(American Culture and Institutions Through Literature, 1960-1969)

Masters and Johnson’s findings enabled medical and therapeutic professionals to better treat sexual dysfunctions and helped the general public have open discussions about sex by providing factual information that made these conversations more socially acceptable. In addition, they fostered an entire generation of self-help books, videos, and seminars by making sex therapy a legitimate mode of therapy.

Masters and Johnson also probably contributed to the sexual experimentation of the late 1960’s and the subsequent decade by focusing their studies on the mechanics of sex rather than its social aspects. The 1960’s were a time of unheralded revolution and experimentation during which traditional sexual mores were first questioned and then challenged. However, much of the information regarding interpersonal and sexual relationships was flawed. Kinsey’s pioneering work concerning the attitudes of adult Americans toward sex and sexuality in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s reflected the dominant beliefs and cultural standards that had been widely held for decades.

Related Works

(American Culture and Institutions Through Literature, 1960-1969)

Subsequent research conducted by Masters and Johnson was published as Human Sexual Inadequacy (1970) and Masters and Johnson on Sex and Human Loving (1986). The public’s heightened interest in human sexuality is reflected in the popularity of works such as Alex Comfort’s The Joy of Sex (1974).

Additional Information

(American Culture and Institutions Through Literature, 1960-1969)

An Analysis of “Human Sexual Response” (1966), edited by Ruth Brecher and Edward Brecher, provides a look at the Masters and Johnson work. The effect of their work on sex research and study is described in Paul Robinson’s The Modernization of Sex: Havelock Ellis, Alfred Kinsey, William Masters, and Virginia Johnson (1988).