From Big Medical Encyclopedia

SEXOLOGY (Latin sexus a floor + Greek logos the doctrine) — the field of knowledge which is in a complex studying social and psychological aspects of relationship of floors, and also physiology and pathology of sex life. The term «sexology» is entered in 1907 by J. Bloch. Though data on sexuality of the person, hygiene of sex life, biology and psychology of a floor contained already in the most ancient religious and mythological systems and medical treatises, scientific S. evolved from synthesis of data of medicine, biology and social sciences only in 20 century.


the Important preparatory stage in scientific S.'s formation was development of the theories of a floor (19 century) considering a sexual behavior as manifestation universal biol. laws. The main attention was paid at the same time to search of «biological norms» of sexuality, to-rye however, were in most cases cut out to a measure of the dominating bourgeois morals. The only function of «normal» sexuality announced reproduction of a sort; sexual abstinence and moderation from moral and religious virtue were turned into a medico-hygienic imperative; women were considered deprived of sexual desire; the onanism was considered as a disease, the moral defect leading to heavy effects (up to madness), and psychosexual anomalies — as congenital anomalies or consequences of «moral degeneration». In parallel with the theories biologizing sexuality of the person in 19 century the ethnographic and sociological research of the matrimonial relations was widely developed. At a boundary of 19 and 20 centuries. Bloch, A. Moll, O. Forel, Girshfeld (M. of Hirschfeld), Ellis (N. N. of Ellis), etc. made attempts to create the encyclopedic generalizations of a problem of sexuality including medicobiological and historical and cultural data. During the same period the first mass sexological surveys directed to studying of normal sexuality were conducted; in medicine symptoms and an etiology of a number of psychosexual anomalies were described. Similar expansion исследователь^-ских interests was, undoubtedly, progressive, but the lack of reliable biological and social data predetermined domination of eclectic and speculative concepts.

At the beginning of 20 century biological and sociological approaches to problems of a floor are supplemented with psychological. The important role in this reorientation was played by 3. Freud, to-ry concentrated attention on extramental psikhol. processes, extragenital and sublimated forms of sexuality (see. Psychoanalysis , Freydizm ). Further many main ideas of the theory of a libido 3. Freida (a concept of children's sexuality, an Oedipus complex, sublimation, etc.) underwent serious criticism and review even in psychoanalysis, but they gave a strong impetus to development of problems of psychology of sexuality. In 1919 Girshfeld the first-ever Ying t of sexology based in Germany (it was crushed by Hitlerites in 1933). In 1921 in the USA the cross-disciplinary Committee for a research of problems of a floor was created. With its support A. Kiizi with sotr., having interviewed St. 12 thousand healthy men and women, for the first time received statistically reliable picture of psychosexual installations and behavior of Americans (intensity of sex life, the loudspeaker of its various forms, dependence on welfare and individual psychological factors, age variations). Though work was exposed further to serious methodological criticism, it also until now remains unsurpassed on the volume of empirical data.

The modern scientific sexology

Modern scientific S. developed in the middle of 20 century. Figuratively it can be presented in the form of a triangle, as the parties to-rogo the biologo-medical, psychological and sociohistorical directions of researches act.

The Biologo-meditsinsky direction includes developments of problems floor (see) and sexual dimorphism, influence of genetic and endocrine factors on mentality and behavior of men and women, questions of psychophysiology of sexual intercourse in the conditions of norm and pathology. Basic anatomo-physiological researches of sexuality of behavior are conducted by domestic scientists I. R. Tarkhanov, N. A. Mislavsky, V. M. Bekhterev. Masters (W. N of Masters) and Johnson (V. E. Johnson) carried out multilateral objective pilot study of sexual intercourse. In G. S. Vasilchenko's works idea of the sexual constitution is formulated, edges represents system biol. the properties developing under the influence of genetic factors and conditions of an ontogeny. The Poltsvy constitution determines the quantitative party of sexuality, determining force, duration and frequency of sexual excitement, thus limiting level fiziol. requirements and opportunities of an organism. Important data about fiziol. aspects of sexual behavior are saved up in sexual pathology.

Psikhol. researches in S. are devoted to hl. obr. to consideration of the qualitative party of sexuality. Gagnon (J. The N of Gagnon) and W. Simon developed a concept of the sexual scenario (program), a cut displays the most important personal characteristics of sexual behavior: sexual orientation, type of a sexual object, ways of sexual satisfaction, preferable conditions of the place and time, ways of symbolization and legitimation (legitimation) of sexual behavior. Individual and group variability of the sexual scenario was investigated. Psychologists showed that the sexual behavior depends on a number of the general psikhol. properties of the person: communicative qualities, ability to self-disclosure, emotional relaxedness, force and duration of attachments, self-esteem etc. At the same time sex life (see) can make absolutely different personal sense — to be for the individual means of a child-bearing, a relaxation, receiving sensual pleasure, self-affirmation, etc. Though the individual can not understand the motives, however depend on them both the nature of its psychophysiological reactions, and become widespread.

The important place in psikhol. studying of sexuality the age psychology studying features of sexuality at different stages of a life cycle borrows. In close connection with age physiology it traces patterns of psychosexual development of the individual as parts of his biological and social maturing; stages and motive powers of psychosexual identification, its dependence on type of the personality, structure of a family, Wednesday and education; psychological patterns of teenage and youthful sexuality; features, typical problems and difficulties early and late ripening teenagers; to the loudspeaker of sex life in old age. The differential psychology studies sexual and individual variations and features of a sexual behavior and the related feelings and experiences (a ratio of sensual and erotic and spiritual and moral components of love, distinction in intensity and depth of feelings and so-called).

Its studying at different stages biol is important for understanding of the nature of human sexuality. evolutions. The comparative psychology and ethology investigate a ratio at different biol. types of an instinctive sexual behavior and its such elements, to-rye are a product of training. The general phylogenetic consistent pattern was determined: the is higher evolutionary development of a look, the large role in behavior of the individuals relating to it plays individual experience. The males of Guinea pigs who are grown up in isolation, having reached puberty, without special work find ways of pairing adequate to the look. At more high-organized mammals the sexual behavior to some extent is not just manifestation biol. an instinct, but more or less developed form of a social behavior. In V. V. Antonov's experiences and F. Beach on dogs and especially in Harlou's experiences (N. of F. Harlow) on monkeys it was shown that the individuals who are grown up without about-va peers have no practical skill and forms of sexual behavior, without to-rykh pairing it is almost impossible. At high-organized young animals sexuality forms in the course of game activity under the influence of the program, specific to each look, to-ruyu the Scourge suggested to call with-tsioseksualnoy a matrix. At gregarious animals of a possibility of pairing and reproduction are closely connected with the general living conditions of herd and the provision of this individual in its hierarchical system.

In ethological researches it was revealed that at nek-ry animals elements of sexual behavior can serve for designation of not sexual motives. So, the masculine copulative pose at many mammals expresses a claim of this individual for an ascendent position, and femininny — on subordinated.

In human about-ve a specific sotsioseksualny matrix it was transformed to the forms of sexual culture including system of differentiation of gender roles, the corresponding stereotypes of a maskulinnost and a femininnost, the social institutes and norms regulating sex life, and the corresponding ceremonies and customs (see. Sex education ).

Sociohistorical researches in S. are devoted to hl. obr. to studying of the social functions and forms of activity, specific to each floor, fixed in the relevant moral standards and cultural stereotypes. In them influence of historically developed systems of gender roles on consciousness, consciousness and sexual behavior of individuals is considered; collecting and synthesis of mass information of rather moral installations, valuable orientations and a real sexual behavior of the population taking into account gender and age, class, social and property, professional, educational, regional and other features is carried out; cross-cultural variations of sexual symbolics are studied; evolution of standards of sexual morals and behavior in connection with development about-va, structural change of a family and ways of socialization is investigated; factors of marriage selection and new forms of family life are in a complex studied (see. Marriage ) social and pedagogical researches of efficiency of various systems and methods of sexual education of children and teenagers will be organized; historical and cultural, literary, art criticism and other researches of the eroticism symbolized in culture and art are conducted. Evolution of sexual behavior and its specifics is studied. These researches serve as a starting point for physicians and teachers during the development of questions of sexual education and education that has not only moral and ethical, but also medico-preventive value, in particular promotes the prevention of sexual frustration (see. Sexual pathology ). The general tendency caused acceleration (see) and others sovr. processes, more early sexual activity and liberalization of sexual morals is. However the scale and moral and psychological effects of these changes are not identical in the different countries, and empirical data are often incomparable. In the USSR questions of sex life and the matrimonial relations are considered as the compound moment of communistic education, formation of harmoniously developed personality.

Various aspects of sexological researches are rather autonomous and are carried out within separate disciplines with their specific conceptual framework and the equipment. Their eclectic merge in uniform S. is impossible, but borders between them are in many respects conditional that assumes their coordination and development of cross-disciplinary bonds. The largest sovr. sexological in-you (Ying t of Kinzi in the USA, Hamburg sexological in-t in Germany, etc.) and scientific about-va (e.g., in Poland, Czechoslovakia) are under construction on a cross-disciplinary basis, combining physiologists, doctors-seksopa-tologov, neuroendocrinologists, psychologists, sociologists, etc. In the USSR social, psychological, pedagogical and legal aspects of S. are studied by institutes of AN and NPA of the USSR; for coordination of scientific research in the field of medical problems C. the All-Union scientific and methodical center for questions of sexual pathology on the basis of scientific research institute of psychiatry M3 of the USSR is organized. Along with traditional monodisciplinary, preferential medical, sexological editions there are also cross-disciplinary magazines, e.g. «Archives of Sexual Behavior» (N. Y., since 1971), «The Journal of Sex Kesearch» (N. Y., since 1965).

See also Sexual pathology .


History — Serebryakov S. B. Ibn Cynna (Avicenna's) treatise about love, Tbilisi, 1976; In e-cher E. M. of The sex researchers, L., 1972; Foucault M. Histoire de la sexuality, t. 1. La volonte de savoir, P., 1976; Kinsey A. C., Pomeroy W. B. a. Martin of Page E. Sexual behavior in the human male, Philadelphia — L., 1948; Kinsey A. C. a. o. Sexual behavior in the human female, Philadelphia — L., 1953, bibliogr.

Textbooks, guides, main works — Andreyeva I. S. Social and philosophical problems of a floor, marriage and family, Vopr. philosophies. No. 1, page 135, 1980; At - l y and A. V. and Andreyev I. S. Paul and culture, Filosofsk. sciences, No. 4, page 63, 1973; Kohn I. S. On a joint of sciences, Borip. philosophies, No. 10, page 47, 1981; The General sexual pathology, under the editorship of G. S. Vasilchenko, M., 1977, bibliogr.; Definition of the sexual constitution of the man, sost. Vasilchenko G. S., M., 1974, bibliogr.; Ryurikov Yu. B. Three inclinations, M., 1968; Contemporary sexual behavior, ed. by J. Zubin a. J. Money, Baltimore, 1973; Gagnon J. H. a. Simon W. Sexual conduct, L., 1973; Handbook of sexology, ed. by J. Money a. H. Musaph, Amsterdam a. o., 1978; Human sexuality in four perspectives, ed. by F. A. Beach, Baltimore, 1977, bibliogr.; Masters W. H. a. Johnson U. E. Human sexual response, L., 1966; Seksuologia kulturowa, pod red. K. Imielinskiego, Warszawa, 1980; Seksuologia spoleczna, pod red. K. Imielinskiego, Warszawa, 1977; Sexuologie, Geschlecht, Mensch, Gesellschaft, hrsg. v. P. G. Hesse u. a., Bd 1 — 3, Lpz., 1974 — 1978, Bibliogr.

Periodicals — Magazine of neuropathology and psychiatry of S. S. Korsakov, M., since 1952 (1932 — 1951 — Neuropathology and psychiatry); Urology and nephrology, M., since 1965 (1923 — 1964 — Urology); Andrologie, V., since 1969; Fertility and Sterility, N. Y., since 1950; Journal of Reproduction and Fertility, Oxford, since 1960; Medical Aspects of Human Sexuality, N. Y., since 1967; Sexualmedizin, Wiesbaden, since 1972.

I. S. Kohn.