Science of Sex
Thats right, science studies sex. In fact it is one of the greatest reasons that I can give for science being a part of everyone's life, and for everyone taking an active interest in science.
The science of fucking.
I like the phrase "science of fucking."
I know from the experience of my podcast that this phrase drives people crazy, when I say things like "evolution is the science of fucking" people who are freethinking atheists will have their inner puritan take over and cause them to scream about asexual evolution.
Indeed, most reproduction is asexual. But how can you compare that in the minds of most of us to sex. To good ol fashion penis/vagina, genital/mouth, genital/anal sex!
When we really like something we call it "better than sex" as if sex where the bar for all pleasure. It is.
It should be.
Yet, due to religious codes and dualistic philosophies we as a species have spent the last few millenia treating sex as though it were a source of impurity, uncleaness, something not fitting for polite comany.
In the 1800s there were some important stabs at the science of sex. Most famously is Sigmund Freud, who I revere not for any discoveries (most of his theories have been disproven) but for daring to ask the questions that he asked.
Like, "wow look at how babies go for titties, I like titties too, I wonder if there is a link between babies love for titties and adults sexual love for titties." I am paraphrasing of course, but thats how what Freud said sounded to his fellow Victorians.
More common was the ideas of Richard von Kraft-Ebbing, who is a favorite of post-modernists who wish to discredit all of science because its theories are ever changing. Richard von Kraft-Ebbing was a 19th century scientist who thought any sexual behavior that was not heterosexual, missionary, and christain was pathological. Allow me another paraphrase, all the sex that I enjoy is by its very nature a disease.
This was naive and dogmatic at best. And to this day we use von Kraft-Ebbings terminology to describe sexual pathology, I believe the term "pedophile" was his, for example.
But alas, then came a messiah onto the land and he showed us the way.
Alfred Charles Kinsey, oh yeah, baby!
Kinsey, like Freud, has his contribution in the greatest part by asking the questions at all. Kinsey had no fear of dogma, and he made a valiant effort to answer the questions we all have about sex.
There is a great film called : "Kinsey," which I consider to be a great film about the passion and love of science that scientists experience.
Kinsey was a zoologist, and entomologist to be precise. He studied gall wasps, and had a far more scientific approach than Herr Freud did.
Kinsey invented an interviewing style which is still used by psychologists today, and developed some theories like, the sexual continuum which still hold water today.
The sexual continuum basically states that we are all somewhat bisexual on a scale from gay to straight.
This definitely seems to be true among most mammals, and there is compelling evidence for this among humans.
Kinsey had one major problem. Sampling.
Sampling is how we try to get information from groups of people who generalize well to the population in general.
Like when you hear "50% of people" well the researcher did not interview all 7 some odd billion people on earth, but did try to get a sample that generalizes to everyone.
Kinsey was really, really, bad at this.
So his data had a lot of errors.
After Kinsey we had Masters and Johnson who did the brave thing of actually taking physiological measurements of people while they had sex.
This is essentially how we know everything we know about orgasms, and what is normal as far as orgasms and behaviors to be found in sex.
Its fascinating stuff.
My aim with this entry is simply to try to give you a feel for the broad range of matters which science can deal with. If you have any questions about specific findings in sexology, please post them as comments and I will do my best to answer them with sitations.
Your life is a love story!