Psychology and sex  

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

Sexuality in humans generates profound emotional and psychological responses.

Psychological studies of sexuality focus on psychological influences that affect sexual behavior and experiences. Early psychological analyses were carried out by Sigmund Freud, who believed in a psychoanalytic approach. He also conjectured the concepts of erogenous zones, psychosexual development, and the Oedipus complex, among others.

Behavior theorists such as John B. Watson and B. F. Skinner examine the actions and consequences and their ramifications. These theorists would, for example, study a child who is punished for sexual exploration and see if they grow up to associate negative feelings with sex in general.

Gender identity is a person's own sense of identification as female, male, both, neither, or somewhere in between. The social construction of gender has been discussed by a wide variety of scholars, Judith Butler notable among them. Recent contributions consider the influence of feminist theory and courtship research.

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Havelock Ellis

According to Havelock Ellis in My Life, his friends were much amused at his being considered an expert on sex, what with the fact that he suffered from impotence until the age of 60, when he discovered that he was able to become aroused by the sight of a woman urinating. Ellis named the interest in urination "Undinism" but it is now more commonly called Urolagnia.

His book Sexual Inversion, the first English medical text book on homosexuality, co-authored with John Addington Symonds, described the sexual relations of homosexual men and boys, something that Ellis did not consider to be a disease, immoral, or a crime. The work assumes that same-sex love transcended age-taboos as well as gender-taboos, as seven of the twenty-one examples are of intergenerational relationships. A bookseller was prosecuted in 1897 for stocking Ellis' book. Although the term homosexual itself is attributed to Ellis, he wrote in 1897, “‘homosexual’ is a barbarously hybrid word, and I claim no responsibility for it,” the hybridity in question being the word's mix of Greek and Latin roots. Other psychologically important concepts developed by Ellis include autoerotism and narcissism, both of which were later taken up by Sigmund Freud.

Psychosexual development

The concept of psychosexual development, as envisioned by Sigmund Freud at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century, is a central element in the theory of psychology. It consists of five separate phases: oral, anal, phallic, latency, and genital. In the development of his theories, Freud's main concern was with sexual desire, defined in terms of formative drives, instincts and appetites that result in the formation of an adult personality.

Terminology associated with Freud's stages of psychosexual development has found wide, popular usage in a variety of registers and fields of activity (see, Freud and Popular Culture).

Works on psychology and sex

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Psychology and sex" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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