From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Modern sexology is a multidisciplinary field which uses the techniques of fields including biology, medicine, psychology, statistics, epidemiology, pedagogics, sociology, anthropology, and sometimes criminology to bear on its subject. It studies human sexual development and the development of sexual relationships as well as the mechanics of sexual intercourse and sexual malfunction. It also documents the sexuality of special groups, such as handicapped, children, and elderly, and studies sexual pathologies such as sex addiction and child sexual abuse.
Note that sexology is considered descriptive, not prescriptive: it attempts to document reality, not to prescribe what behavior is suitable, ethical, or moral. Sexology has often been the subject of controversy between supporters of sexology, those who believe that sexology pries into matters held sacrosanct, and those who philosophically object to its claims of objectivity and empiricism.
Interdisciplinary relations and limits
Sexology, as currently defined, is largely a 20th and 21st century phenomenon.
Sexology relates to a number of other fields of study:
- several fields of medicine, including andrology, gynaecology, and the anatomy of the sex organs
- the psychology, sociology, and anthropology of sexual behavior
- neuroscience can be used to study many basic sexual reflexes, and is increasingly relevant to studying more complex sexual preferences and behaviors
- psychiatry studies paraphilia, as well as disorders of sexual behavior when they impact on clinical conditions or reach a point where they become dysfunctional or sources of psychological difficulty.
- many aspects of sexual behavior are or have been regulated by law in various jurisdictions, and various classes of sexual offences are studied by criminology
- biology (general) and ethology (behavioral) study the sexual behavior of other animals, which can be compared with human sexual behavior
- the techniques of evolutionary biology can be brought to bear on the causes of sexual behavior
- the epidemiology of sexually transmitted diseases
- List of sexology topics
- List of sexology organizations
- Gender and sexuality studies
- Philosophy of sex
- Sex education
- Lesbian utopia
- Sexological testing
- Erogenous zone
- Edward M. Brecher