The Machines of Sex Research describes how researchers worldwide integrated technology into studies of human sexuality in the postwar era. The machines they invented made new ways of seeing bodies possible. Some researchers who studied men used machines like penile strain gauges to police “deviant” male sexuality; others used less painful devices like penis-cameras to study women’s sexual responses and map the physiology of their arousal and orgasm. While researchers used the findings from their technological innovations to propose their own views of how people should view their bodies and should manage their sexual lives, their readers interpreted their findings to enact their own visions of sexuality. Drucker shows how the use of machines in sex research provided some of the intellectual underpinnings of the sexual revolution and the women’s and gay rights movements, and in turn how the sex research community developed new machines for investigations that would enhance sexual happiness rather than constrict it. The Machines of Sex Research is a key read for those interested in the intersections between human sexuality, technology, and twentieth-century social movements. Describes the little-known history of the machines of human sex research in the postwar era Shows how researchers worldwide invented and used machines to study human sexuality and the body in new ways, and how they used and improved each other's designs Relates the relationship between the machines of sex research to Cold War sexualities and gender and sexual liberation movements.
Springer Netherlands; July 2013
- ISBN 9789400770645
- Read online, or download in secure PDF format
- Title: The Machines of Sex Research
- Author: Donna J. Drucker
In The Press
“I am both a psychologist and a historian of psychology, and I found that The Machines of Sex Research enriched my understanding both of sexual science and of its history. … book draws mostly on published scientific literature, it would provide useful avenues for enthusiastic student research if used in a teaching context. … the terrain traversed by Drucker in this accessible, informative book will fascinate readers, and it’s a territory that certainly merits the attention she has given it.” (Peter Hegarty, ISIS, Vol. 107 (2), June, 2016)