cover image Science in the Bedroom: A History of Sex Research

Science in the Bedroom: A History of Sex Research

Vern L. Bullough. Basic Books, $25 (376pp) ISBN 978-0-465-03020-0

Bullough ( Sin, Sickness, and Sanity ) brings his customary mix of lively prose and balanced scholarship to this enlightening history of sex research. Along with Sigmund Freud, Havelock Ellis, Alfred Kinsey and William Masters and Virginia Johnson, important but neglected female researchers Katharine Davis (1860-1935) and Clelia Mosher (1863-1940) are among the pioneer sexologists profiled. Magnus Hirschfeld (1868-1935), a wealthy German homosexual physician who fought for repeal of anti-gay laws also receives his due. Bullough, a sociologist and leading sex researcher, crams in a wealth of information on marriage manuals, the impact of contraceptives on sexual mores, lesbianism, child sexuality, prostitution, pornography, transsexualism, cross-dressing, free-love advocates and much else. He also weaves into his narrative such figures as Oscar Wilde; Richard Burton, the British explorer and collector of erotica; Wilhelm Reich; Herbert Marcuse; and Michel Foucault. (June)