Masters and Johnson Institute  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Masters & Johnson Institute (1978–1994) was a clinical and research foundation created to study human sexuality with particular emphasis on the anatomy and physiology of human sexual response and the diagnosis and treatment of sexual dysfunctions. After William H. Masters, M.D. hired Virginia E. Johnson in 1957 as a research assistant on a project in human sexuality, they originally worked together in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Washington University in St. Louis, before continuing on to create an independent research institution at 4910 Forest Park Boulevard in St. Louis, Missouri in 1964, deliberately named the Reproductive Biology Research Foundation (rather than using the word "sex" in its title) to allow their work to keep out of the limelight. The Reproductive Biology Research Foundation did, in fact, conduct studies of conception, contraception, and infertility, although the major focus of its work was on advancing the scientific study of human sexuality.

Their work which pioneered human sexuality as a science was primarily conducted at this institute, including the renowned Human Sexual Response (1966) and</s> Human Sexual Inadequacy (1970). Masters and Johnson married in 1971 and by 1978, at the urging of their Board of Directors, agreed to rename their foundation Masters & Johnson Institute believing that the Institution's work might capitalize to a degree on their personal fame. At the height of its operations, the Institute including a multi-disciplinary staff of medical professionals (including specialists from the fields of obstetrics and gynecology, internal medicine and endocrinology, psychiatry, and nursing) as well as behavioral clinicians (including clinical psychologists, social workers, theologians, and pastoral counselors) and a dedicated biochemical and endocrine laboratory. The Masters & Johnson Institute conducted a wide range of workshop and seminar program for health care professionals both in St. Louis and across the country and also ran a full time training program for sex therapists. In addition to the research and educational work it conducted, and its world-renowned therapy program, the Masters & Johnson Institute also spearheaded a drive during the 1970s to establish ethical guidelines for sex educators, therapists, and researchers.

The institute was closed when Masters retired in 1994.

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