History of Sex Surveys: Human Sexual Response Part 3 Facts and Fallacy

About the sex survey conducted by Dr. Masters and Johnson in the 1950s on Human Sexual Response, findings on psychology physiology and sex, facts and fallacy.

Survey: HUMAN SEXUAL RESPONSE

FALLACY: Infertility is usually the woman's fault.

FACT: "A knowledge of when to have intercourse, how to have intercourse, and how often to have intercourse could solve one out of every 8 infertility problems in this country. At least 60% of the difficulty, when the problem is unilateral, has been on the male side. It makes one think about the queens in history who were beheaded because they produced no heir to the throne." (W. Masters in a Playboy interview.)

FALLACY: Frequency of performance is likely to induce pregnancy.

FACT: It takes the average male 30 to 40 hours after an ejaculation to return the sperm production and seminal-fluid volume to his normal range. So if his performance during his wife's fertile period is too frequent, she is less likely to become pregnant.

FALLACY: Sexual intercourse is inadvisable during the last 3 months of pregnancy.

FACT: There is no reason not to continue sexual activity up to the very terminal states of pregnancy, providing the female partner has no pain and providing the membranes aren't ruptured and that there is no postcoital bleeding.

FALLACY: A small penis is less effective than a large one.

FACT: The difference in average erective size is much less than when the penis is flaccid. In addition, the female has the great facility of accommodating the penis regardless of size; the vagina involuntarily expands to the size sufficient for containment.

FALLACY: The male orgasm is synonymous with ejaculation.

FACT: The male orgasm is a 2-stage process. The 1st stage, identified as "a sensation of ejaculatory inevitability," lasts 2-4 seconds; the 2nd part is ejaculation. (The female orgasm, by contrast, is a one-stage process.)

FALLACY: Circumcision increases sexual responsiveness in the male.

FACT: Neurological testing revealed no clinically significant difference in sensitivity between the circumcised and uncircumcised.

FALLACY: Most impotence in the male is physiologically caused.

FACT: The chief cause of male impotence is fear of nonperformance, and can be overcome "if the male realizes that a failure because of alcohol--or the wrong person, the wrong place, or what have you--is not meaningful in terms of his masculinity, that it is not a signal for continued incapacity."

FALLACY: Basic physiological sexual responses are different in men and women.

FACT: There is no significant difference. Both men and women experienced the same response cycle in these 4 phase: excitement; plateau; orgasm; and resolution.

FALLACY: Old age and sex are mutually exclusive.

FACT: If a human male or female is in good health and has an interested partner, he or she can maintain effective sexual function into the 80-year age group.

FALLACY: Physicians are experts on the subject of sexual response.

FACT: Medical schools did not offer courses in sexual response until as recently as 1964, and then only a few schools did so. Consequently, even today many physicians share the common misconceptions, taboos, and fallacies of the general public.

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