ellis, when does the history of sex therapy start?
  2. What makes psychoanalysis damaging, according to Ellis?
  3. What is the diversionary method? How does it help sex issues?