Sex Ed

Happy K-Day! Celebrating 63 Years Of Scientific Research On Women’s Sexuality

August 19, 2016 by Justin Lehmiller


Sixty-three years ago this week (August 20, 1953), the media first reported on some of the major findings from Alfred Kinsey’s classic book Sexual Behavior in the Human Female. In case you aren’t familiar, this was the first book of its kind to truly explore women’s sexual attitudes and behaviors from a scientific perspective.

Kinsey’s book sent shockwaves around the world and was quickly dubbed “obscene” by many; however, we now look back upon it as one of the most important publications ever on human sexuality. Kinsey’s research was groundbreaking because it debunked numerous myths and misconceptions about women, revealing that they are far more sexual than most people had previously assumed.

Among other things, Kinsey found that the women he surveyed were masturbating, having sex outside of marriage, and engaging in same-sex sexual behavior. This landmark study showed the world that men aren’t the only ones who have sexual needs and desires. Women definitely have them, too, and they’re no less important to study than are men’s.

Due to Kinsey’s willingness to stand up to the social norms and moral values of his time and publish his controversial study, female sexuality–not to mention the study of sex more generally–eventually came to be seen as a worthwhile area of scientific inquiry. In order to mark this important milestone in the history of sex research (“K-Day,” as some have nicknamed it), let’s look back at some of the more interesting sex studies on women that have emerged in the last few decades precisely because Kinsey and his research associates paved the way. Happy K-Day!

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Image Source: Wikimedia Commons via Proyecto Historiador 2

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Written by
Dr. Justin Lehmiller
Founder & Owner of Sex and Psychology

Dr. Justin Lehmiller is a social psychologist and Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute. He runs the Sex and Psychology blog and podcast and is author of the popular book Tell Me What You Want. Dr. Lehmiller is an award-winning educator, and a prolific researcher who has published more than 50 academic works.

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