„Sexology” in Companion to Sexuality Studies edited by Nancy A. Naples.
This chapter traces the development of sexology since its foundation in the second part of the nineteenth century through today. It also gives an overview of social scientific and historical research on sexology. It stresses the transnational character of sexology and draws on examples from multiple cultural contexts, taking into consideration various aspects of the development of sexology. Firstly, in examining the relation between sexology and the state, it asks if sexology is a tool in the hands of power to manage its subjects, or if it could serve as a space of resistance against the state. Secondly, it traces the connection between sexology and the process of constructing the other, especially the racial other in the colonial context. Thirdly, it looks at the production of sexological knowledge and points to the agency of sexological patients in this process. Next, in showing ambivalence around sexology and progress, it asks if sexology brings sexual liberation, or if it is rather a conservative force. The chapter concludes with a discussion about new developments in sexology, namely the invention of Viagra and its consequences.