is an offshoot of traditional studies of sexology
that focuses on the intersectionality
of sex and gender in relation to the sexual lives of women. Feminist
sexology shares many principles with the overarching field of sexology; in particular, it does not try to prescribe a certain path or “normality” for women's sexuality, but only observe and note the different and varied ways in which women express their sexuality. It is a young field, but one that is growing rapidly.
Many of the topics that feminist sexologists study include (but are not limited to) reproductive rights, sex work, Gay and Transgendered identities, marriage, pornography and gender roles. Much of the work within Feminist Sexology has been done within the last few decades, focusing on the movements of sexual liberation in the 1960s and 1970s, the introduction of an easily handled and effective means of contraception, Lesbian and Transgendered visibility, and the stronger waves of women taking charge of their lives. There has been much debate about whether the sexual revolution was really beneficial to women, if a pro-sex attitude can really be achieved within the context of Western society, but as new voices are lifted, layers of interpretation and knowledge can be gathered.
People of Interest
Anne Fausto-Sterling- Fausto-Sterling, with a background in biology, has written several books on the subject of how gender interacts and is shaped by biology, society and culture. In her book, Sexing the Body, she takes a close look on how the definition of our sex and gender as a species by the society relegates our sexual identities and actions. She also tackles these subjects in her other works, including her books Myths of Gender and Love, Power and Knowledge (which she co-wrote with Hilary Rose).
Gayle Rubin- Rubin, a cultural anthropologist, focuses on many subjects, notably prostitution, pornography, sadomasochism and sexual subcultures. She has been a strong voice in the “pro-sex” arena of sexology, debating strongly the intersection of sexual identity and societal structure in the 1980s, during which it was dubbed the “Feminist Sex Wars.” She also worked with Pat Califia studying the gay leather scene.
Other People of Interest
Collectives of Thought
- Gayle Rubin. "The Traffic in Women: Notes on the 'Political Economy' of Sex", in Rayna Reiter, ed., Toward an Anthropology of Women, New York, Monthly Review Press (1975).
- Gayle Rubin. “Feminist Puritanism”, in Robert A. Nye ed., Sexuality, Oxford, Oxford University Press (1999).
- Anne Fausto-Sterling. Sexing the Body: Gender Politics and the Construction of Sexuality, 1st ed., Basic Books (2000).
- Linda Grant. “What Sexual Revolution?”, in Robert A. Nye ed., Sexuality, Oxford, Oxford University Press (1999).
- Sheila Jeffreys. “The Sexual Revolution Was For Men”, in Robert A. Nye ed., Sexuality, Oxford, Oxford University Press (1999).
- Elizabeth Lapovsky Kennedy and Madeline D. Davis. “Lesbian Generations”, in Robert A. Nye ed., Sexuality, Oxford, Oxford University Press (1999).
- Anne Johnson and Jane Wadsworth. “The Evolution of Sexual Practices”, in Robert A. Nye ed., Sexuality, Oxford, Oxford University Press (1999).
- Anne McClintock. “Female-Friendly Porn”, in Robert A. Nye ed., Sexuality, Oxford, Oxford University Press (1999).
- Judith Halberstam. Female Masculinity. Duke University Press (1998).
- Luce Irigaray. Speculum of the Other Woman. Trans. Gillian C. Gill. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, (1985).
- Jill M.Wood & Others. “ Women's Sexual Desire: A Feminist Critique” Pennsylvania University.
- Naomi B. McCormick. “Feminism and Sexology.”