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An Insider's View of Sexual Science since Kinsey

ISBN-13: 978-0742546530
ISBN-10: 0742546535
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Editorial Reviews


Ira Reiss is one of the pioneers of modern sex research and one of the few survivors who has personally known almost all the leaders of the field since the time of Kinsey. He has also been a major contributor to sex research itself. In terms of human sexuality Reiss has been there and done that, and his book is a must-read for newcomers in the field. It will also prove invaluable to those who are veterans in the field because of his personal knowledge of the changes that have occurred. I highly recommend it. (Vern L. Bullough, author of Science in the Bedroom: A History of Sex Research)

Ira Reiss has been in the forefront of sex research for most of the time since Kinsey. Even now, well into his retirement, he continues an energetic involvement with a strong commitment to strengthen the field of sexual science. It is great to have his experiences as a sex researcher and his perspectives on the field documented in this book. It should be required reading for anyone aspiring to be a sex researcher. (John Bancroft, Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction)

Ira Reiss is the ideal social scientist to speak of the past half century of sex research, for he bridged the span from pioneers such as Kinsey to the complex situation of the present and is familiar with virtually every important development―many of which were his. He has been a major figure in sex research, having enriched it with his cross-cultural approach, his skill in developing sex research organizations, his unusual commonsense views, and his dislike of fads and bureaucracy. (Paul Gebhard, Indiana University, former director of the Kinsey Institute)

It is rare that any scientist explores and reviews his life work in print. In a highly personal and easily readable conversational tone, deservedly well-respected sociologist Ira Reiss does just that. For the budding scientist, as for the casual reader, this review of thought and action over a professional career provides insight into aspects of the developing field of sexology as they appeared to this involved critical observer. Of particular value for the scholastically minded is how Reiss challenged assumptions and demanded proof of otherwise unquestioned beliefs to strengthen his theory formation. Not only recall memory but regular journal entries, names, and dates are used to flush out the early years in which sociology joined other disciplines like medicine, biology, psychology and public health in forming and enhancing the field we today recognize as sexology. Reiss explores all this and adds a good touch of ethical, philosophical, and political considerations in this lasting contribution. (Milton Diamond, University of Hawaii, Department of Anatomy and Reproductive Biology)

A professional and scientific history, personal memoir, and up-to-the-minute analysis of the field of sexual science by one of the truly great sexologists. Brilliant, wide-ranging, highly original, and completely engaging. I couldn't put it down! The most important book about sexual science in memory. (Frank Farley, Former President, American Psychological Association)

In this capstone volume to Ira Reiss' life's work, he writes an engaging, candid, and informed account of his struggles to advance sexual science in the face of strong and, at times, intransigent opposition. People who sympathize with his vision will find many interesting stories and insights with which to carry the work forward. (Edward O. Laumann, University of Chicago)

This informative and entertaining book is a must read for those who will now contribute to and shape the sexual science landscape. Essential. (CHOICE)

Reiss allows readers a glimpse into the personal and professional experiences that shaped his own views on sexuality….This is a thought-provoking volume, Reiss effectively demonstrates the important contributions that he and other sexual scholars made to national and international policies such as that concerning HIV/AIDS, highlighting the significance of academic research and writing that extends beyond the university. Anyone interested in the history of medicine, science , or the academy as well as sexual studies would fin much of use in this book. (Journal of the History of Sexuality, September 2010)

About the Author

Ira L. Reiss is professor emeritus at the University of Minnesota. He has received several awards for his work and research on human sexuality, including the Kinsey Award from the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, of which he is past president.

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