Sexual health and sexual behavior

Bartos, Sebastian E. (2020). Sexual health and sexual behavior. In: Braddick, Oliver ed. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Psychology. Oxford University Press.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780190236557.013.704

Abstract

Both academic and lay definitions of sex vary. However, definitions generally gravitate around reproduction and experience of pleasure. Some theoretical directions, such as psychoanalysis and evolutionary psychology, have positioned sexuality at the center of psychological phenomena. Much research has also linked sex to health and disease. On the one hand, certain sexual thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and identities have been described as pathological. Over time, some of these have been accepted as normal (esp. homosexuality), while other forms of pathology have also been proposed (e.g., ?porn addiction?). On the other hand, some aspects of sexuality are being researched due to their relevance to public health (e.g., sex education) or to counseling (e.g., assisted reproduction). Sex research has always been controversial, paradoxically receiving both positive attention and disdain. These contradictory social forces have arguably affected both the content and the scientific quality of sex research.

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