Greeks to 1900
*Early knowledge gained from watching animals
*400 B.C. Aristotle, "History of Animals, Parts of Animals, and Generation of Animals,"
-foundation of western sexology
-developed classification system: reproduction by sexual, asexual, and spontaneous generation
*During this period, believed male contributed the seed, the woman brought to fruition.
*Plato - wandering uterus causes hysteria in women
-discounted wandering uterus theory
-female anatomy still misunderstood
*1653 William Harvey: discovered importance of female egg to reproduction by studying animals
*1678 Anton van Leeuwenhoek
-used early microscope to identify sperm as "seed"
-compared healthy/unhealthy men
-sperm survived longer in warm environment
-coined term: "spermatozoa"
-reasserted idea of male supremacy in reproduction
*1873 Eduard van Beneden: fertilization the result of two half sets of chromosomes joining to form full set
*354-430 St. Augustine - ideal Christian life one of celibacy
*1668-1738 Dutch, Hermann Boehaave, "Institutiones Medicae" -
"rash expenditure of semen brought on a lassitude, a feebleness, a weakening of motion, fits, wasting, dryness, fevers, aching of the cerebral membranes, obscuring of the senses, and above all the eyes, a decay of the spinal chord, a fatuity, and other like evils."
*all non-procreative sex "dangerous" - fornication better than masturbation
*Doctors expected to give medical advice about sexuality
-infertility not understood
-sexual activity potentially dangerous
*Protestants & Puritans: sex within marriage a source of pleasure
*One physician published case history:
-"the husband had the fatal habit of applying the tongue and lips to his wife's genitals to provoke in her venereal orgasm."
-believed woman's life may be in danger
-husband may develop cancer of the tongue
*Women must be careful not to enjoy sex
-women expected to be maternal, not sexual
-diseased women had "excessive animal passion"
*Elizabeth Osgood Goodrich Willard
-coined term "sexology"
-"humankind must stop the waste of energy...