Virginia Johnson – Pioneer of the Female Orgasm Dies

Holy Hormones Journal: Virginia Johnson was a true pioneer – and along with Dr. William Masters she helped to revolutionize America’s understanding of human sexuality. What I loved reading about this woman’s story is that she was a lay woman. I mean what male doctor or researcher would ever admit that women were capable of having orgasms or that we could even be sexual?  Especially in the 60’s and 70’s. But Masters and Johnson opened the Pandora’s box – and transformed sexuality into a communicative partnership.

William Masters (1915-2001) and Virginia Johnson who took a biological and feminist approach to their studies of the human sexual response, which they performed from 1957 until the early 1990s. Up until this time, women’s sexuality had not been extensively studied or researched.

“Their feminist approach and celebration of women’s sexuality became apparent in these books because they always mentioned the female response prior to the male response, they presented the idea that women should have an authoritative role in treating their own or their partner’s sexual disorders, and they disagreed with the idea that women’s sexuality was a reflection of men’s sexuality (Robinson, 1976).”  ~Psychological History of Women

Along with the accessibility of femcare products, the birth control pill the bra-burning women’s movement was on its way.  And ever since then – there has been a backlash.

virginia johnson 2Virginia Johnson, pioneering sex researcher of Masters and Johnson, dies

By Melissa Gray, CNN
updated 12:02 PM EDT, Sun July 28, 2013

(CNN) — Virginia Johnson, the pioneering sex researcher who was part of the groundbreaking team Masters and Johnson, has died at age 88, her son, Scott Johnson, told CNN on Wednesday.

Johnson died Tuesday morning in St. Louis of natural causes, though she had some complications from heart disease, he said.

Dr. William Masters and Johnson conducted the first modern research on sexuality and the treatment of sexual dysfunction that paved the way for the sexual revolution.

The pair wrote several books, starting with “Human Sexual Response” in 1966, a landmark work discussing the physiology of sex. Their second book, “Human Sexual Inadequacy,” published in 1970, detailed how to treat sexual dysfunction.

“The first research on ‘sexual response’ was unique and surprising,” Dr. Julia Heiman, director of the Kinsey Institute, said in a statement. “No one had, with a fairly large number of men and women in a laboratory setting, tried to measure a number of physical responses (heart rate, lubrication, blood pressure, penile and vaginal size charges) during sexual stimulation and orgasm.

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Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.