Tracy Rogers


The author traces the history of the study of sexuality as a science. This paper acknowledges that social constructions both define and limit the type of research conducted on issues of sex and sexuality, as well as acceptable methodologies and, since there is a 'scientific' framework imposed on sexuality, one cannot address questions about research design and paradigms without first identifying and elucidating social constructions of sexuality. Masturbation has been chosen as a focus for this discussion since its social construction has undergone a complete reversal over the past two hundred years. It therefore provides an excellent example of the manner in which social constructions develop and are modified in response to wider social forces. [editor's abstract]