11 February 2019

11th February 1925 - Virginia Johnson born


Virginia Johnson, was born on 11th February 1925, and was the female half of the Masters and Johnson scientific research duo that in the 1960s became famous for their research into human sexuality, which they studied in the laboratory using direct observation of about 700 men and women.

Their findings, first published in 1966 in the best-selling book 'Human Sexual Response' and later explored in volumes such as 'Human Sexual Inadequacy' (1970), excited a generation in the throes of the sexual revolution.

Masters was a gynaecologist who risked his reputation in setting up the study. He needed a woman to help lead the study and chose Johnson, a former country singer and divorced mother, who grew up on a Missouri farm.

He had the scientific rigour, and she had a more warm open manner that worked well on TV and in the media.

Using what they had learned about the sexual response cycle, Masters and Johnson began offering therapy designed to help couples affected by sexual dysfunction. Instead of long-term psychoanalytical therapy, they provided a more practical course to help people know their own triggers, blocks and preferences, and so the field of sex therapy was born.

Thankyou to Today in the History of Psychology for the date.

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