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The sexology and sex research (also Sexology and sexology ) deals with the doctrine of sex life, sexuality in a broader and in the narrower sense. In addition to empirical research, the work focuses on the physiological, psychological and socio-cultural aspects of sexuality as well as the development of educational and therapeutic offers. Sexologists come from various scientific disciplines, and they often have a professional medical-psychological background.

Sexology as a Discipline

As a multidisciplinary science and in accordance with the diverse basic professions of sexologists, psychological-theoretical, natural-scientific-empirical and social-scientific currents have developed that deal with human sexuality and enable the professional group to perform numerous fields of activity and tasks to deal with psychological and sociocultural aspects to dedicate to sexuality, but also to its physiological foundations.

Single science

The subject of sexology includes, among other things, the sexual development of humans, their sexual behavior, questions of sex education as well as the causes, genesis and therapy of sexual disorders . Seldom mentioned, if not insignificant, are the sexual-political statements, for example in the context of legislation in Germany or the EU.

Sexology focuses on the biological, sexual, erotic and social conditions of human intimate relationships. The interest applies to so-called “normal” behavior, what is considered to be the social norm in each case , and to extraordinary behavior. The distinction is always made against the background of constantly changing social, cultural and political norms. All sex research is ultimately subjective and cannot relate to an alleged objectivity . This makes them risk-prone, but at the same time opens up opportunities. According to Volkmar Sigusch , a critical sexology that has emerged since the 1960s thinks “from the point of view of contradiction, examines both light and shadow, also within itself.” He sees the main tasks in the change that one takes in culture and in personal relationships can observe, research and then develop counseling and treatment options for the disorders and forms of addiction. Sexology always has a practical, but often also a socio-political interest.

Related Sciences

As a single science , sexology is also multidisciplinary . It relates to the findings of numerous other scientific disciplines. This includes medicine in general, but also andrology , gynecology , urology and internal medicine in particular, as well as psychology , psychiatry , psychotherapy , psychosomatics and biology , but also ethology , ethnology , anthropology and sociology , pedagogy and cultural studies . In addition, findings from political science , history , law and forensic medicine are used. In some cases, individual representatives of these disciplines have devoted themselves to special sexual science issues.

Study and activity

With one exception, it is not yet possible to major in sex science in Germany.

After studying other scientific disciplines, sexologists have specialized in various ways, in the beginning mostly self-taught by studying the relevant literature and through collegial exchange. With the founding of the German Society for Sexual Research (DGfS), the oldest professional society in Germany, advanced training for sexologists was organized and systematized for the first time in 1950, after the first sexology institute - founded by Magnus Hirschfeld - was smashed by the National Socialists . Since then, in addition to specialist congresses , further education and training opportunities have increasingly been established, for example at the sexual science institute at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf .

Only the Merseburg University of Applied Sciences offers postgraduate studies with its Master’s degree in Applied Sexology . In addition, a so-called advanced training master's degree in sexology is offered, which requires a professional university degree.

Sexologists work in various organizational structures at universities, in clinics and advice centers, in further training institutes and / or as established psychotherapists in private practice. Depending on their individual professional orientation, they take part in research and teaching, the formation of theories, intervision and supervision , the development of educational and therapeutic concepts, as well as gender studies or the treatment of patients with sexual dysfunctions or perversions .


Precursors and initial conditions

There were forerunners of sexology in ancient Greece and Rome , when philosophers such as Plato (428–348 BC, Greek) and Aristotle (384–322 BC, Greek) and doctors such as Hippocrates of Kos (460 –370 BC, Gr.), Soranos of Ephesus (approx. 100 AD, Roman) and Galen (129–216 AD, Roman) Questions of sex education, sexual legislation, sexual ethics, sexual Discussed reactions and dysfunctions, reproduction and contraception. They had in common that they sought theoretical knowledge, i.e. objective, rational insight into biological and social facts and processes - this in contrast to works that described the 'art of love' and instructions for practical action, for a subjective and personal experience, such as the Ars amatoria by Ovid (43 BC – 17 AD, Roman) or the Kama Sutra by Mallanaga Vatsyayana (around 250 AD).

Arab and Jewish scholars such as Abu Bakr Muhammad Ibn Zakariya ar-Razi , Avicenna , Averroes , Maimonides and others continued the scientific tradition. During the Renaissance, the scientific tradition made significant progress in Europe and Leonardo da Vinci became the father of modern anatomy. He also described the internal sexual organs, coitus and pregnancy and provided precise anatomical drawings of them. Then the anatomist Andreas Vesalius published the first exact textbook of human anatomy, Gabriele Falloppio first described the fallopian tubes and wrote the first reliable description of syphilis , Reinier De Graaf was the first to describe the ovarian follicles and female ejaculation , Caspar Bartholin the Younger the vaginal atrial gland , William Cowper the Cowper's gland , 1642, the Roman physician wrote JB Sinibaldus with Genanthropoeia a comprehensive textbook, which also dealt with the sexual anatomy and erotic stimulation and 1677 saw Antonie van Leeuwenhoek first time a sperm cell under the microscope.

In 1735, with the work Systema Naturae, Carl von Linné introduced his now outdated system of classifying plants according to the character and number of their reproductive organs, the methodus sexualis (→ sexual system of plants ). It impressed scholars and was violently attacked by moralists for B. describes the cohabitation of a male stamen with several female pistils in the same flower. It was viewed as a slander of God who could not possibly have created such unchastity, and teachers were implored not to mention the system in school lessons.

The rampant anti- masturbation campaigns from the 17th century onwards were the precursors of a reorganization of knowledge in this area . The literature produced in this way shows how much the modern invention of sexuality went hand in hand with its regulation and discipline by “ black pedagogy ”. The quack and writer John Marten published his pamphlet Onania in England in 1712 , which was gradually translated into all European languages. It claimed that excessive masturbation could cause a variety of diseases such as smallpox and tuberculosis. The font L'Onanisme by the Lausanne doctor Simon-Auguste Tissot , which was published in countless editions from 1760 onwards, can be seen as the bible of the anti-masturbation campaign . For the next 150 years, the fear of "masturbation madness" became a dominant topic in health care and sex education for children and adolescents. A little later, German educators like J. Oest and JH Campe devote themselves to the fight against sexual masturbation.

In 1762, the Geneva educator Jean-Jacques Rousseau published his influential novel Emile, or about education by demanding the preservation of sexual innocence in children and adolescents. The Scottish surgeon John Hunter published in 1786 in his book A Treatise on the Venereal Disease ("Treatise on venereal diseases") for the first time a detailed scientific sex therapy for impotence. The English writer Mary Wollstonecraft published her book A vindication of the rights of woman in 1792 , in which she called for female equality in both private and public life and exposed the supposedly 'natural' female gender role as the product of a patriarchal ideology.

In 1798 the English clergyman Thomas Malthus published his essay on the principle of population in which he warns of the planet's overpopulation. In 1822, Francis Place published Illustrations and Proofs of the Principle of Population , where he advocated birth control and contraception . In the course of the 19th century there were other prominent representatives of these demands: Charles Bradlaugh , Annie Besant , Charles Knowlton , Charles Robert Drysdale and Alice Drysdale Vickery . From Karl Marx essential postulates were Malthusian conception criticized.

The Berlin Wilhelm von Humboldt (1767–1835) sketched in 1826–1827 the plan for a “history of dependency in the human race”, which today can definitely be described as sexual science, but which never appeared. In addition to special topics such as “The history of the procreative instinct” and “History of fornication”, the plan also included topics that examined the relationship between the sexes as a whole, by contrasting the historically and politically generated greater dependence of women with the relatively greater freedom of men. For the first time he classifies human sexual behavior according to its four possible target objects: 1.) self, 2.) opposite sex, 3.) same sex, 4.) animal. Also in 1826, Karl Ernst von Baer discovered the egg cell and in 1837, Alexandre Jean Baptiste Parent-Duchatelet (1790–1836) delivers the first major study on prostitution with De la prostitution de la ville de Paris . A number of hygiene and marriage guides have also been available since the early 19th century.

From religious sin to medical perversion

Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274), one of the most influential theologians of the Middle Ages , summarized the entire sexual ethics in a three-fold rule of thumb. According to this, God only allowed sexual acts: first, with the right partner (i.e., the spouse), second, in the right way (i.e., through coitus), and third, for the right purpose (i.e., for procreation).

From the 19th century onwards, Michel Foucault sees the creeping transition from ars erotica ("erotic art") to scientia sexualis ("sex science"), which is characterized by an increase in discourses about sex and, as a result, a simultaneous taboo on it. From the Christian confession a new form of confession developed and, in contrast to the pastor, it is not forgotten again, but is carefully analyzed. There is a “ medicalization of sin”, psychiatry becomes the new moral inquisition.

In 1823 Hermann Joseph Löwenstein published his dissertation De mentis aberrationibus ex partium sexualium conditione abnormalis oriundis ("On the confusions of the mind resulting from the abnormal state of the genitals") and in 1826 Joseph Häussler published his work on the relationships of the sexual system to the psyche in general and to cretinism ins Special .

The Hungarian doctor Heinrich Kaan published his 124-page Latin script Psychopathia sexualis in Leipzig in 1844 . It stands in the tradition of the previous 'masturbation literature'; for him it was the root of all other deviations in the sex drive. In it, Christianity's notions of sin were transformed into medical diagnoses. The originally theological swear words “ perversion ”, “ aberration ” and “ deviation ” thus became part of the language of science for the first time. For Kaan, heterosexual intercourse was already considered psychopathological if it was accompanied by 'wanted' fantasies. For him, extravagant imagination was the most important cause of all “lost” desires. In it he does not yet construct identities that are based on pathologically qualified desire, but he has speculated about hereditary factors as a disposition to the development of unnatural desires.

While Prosper Lucas in L'Hérédité naturelle (1847–1850) still had problems with the inheritance of psychological and psychopathological traits, Bénédict Augustin Morel apparently succeeded in doing this with his work Traité des dégénérescences physiques, intellectuelles et morales de l'espèce humaine (“ Treatise on the physical, intellectual and moral degenerations of the human race ”). Compared to earlier uses, for example in zoology, pathology or ethnology, his use of the term dégénérescence ("degeneration, degeneration ") is an expression of his religious worldview. His theory of degeneration is of moral theological origin. The basic cause of all evil is the fall of man , with evil the degeneration came into the world. Some of the people manage to adapt and remain similar to the 'type primitif' ( Adam ). In the case of degenerate people, environmental influences lead to progressive degeneration. This is hereditary and is subject to a progressiveness which causes ever worse diseases and ultimately leads to complete infertility. With the progressiveness he also justified the apparently increasing frequency of degenerations. Deviations in the sexual sense were among the most serious degenerations for him. The theories spread very rapidly both in science and in the public. Soon everyone could refer to the "natural laws" and progressive degeneration became an obvious fact that was visible at every turn: alcoholism, poverty, crime, full mental hospitals.

In German-speaking psychiatry, Morel's concept of degeneration was initially received, contrary to the French tradition, from a critique of civilization until around 1880. Wilhelm Griesinger's concept of degeneration in the 2nd edition of his work Pathology and Therapy of Mental Illnesses , published in 1861, legitimized "the expansion of the scope of psychiatric interpretations of socially deviant behavior" and "allows the discussion of psychopathological transitional forms between healthy and sick states". "Many forms of deviant behavior that were previously not considered to be pathological were incorporated into the new collective category of degeneration". Valentin Magnan , who in the translations of Paul Julius Möbius was disseminated in Germany in the 1880s, assumed that degeneration could also be caused by “strong 'accidental () influences ()'” in a “healthy, normal person (en) ”could arise. In doing so, he took up Morel's teaching, but replaced the anthropological-religious starting point with an evolutionary- theoretical teleology . He assumed an urge of all kinds towards perfection and placed the ideal type at the end of development. Immanent disruptive elements led not only to an inhibition, but to a qualitative change in this perfection process, to the reversal of the development, to regression .

In the last two decades of the 19th century, the discussion of the connection between modern living conditions and mental illnesses was increasingly characterized by collectivization and politicization in German-speaking countries as well. In 1886 Richard von Krafft-Ebing coined the term “nervous age”. Civilization diseases initially constructed independently of the degeneration theory are associated with it. It was no longer just the degeneracy of individuals that was diagnosed, but the entire culture. The severe mental illness of the sexually pervert was also expressed through expressions such as “moral idiocy” and “original moral nonsense”.

In the 19th century Auguste Ambroise Tardieu , Johann Ludwig Casper and Carl Liman laid the foundations for modern forensic medicine as an empirically based science. This also includes offenses against morality. Tardieu published in Paris in 1857 Etude médico-légale sur les attentats aux moeurs , which appeared in German in 1860 under the title The offenses against morality in a state medical relationship . It says, among other things:

“I don't want to try to make the incomprehensible understandable and to investigate the causes of pederasty [the expression for homosexuality at the time]. But one may well ask whether this vice is based on something other than mere moral depravity, whether it is a form of psychopathia sexualis, the description of which we owe Kaan. Only the most unbridled debauchery, the most complete dulling against sensual pleasures can explain why fathers of families surrender to pederasty and not only women but also enjoy these unnaturalities. "

- Tardieu : 1860

Casper published the handbook of forensic medicine in Berlin in 1858 and the doctor Paul Moreau (de Tours) published his first edition of Des aberrations du sens génésique (“The Deviations of the Sexual Instinct ”), one of the first “scientific” studies on sexual debauchery which is quoted repeatedly by Krafft-Ebing and criticized by Moll. The syphilis expert Benjamin Tarnowsky , who works in St. Petersburg , published his monograph The pathological phenomena of the sexual sense in Berlin in 1886 , where he noted the frequent occurrence of sexual perversions.

In the same year the first edition of Psychopathia sexualis by the Austrian psychiatrist and forensic psychologist Richard von Krafft-Ebing was published . By 1924, 17 revised editions had appeared and it was translated into seven languages. It became a standard work, but also a famous and infamous bestseller well-known far beyond the technical boundaries. In Psychopathia sexualis, Krafft-Ebing expressed the crisis of bourgeois self-image at the end of the 19th century and at the same time offered a psychiatric diagnosis and interpretation of individual and collective sensitivities. He opposes an exclusively criminal sanctioning of sexual pathologies and that the fornicate offenders are usually found to be fully responsible. He accuses the jurisprudence of only criminalizing the act and not the perpetrator. He pleads for a stronger anchoring of psychiatric and medical reports. He promotes the decriminalization of the mentally ill, but also at the same time for their pathologization . "The concrete perverse action" was not decisive for Krafft-Ebing, "" as monstrous as it may be. "Rather, he was concerned with a" distinction between illness (perversion) and vice (perversity) "- based on the" Total personality of the agent. "After the publication, he also received hundreds of letters from those affected, who addressed him confidentially. Foucault sees them as the first victims of the medicalized sex discourse. According to the historian Harry Oosterhuis , they are now also independent subjects, who only became subject to Krafft- Ebing's book learned that they are not alone in the world with their inclination, which Alfred Kind described in 1908 as a “rudimentary form of moral theology”.

In his Psychopathia sexualis , Krafft-Ebing also writes the dogma adopted from moral theology : "Every expression of the sexual instinct must be declared as perverse that does not correspond to the purposes of nature, ie reproduction." Everything else is pathologized. Compared to Thomas Aquinas, only the mandatory marriage was omitted.


“Like the sexual form we have, the bottom line is that the sexual question is a fruit of capitalism. Both could only mature and fall away because the misery of the people was no longer predominantly famine and at the same time all human assets and powers were isolated and socialized as such in a fetishizing way. "

- Volkmar Sigusch : History of Sexual Science, 2008, p. 17

The adjective sexual appeared in the 18th century and the term sexuality appeared in the early 19th century . First they were used for the sexuality of plants, then in zoology, and finally in humans. In the course of the 19th century the comprehensive term sexuality began to become commonplace. The various components of numerous behaviors and appearances had not previously been abstracted in this - at the same time isolating and compressing - form. The history of sexology begins around 1850. Pioneers were Paolo Mantegazza (1831–1910) and Karl Heinrich Ulrichs (1825–1895), they were both way ahead of their time and independently published several texts and books on love, lust and gender issues.

The Catholic Northern Italian Mantegazza spoke of “this science” or the “science of hugs” and his works became bestsellers in Germany too. Sigusch calls him a "poetosexuologist". He wrote about the physiology of love. Mantegazza presented an experimental-physiological, cultural-anthropological and socio-hygienic, occasionally also socio-philosophical-oriented phenomenology of heterosexual love, which, according to Sigusch, is "unparalleled in the history of sexual science". He has already carried out scientific animal and human experiments and reports on statistical-empirical and ethnological research on skull dimensions, breastfeeding times and suicide rates. In 1886 he also presented his “Anthropological-Cultural-Historical Studies on the Gender Relationships of Man”, a result of his travels to Argentina , East India and Lapland, for example . He was an ardent friend of the female sex, declared women to be superior to men in terms of the potency of love and lust, and was convinced that one day they would also have equal rights in everyday life. The only thing he assumed was that women weren't as intelligent as men. As an enlightened moralist, he despised above all the “false puritans” and “tartuffos in the smallest format”. He wanted to remove the "cloudy, stinking fog of hypocrisy" "which envelops us all and at the same time smells of brothel and sacristy", and conjured up the "chaste and holy nudity" of the Greeks, which he called the "morbid lusts of our century" countered. He was out of fashion when it came to masturbation, homosexuality and oral sex, this is where the pioneer of “healthy and normal” love began to stammer: “congenital brain weakness”. Despite his tribute to the scientific zeitgeist ( Darwinism , hygiene discourse), he is dominated by a refreshing hedonism . His demands for eugenic measures were also modern for his time, when he wanted to gradually “get rid of the ugly and bad” by “selecting good producers” in order to “gradually and slowly improve our breed”.

The Protestant East Frisian scholar Ulrichs is a pioneer of the gay movement, "the first, in a way historically premature gay". He was the first to formulate a scientific theory for what is now called homosexuality. He believed in the existence of a third human race, the Urning and the Urninde , in the fact that a male Urning had a female soul, in an innate inclination - like Heinrich Hössli , but without knowing his writings - and this is manifesting itself for the first time Awareness that one's own sexual feelings are an integral part of one's personality. He contributed to the fact that the homosexual was increasingly perceived as an independent type. He fought confidently for the recognition of male-male love, against criminal liability and tried to explain the phenomenon and created a classification that roughly corresponds to our sexual orientation . His word Uranism reached Japan untranslated. He denied the “Dionean majority” (heterosexual majority) the right “to construct human society exclusively in a Dionic way” and opposed the prejudice of unnaturalness and its murderous consequences as long as the sentence “Whose sexual organs are made male, that is sexual love for female gender innate ”has not been proven for all men without exception. He also tried to publish a magazine for the interests of uranism with Uranus , but only one issue appeared in 1870.

An exceptionally large research interest is in homosexuality, which is advancing to model perversion: between 1898 and 1908 alone over a hundred relevant German publications on this topic can be identified.

At the end of the 19th century, psychoanalysis begins to change sexual pathology. Freud's findings are not new, but syntheses of already existing theories. Furthermore, he makes a radical departure from the biological determinism of sexual pathology. He also breaks away from a fixed distinction between perverse natures and normal individuals and instead postulates a continuum between 'healthy' and 'diseased sex drive'. He assumes that the individual's tendencies to perversions are different and that their intensity is dependent on environmental influences.

Etymology and establishment as a branch of science

The term sexology first appeared rather incidentally in 1898 in Sigmund Freud's essay Sexuality in the Etiology of Neuroses , which appeared in the Vienna Clinical Review . He thought that she was unfortunately still considered dishonest. The life reformer Karl Vanselow also used the term in 1905 when he founded his Association for Sexual Reform , where he saw the "establishment of a central office for sexology under the direction of appointed scholars" as one of its goals.

The Berlin dermatologist Iwan Bloch published his work The Sexual Life of Our Time in Its Relationship to Modern Culture in 1906 . In it, he calls for the establishment of a “sexology” as an independent research direction, which should unite the methods and insights of the natural sciences and the humanities. In the preface to Die Prostitution from 1912, Bloch asserted that “the name and concept of a comprehensive 'sexology'” was created by him in 1906 and introduced into science. He repeated this statement in later works and it was recognized by others, even if it is wrong in the formation of the term. In a review of Bloch's book in 1907, the writer and publisher Georg Hirth characterized sexology as “the last and youngest of all sciences, but still the most important” under the heading “Sexology!”. In the same year, the psychologist Willy Hellpach encouraged Bloch in a positive review to expand his book into a “handbook for sexology”, which “will also be able to render the greatest service to psychologists and psychopathologists”. The idea was later taken up by Bloch. Hermann Rohleder , probably independently of Bloch, campaigned for the establishment of a sexology or gender science in 1907 .

At the beginning of the 20th century, sex research then experienced its first and at the same time greatest flowering as a scientific discipline. In 1908, the Berlin doctor Magnus Hirschfeld founded the first journal for sexology. He won the Austrian ethnologist Friedrich Salomon Krauss as co-editor . This should signal the interdisciplinary character from the outset. The authors of the first and only year came from Germany, Austria, Poland, Italy and Switzerland. Also in 1908 Max Marcuse published the magazine Sexual -problem - magazine for sexology and sex politics . In 1909 they were united. Also from 1908 Rohleder had a review section Sexology in the Reichsmedizinalanzeiger . In 1913 the Medical Society for Sexual Science (ÄGeSe) was founded in Berlin , which in the same year was given the addition of "... and eugenics". Albert Eulenburg was chairman, Iwan Bloch and Magnus Hirschfeld were deputies. Three quarters of a year later, also in Berlin, as a kind of rival company, the International Society for Sexual Research (InGeSe) with Julius Wolf as chairman and Albert Moll as deputy.

The first institute for sexology was established by Hirschfeld in 1919. It was a privately financed mixture of "intelligence center, advice center and refuge", in which Walter Benjamin and Ernst Bloch were also lodgers at times . In 1921 he organized the first sex science congress in Berlin, an international conference for sex reform based on sex science . This led to the establishment of a world league for sexual reform in Copenhagen in 1928 with Hirschfeld, Auguste Forel and Havelock Ellis as first presidents. Further congresses of the league took place in London in 1929, in Vienna in 1930 and in Brno in 1932. Rivale Moll also organized a large congress in Berlin with InGeSe in 1926. A second congress of this society took place in London in 1930.

Time of National Socialism and USA

According to Volkmar Sigusch , it is not surprising that many people in sex science such as Iwan Bloch , Albert Moll , Max Marcuse or Magnus Hirschfeld were Jews. There, “because of their 'dirty' subject matter, Jewish doctors were most likely to have a career” and were thus “kept away from the clean, male subjects”. On closer inspection, there are also different images of sexuality in the Jewish and Christian traditions. The Jewish religion knows no condemnation of sexuality and sexual satisfaction, as it has dominated Christian thought in many epochs. Sexuality is seen as a human condition . And the abundance of anti-Semitic sexual images at the time (girl traffickers, racial abusers) may have contributed to directing the interest of Jews towards sexology. The best known was Hirschfeld and hated the National Socialists three times: He was a Jew, a socialist and a homosexual. As early as 1920 he was beaten up and left for dead, and from 1930 he could no longer be sure of his life in Germany, traveled around the world and went straight into exile. As early as May 6, 1933, his institute was looted and on May 10, his writings, along with those of other authors, were burned . Many other scientists also fled Germany. Sexology was significantly impaired during the Nazi era and long after. There it is mainly reduced to eugenic aspects and misused as a pseudo-scientific argument for racial madness.

Serious sex research now took place abroad, especially in the United States . Displaced Jewish scientists have a great influence on the professional societies, but they work more psychoanalytically and therapeutically, not empirically. Among the emigrated sexologists were Hans Lehfeldt , later co-founder of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality , Ernst Graefenberg in 1940 on the intervention of the International Society for Sexology after he was arrested in 1937. Harry Benjamin had been in the USA since the First World War. Sometimes there was little money for certain research there either. Funds were made available through the Rockefeller Foundation from 1914, and the Rockefeller family was interested in promoting sexology. Support was offered even more clearly in the 1920s and then led to the creation of a sexology committee on the National Research Council . However, this soon proved to be a brake on the desired research. The scientific members who distributed the money made sure that it was only used for "respectable" biological studies. Research into human sexuality did not take place; it was deliberately prevented by traditional academics, and social science research on sex was particularly suspicious. They avoided contact with the German sexologists of the time, spoke out against a sexual science journal and did not set up a special library. Even when Hirschfeld traveled to the USA in 1930/1931, she avoided any contact with him. The Rockefellers could not intervene directly because they had to rely on the "experts" on this controversial topic. Over time, however, the constant misuse became embarrassing and there was a fear of losing everything. So they looked around for a real sex science project and came across the biologist Alfred C. Kinsey . As a heterosexual family man at a rural university, he seemed relatively harmless. Kinsey's success, however, was a double-edged sword. His reports aroused the displeasure of conservative political and religious circles, mainly because a previously unsuspected extent of sexual behavior was documented. The hostility grew even stronger when the report about women appeared. Kinsey was believed to be under communist influence, which put one in great distress in the McCarthy era . After the government threatened to withdraw tax breaks from the Rockefeller Foundation, it cut Kinsey in 1953 and promoted some of its harshest critics instead. The foundation, along with similar foundations, has been harassed by hostile congressional investigations. The Kinsey Institute continues to exist, was later partially supported by federal funds, but did not find its way back to its original line.

Germany after 1945

"In order to understand something of the current situation in sexology, one has to recall this institutionally fragmented, theoretically fissured and politically polarized field of 'left' eugenicists and 'right' demagogues, social reformers and 'pure' scientists," wrote the Journalist Ulrike Baureithel in June 2010 on the occasion of Volkmar Sigusch's 70th birthday .

In 1950 the initiative of the doctor and sex researcher Hans Giese led to the establishment of the German Society for Sexual Research (DGfS). This oldest and largest professional society in Germany had set itself the task of promoting sexology in theory, research and teaching. While “in the first decades” it was primarily a medical society with a “pronounced normative orientation”, the following generation has “positioned it in a socially critical way”. Expressions of this are, among other things, their sexual-political statements.

In 1959, under the name of the Institute for Sexual Research and at the suggestion of Hans Bürger-Prinz and Hans Giese, “the first university institution in the field of sexology in the German post-war period” was established.

At the end of the 1960s, in line with the socio-political change, sexologists such as Volkmar Sigusch, Gunter Schmidt , Eberhard Schorsch , Martin Dannecker , Günter Amendt and others gained in importance. Emerging from the Hamburg Institute, some of them worked, initially under the direction of Schorsch at the now renamed Institute of the University Hospital (UKE), others under the direction of Sigusch at the institute he founded at Frankfurt University in 1972 . In their time, Schorsch had the Hamburg Institute focused on sexual offenses and Sigusch the Frankfurt Institute on sexual dysfunction - both under the joint specialist umbrella of the DGfS, which is an interdisciplinary approach to sex science research and teaching that is significant to this day.

In 1986, in his review of Sigusch's book Vom Trieb und von der Liebe , Schorsch lamented the blindness of sexology:

“The longer sex science exists and progresses, the more radically it has broken away from anthropological, philosophical, and even theoretical references and becomes a pragmatic behavioral science in which it is described, measured and counted. […] Sexology of this kind is theoretical and blind. The great theoretical drafts about sexuality on the part of psychoanalysis, sociology, philosophy, literature - all do not come from sexology, and worse still: they have hardly been received by it. Here Sigusch distinguishes itself. 'A theory of human sexuality that is separate from historical and social theory is not one. Anyone who seriously thinks about sexuality has the entire history of the species of humans and more on their minds' ('Trieb', p. 72). "

- Eberhard Schorsch : Time Online

The Institute for Sexology and Sexual Medicine at Humboldt University , founded in 1996 , follows the tradition of German sexology as a successor to the institute founded by Hirschfeld in Berlin in 1919 and destroyed on May 6, 1933, but its membership in a different and comparatively young specialist society - the German Society for Sexual Medicine, Sex Therapy and Sexology (DGSMTV) - also looks different in terms of content. The Berlin institute director Klaus M. Beier has his professional roots as a Wille student at the Kiel institute, which was initially founded in 1973 as a non-independent institution. Beier is also the first chairman of DGSMTV.

While the University of Frankfurt closed the Sigusch Institute after his retirement in 2006, a few years later in Kiel it was decided to “strengthen the subject”. The question of whether these opposing decisions can be linked to the different orientations in terms of content has not yet been investigated in terms of medical history and is reserved for a further chapter in the history of sexology .

The sexologists currently known in Germany (as of 2020) include, for example, Klaus Michael Beier (doctor), Jessica Benjamin (social scientist), Martin Dannecker (psychologist), Shere Hite (historian), Volkmar Sigusch (psychiatrist) and Estela Welldon (psychoanalyst).

Researcher and theorist

Well-known sexologists

Overview: Different sexual science approaches and their representatives

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The following overview is taken from the source under.

Psychological-theoretical approaches

Scientific and empirical approaches

Social science-empirical approaches

Education, training and further education

The Merseburg University of Applied Sciences offers several courses in the field of sex science. On the one hand, the master's degree in applied sexology and, on the other hand, the part-time master's degree in sexology.

See also


  • Jessica Benjamin : Imagination and Gender. Studies on idealization, recognition and difference. Stroemfeld / Nexus, Basel 1993, ISBN 3-86109-101-1 .
  • Hans Giese (Ed.): Dictionary of Sexual Science. Instituts-Verlag, Bonn 1952.
  • Erwin J. Haeberle , Jörg Mair (illustrations and graphic design): The human sexuality . Manual and atlas. Berlin / New York 1983. 2nd, expanded edition. Nikol, Hamburg 2000, ISBN 3-933203-22-8 ( Contents - original title: The sex atlas . Translated by Ilse Drews (with assistance), legal advice: Thomas Niering, first edition by The Seabury Press, New York NY 1978, German First edition by Walter de Gruyter , Berlin 1983 and 1985, also as a paperback: dtv-Atlas Sexualität dtv , published).
  • P. Hesse, G. Harig, FK Kaul, AG Kuckhoff: Sexuology. Leipzig 1978.
  • J. Kon: Introduction to Sexology. Berlin 1985.
  • Samantha Marcuse, Max Meyer (Ed.): Concise Dictionary of Sexual Science . Encyclopedia of the natural and cultural science of human sex education. 1st edition. Marcus & Webers, Bonn 1923 (2nd edition 1926, as a new edition with an introduction by Robert Jütte in Walter de Gruyter, Berlin 2001, ISBN 3-11-017038-8 ).
  • Peter Mauritsch: Sexuality in Early Greece . Investigations into the norm and deviation in the Homeric epics. In: Everyday life and culture in antiquity . tape 1 . Böhlau , Vienna / Cologne / Weimar 1999, ISBN 3-205-05507-1 .
  • Volkmar Sigusch : Neosexualities. About the cultural change of love and perversion. Campus, Frankfurt am Main / New York, NY 2005, ISBN 978-3-593-37724-7 .
  • Volkmar Sigusch: Sexual disorders and their treatment. Thieme, Stuttgart / New York, NY 2007, ISBN 978-3-13-103943-9 .
  • Volkmar Sigusch: History of Sexology. Campus, Frankfurt am Main 2008, ISBN 978-3-593-38575-4 .
  • Volkmar Sigusch and Günter Grau (eds.): Personal Lexicon of Sexual Research. Campus, Frankfurt am Main / New York 2009, ISBN 978-3-593-39049-9 .
  • Arthur Kronfeld : Sexual Psychopathology. In: Gustav Aschaffenburg (Hrsg.): Handbuch der Psychiatrie. Special part, 7th department, 3rd part. Deuticke, Leipzig / Vienna 1923 ( see lit. )
  • Ursula Ferdinand, Andreas Pretzel , Andreas Seeck (eds.): Verqueere Wissenschaft? On the relationship between sexology and the sex reform movement, past and present. Volume 1, LIT, Münster 1998, ISBN 3-8258-4049-2 .
  • Project Gutenberg-DE : Library of Sexology. 36 classics of sexology as facsimile on DVD. Hille & Partner publishing house, ISBN 978-3-86511-524-9 .
  • Günter Amendt , Gunter Schmidt , Volkmar Sigusch: Sex tells - sexual research as social criticism. KVV concrete (concrete texts 54), Hamburg 2011, ISBN 978-3-930786-61-9 .
  • Estela V. Welldon : Perversions of Woman. Psychosozial-Verlag, Giessen 2003, ISBN 3-89806-164-7 .
  • Florian G. Mildenberger : Urology, gynecology and andrology combined to combat infertility? The careers of Boris Belonoshkin (1906–1988). In: The Urologist. Volume 58, 2019, pp. 1338-1342.

Web links

Wiktionary: Sexology  - explanations of meanings, origins of words, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Otto Dornblüth: Clinical Dictionary. 13./14. Edition, 1927, " Sexology "
  2. ^ Bibliographisches Institut, FA Brockhaus AG (Ed.): Meyers Lexikon online. "Sexualwissenschaft", version of October 2, 2008 11:02 pm, formerly at:
  3. List of statements on sexual policy by the German Society for Sexual Research. Retrieved February 9, 2014.
  4. a b c d Hans-Martin Lohmann: History of Sexuality - From Contradiction Thought (Book Review: Volkmar Sigusch, History of Sexual Science, Campus Verlag 2008), Frankfurter Rundschau Online, version of June 18, 2008 12:15
  5. Sex - "New Forms of Disorders" - Interview with Volkmar Sigusch, Die Zeit, No. 30, July 17, 2008.
  6. ↑ Sex research, sexual medicine and forensic psychiatry. In: University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf . Retrieved February 3, 2020 .
  7. Applied Sexology. In: University of Merseburg . Retrieved February 3, 2020 .
  8. Sexology. In: University of Merseburg. Retrieved February 3, 2020 .
  9. a b c Erwin J. Haeberle: Berlin and international sexology - introductory lecture for the Magnus Hirschfeld Colloquium on May 14, 1993, Humboldt University Berlin - Department of Culture and Art Studies & Institute for Philosophy of Science and Human ontogenetics, public lectures, Issue 9 ( PDF version )
  10. ^ Haeberle: Chronologie - Mittelalter , Archive for Sexology, accessed: October 13, 2003.
  11. Haeberle: Chronology - Early Modern Times , Archive for Sexology, accessed: October 13, 2008.
  12. a b c d Haeberle: Chronologie - Das 18. Jahrhundert , Archive for Sexology, accessed: October 13, 2008.
  13. a b c d Haeberle: The 19th Century , Archive for Sexology , as of October 13, 2008.
  14. Martha E. Gimenez: The Population Issue. Marx vs. Malthus ( Memento of the original from November 23, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  15. Erwin J. Haeberle: The forbidden act - "lewd" photos from 1850 to 1950 , abridged version originally published in: M. Köhler, G. Barche (ed.): Das Aktfoto: Ästhetik - Geschichte - Ideologie , CJ Bucher Verlag, Munich 1985, pp. 240-252.
  16. Raphael Fischer: Michel Foucault (1926–1984) ( Memento of the original from October 6, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. ,, 2004, version: January 16, 2005. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  17. Philipp Gutmann: On the Reification of the Sexual in the 19th Century - The Beginning of a Scientia sexualis, presented on the basis of three texts by Hermann Joseph Löwenstein, Joseph Häussler and Heinrich Kaan. in the series Armin Geus , Irmgard Müller (ed.): Marburger Schriften zur Medizingeschichte Volume 38 , Peter Lang, Frankfurt am Main 1998, ISBN 3-631-33686-1 .
  18. a b c d e Volker Weiß: “A female soul in a male body” , Department of Political and Social Sciences, Free University of Berlin, November 5, 2007; (05_TEIL2-4.pdf) II. Homosexuality in the sexuality dispositive of the 19th and early years. 20th century
  19. Christof Goddemeier: History of Medicine: To the roots of “degenerate” art , Deutsches Ärzteblatt 2007; 104 (40): A-2714 / B-2399 / C-2326
  20. a b Andrea Dorothea Bührmann: The social consequences of knowledge production. On the relationship between (sexual) sciences and social normalization mechanisms. In: Ursula Ferdinand, Andreas Pretzel, Andreas Seeck (Eds.): Verqueere Wissenschaft ?: On the relationship between sexology and the sex reform movement in the past and present. LIT Verlag, Berlin / Hamburg / Münster 1998, ISBN 3-8258-4049-2 , p. 213 ff.
  21. Harry Oosterhuis: Stepchildren of Nature. Krafft-Ebing, Psychiatry and the Making of Sexual Identity. Chicago 2000.
  22. Kind (1908), p. 386.
  23. Oliver Pfohlmann: The historical book - Science of Embraces (book review: Volkmar Sigusch, History of Sexual Science, Campus Verlag 2008), Neue Zürcher Zeitung, July 30, 2008.
  24. Volkmar Sigusch: Sexualmedizin: Against the "cloudy, stinking fog of hypocrisy" , Deutsches Ärzteblatt 104 (7): A 406-10, March 2007, p. 121.
  25. a b c d Ilka Quindeau, Volkmar Sigusch: Freud and the Sexual: New Psychoanalytic and Sexual Science Perspectives. Campus Verlag, 2005, ISBN 3-593-37848-5 , p. 23 f.
  26. ^ Karl Vanselow: Association for Sexual Reform. In: Sexualreform , Supplement to Gender and Society , 1, 1905, pp. 18-20
    Source: Andreas Seeck: Durch Wissenschaft zur Gerechtigkeit ?: Collection of texts on the critical reception of the work of Magnus Hirschfeld , LIT Verlag, Berlin / Hamburg / Münster 2003 , ISBN 3-8258-6871-0 , p. 174
    Toepfer: Nudity 1992/93, p. 80 f .; Note from: Lutz Sauerteig: Disease, Sexuality, Society: Venereal Diseases and Health Policy in Germany in the 19th and Early 20th Century , Franz Steiner Verlag, 1999, ISBN 3-515-07393-0 , p. 55.
  27. a b Andreas Seeck: Through science to justice ?: Collection of texts on the critical reception of the work of Magnus Hirschfeld. LIT Verlag, Berlin / Hamburg / Münster 2003, ISBN 3-8258-6871-0 , p. 175.
  28. ^ A b Andreas Seeck: The relationship between science and politics in the self-image of sexology. In: Ursula Ferdinand, Andreas Pretzel, Andreas Seeck: Verqueere Wissenschaft ?: On the relationship between sexology and the sexual reform movement in the past and present , LIT Verlag, Berlin / Hamburg / Münster 1998, ISBN 3-8258-4049-2 , pp. 199 f.
  29. Hermann Rohleder: Lectures on the sexual instinct and the entire sexual life of humans (2nd, verb., Possibly and completely revised edition), Volume I, Berlin 1907.
  30. a b E. J. Haeberle: Introduction to the anniversary reprint by Magnus Hirschfeld, “The homosexuality of man and woman”, 1914 , Walter de Gruyter, Berlin / New York 1984, page V-XXXI
  31. a b c Ulrike Baureithel: The Heavens of Lust (book review: Volkmar Sigusch, History of Sexual Science, Campus Verlag 2008), Der Tagesspiegel, August 24, 2008.
  32. Christina von Braun: Is sex science a "Jewish science"? 2001, in: Andreas Seeck (Ed.): Through Science to Justice ?: Collection of texts on the critical reception of Magnus Hirschfeld's work. LIT Verlag, Berlin / Hamburg / Münster 2003, ISBN 3-8258-6871-0 , p. 233 ff.
  33. Interview - Fruits of the Revolt - Interview with Volkmar Sigusch, Friday No. 28, July 11, 2008.
  34. Hermann J. Berberich: 100 Years of Sexual Science ( Memento of the original from January 27, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF file; 411 kB), Hessisches Ärzteblatt 9/2006, pp. 643–646. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  35. ^ A b Erwin J. Haeberle: Sexualwissenschaft und Sexualpolitik , published for the first time In: R. Gindorf, EJ Haeberle (Ed.): Sexualwissenschaft und Sexualpolitik, publication series Sozialwissenschaftliche Sexualforschung, Volume 3. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin 1992, pp. 3-14 .
  36. Bodo Mrozek: Dr. Sex , Der Tagesspiegel, February 14, 2005.
  37. Ulrike Baureithel: Volkmar Sigusch. The anti-psychiatrist. In: Der Tagesspiegel. June 10, 2010, accessed April 13, 2018 .
  38. About us. German Society for Sex Research, accessed on April 13, 2018 .
  39. Opinions. German Society for Sex Research, accessed on February 3, 2020 .
  40. a b story. UKE, accessed April 13, 2018 .
  41. ^ Institute for Sex Research and Forensic Psychiatry. UKE, accessed April 13, 2018 .
  42. Susanne Mayer: The wild is threatened. In: Zeit Online. September 4, 2014, accessed April 13, 2018 .
  43. Volkmar Sigusch: From the drive and from love . 2nd Edition. Campus-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main, New York 1984, ISBN 978-3-593-33313-7 .
  44. Eberhard Schorsch: From the drive and from love. In: Zeit Online. March 21, 1986. Retrieved April 13, 2018 .
  45. ^ Institute for Sexology and Sexual Medicine in Berlin: Continuation of a Berlin tradition. Charité, accessed on April 13, 2018 .
  46. How Hirschfeld's Sexual Science Institute was demolished and destroyed (May 6, 1933)., December 22, 2003, accessed on April 13, 2018 .
  47. Welcome to the website of the German Society for Sexual Medicine, Sex Therapy and Sexual Science DGSMTW eV DGSMTW, accessed on April 13, 2018 .
  48. ^ A b The historical development of the institute of sexual medicine in the Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel. Retrieved April 13, 2018 .
  49. About us. DGSMTV, accessed April 13, 2018 .
  50. Senate has the "Kentler experiment" re-examined .
  51. Gunter Runkel: The sexuality in society. LIT, 2003, ISBN 3-8258-6825-7 .
  52. Information on the Applied Sexology course
  53. Information on the master's degree in "Sexology"