Celebrate 64 Years of Female Sex Research This Weekend

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Sixty-four years ago this Sunday (August 20, 1953), the media first reported on some of the major findings from Alfred Kinsey's classic book Sexual Behavior in the Human Female. As I'm sure many of you know, this was the first book of its kind to explore women's sexual attitudes and behaviors from a scientific point of view.

Kinsey's book sent shockwaves around the world--and it was quickly dubbed "obscene" by many, due to the prevailing views on sex in the 1950s. Today, though, we look back on Kinsey's brave work as one of the most important publications on human sexuality to date. Kinsey's research was groundbreaking in so many ways, but largely because it debunked many myths and misconceptions about women's sexuality.

Kinsey found that the women he surveyed were more sexual than most people at the time assumed: many of them were masturbating, having sex outside of marriage, and engaging in same-sex behaviors. This landmark study showed the world that men aren't the only ones who have sexual needs and desires. Women most certainly have them, too, and they're no less important to study than are men's.

Thanks to Kinsey's willingness to stand up to the social norms and moral values of his time and publish his controversial study, female sexuality--not to mention the study of sex more broadly--eventually came to be seen as a worthwhile area of scientific inquiry (though it still has its detractors today--something that I can attest to as a sex researcher myself).

In order to honor this important milestone in the history of sex research (or "K-Day," as some have nicknamed it), here's a look back at some of the most interesting studies on women's sexuality that have emerged in the last few years precisely because Kinsey and his research associates paved the way. Happy K-Day!

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Image Credit: Justin Lehmiller