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Masters' and Johnson's Human Sexual Response

Masters' and Johnson's Human Sexual Response is a report on the authors' long-term study of the anatomy and physiology of human sexual response conducted during the years 1954-66. The authors' preface briefly addresses the climate of fear and suspicion that had surrounded all previous attempts at such investigation and deplores the lack of a supportive response from the biological or psychological science communities for projects of this type. Their study, limited in this volume to the clinical examination of the nature of sexual response, is presented as "a first step toward an open-door policy" and future research based in "investigative objectivity" (vii). It follows from the initial investigations of sexual behavior conducted by Kinsey from 1938 to 1952 which, as the authors note, did include questions of physiology and anatomy. In order to achieve a comprehensive understanding of human sexuality, however, the physical reactions of males and females "responding to effective sexual stimulation" have to be clear and the reasons for their behavior in response to the stimulation have to be discovered (4). Masters' and Johnson's study was designed to establish a solid base of scientific information from which answers to these questions could be determined. Their entire project was oriented toward the provision of adequate data from which therapists could begin to formulate approaches to the treatment of human sexual inadequacy.

The study was conducted in various stages that were dependent on the availability of volunteers. The researchers developed an intake interview but, prior to beginning the research proper, their first source was a group of prostitutes (118 F, 27 M) from which a small group was selected for anatomic and physiologic study. This group took part in preliminary trials in which the researchers devised and established "the investigative techniques subsequently employed" (11). The data for this specialized po...

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Masters' and Johnson's Human Sexual Response. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 06:54, February 23, 2017, from