This page was updated on: 04-12-05JR


Introduction


The Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality is committed to the development of sexology. Sexology is the science of sexual behavior in all of its aspects. By definition, a sexologist is a person with expert knowledge in sexual science who devotes him/herself to its objective observations which are logically consistent.

Although attempts at a rational and systematic investigation of sex have a long history dating back at least to the ancient Greeks, sexology in the modern, specific sense is usually said to be about one hundred years old. It grew out of 19th century historical, sociological economic, anthropological, and especially medical research (Kaan, Westphal, Mantegazza, Krafft-Ebbing, Schrenck-Notzing, Havelock Ellis), but was developed and formally established in our century by Iwan Bloch as a distinct new science under the name Sexualwissenschaft (i.e., sexual science or sexology).

Bloch attempted for the first time to "do justice to all of these widely divergent points of view" and to offer a "comprehensive treatise on the whole of sexual life," presenting the results "from a centralized standpoint." This new centralized standpoint was that of sexology.

The efforts of several of Bloch's contemporaries (Freud, Forel, Rohleder, Eulenburg, Moll, Steinach, Max Marcuse and others) soon helped to consolidate and further advance sexological research to the point where the first institute for Sexology could be established in Berlin by Magnus Hirschfeld. Such research then also began to be discussed in international sexological congresses, while sexological journals, textbooks and encyclopedias started to assemble a great deal of relevant information from a wide variety of sources.

However, with the rise of fascism in Europe, all serious sexological work came to an end. The Nazis destroyed Hirschfeld's Institute and burned most sexological literature. This systematic destruction was later carried into all European countries that came under Nazi domination. As a result, much sexological research was lost. Indeed, the generation after World War II in Europe and America has generally remained unaware of the long, honorable and important sexological tradition.

In the United States, there had been scattered sex research between 1915 and 1940, but around the middle of our century, sexology experienced a renaissance through the studies of Alfred C. Kinsey and his associates. Since then, many other researchers all over the world have continued their work and tried to reclaim the lost sexological heritage. Departments of sexology have been established at several European universities as well as in Canada. In the United States, the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality has become the world's first graduate school to award professional and academic degrees in sexology.

There is a woeful lack of professionals who are prepared in the study of human sexuality. It is the Institute's intention to rectify this situation by training qualified sexologists. By the end of 2004, there will be only three adequate sexological and erotological libraries in the world. Therefore, the Institute through its certificate programs, provides a basic library to each matriculated student. Specialty materials are also available to students as they build their personal resource libraries.