Virginia E. Johnson
Mary Virginia Eshelman
February 11, 1925
Springfield, Missouri, United States
|Died||July 24, 2013 88) (aged|
St. Louis, Missouri, United States
|Other names||Virginia Gibson|
University of Missouri
Kansas City Conservatory of Music
Washington University in St. Louis
|Known for||Masters and Johnson human sexuality research team|
|Spouse(s)||Two brief early marriages, followed by|
George Johnson (1950–1956)
William H. Masters (1971–1993)
Virginia E. Johnson, born Mary Virginia Eshelman(February 11, 1925 – July 24, 2013), was an American sexologist, best known as a member of the Masters and Johnson sexuality research team. Along with William H. Masters, she pioneered research into the nature of human sexual response and the diagnosis and treatment of sexual dysfunctions and disorders from 1957 until the 1990s.
Virginia Johnson was born in Springfield, Missouri, the daughter of Edna (née Evans) and Hershel "Harry" Eshelman, a farmer.Her paternal grandparents were members of the LDS Church, and her father had Hessian ancestry. When she was five, her family moved to Palo Alto, California, where her father worked as a groundskeeper for a hospital. The family later returned to Missouri and farming. Virginia enrolled at her hometown's Drury College at age 16, but dropped out and spent four years working in the Missouri state insurance office. She eventually returned to school, studying at the University of Missouri and the Kansas City Conservatory of Music, and during World War II began a music career as a band singer. She sang country music for radio station KWTO in Springfield, where she adopted the stage name Virginia Gibson.
Johnson moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where she became a business writer for the St. Louis Daily Record .Eschewing a singing career, Johnson enrolled at Washington University in St. Louis, intending to earn a degree in sociology but never attaining one.
Johnson met William H. Masters in 1957 when he hired her as a research assistant at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Washington University in St. Louis. Masters trained her in medical terminology, therapy, and research during the years she worked as his assistant.Together they developed polygraph-like instruments that were designed to measure sexual arousal in humans. Using these tools, Masters and Johnson observed and measured about 700 men and women who agreed to engage in sexual activity with other participants or masturbate in Masters' laboratory. By observing these subjects, Johnson helped Masters identify the four stages of sexual response. This came to be known as the human sexual response cycle. The cycle consists of the excitement phase, plateau phase, orgasmic phase, and resolution phase. In 1964, Masters and Johnson established their own independent nonprofit research institution in St. Louis called the Reproductive Biology Research Foundation. The center was renamed the Masters and Johnson Institute in 1978.
In April 2009, Thomas Maier reported in Scientific American that Johnson had serious reservations about the Masters and Johnson Institute's program to convert homosexuals into heterosexuals,a program which ran from 1968 to 1977.
By her early 20s,Johnson had married a Missouri politician; the marriage lasted two days. She then married a much older attorney, whom she also divorced. In 1950, Johnson married bandleader George Johnson, with whom she had a boy and a girl, before divorcing in 1956. In 1971, Johnson married William Masters after he divorced his first wife. They were divorced in 1993, though they continued to collaborate professionally. Johnson died in July 2013 "of complications from several illnesses".
Masters, who married again after his divorce from Johnson,died in 2001.
The American cable network Showtime debuted Masters of Sex , a dramatic television series based on the 2009 biography of the same name, on September 29, 2013. The series stars Lizzy Caplan as Johnson.
Heterosexuality is romantic attraction, sexual attraction or sexual behavior between persons of the opposite sex or gender. As a sexual orientation, heterosexuality is "an enduring pattern of emotional, romantic, and/or sexual attractions" to persons of the opposite sex; it "also refers to a person's sense of identity based on those attractions, related behaviors, and membership in a community of others who share those attractions." Someone who is heterosexual is commonly referred to as straight.
The Kinsey Reports are two scholarly books on human sexual behavior, Sexual Behavior in the Human Male (1948) and Sexual Behavior in the Human Female (1953), written by Alfred Kinsey, Wardell Pomeroy, Clyde Martin, and Paul Gebhard and published by W.B. Saunders. The two best-selling books were highly controversial from the start, both within the scientific community and among the general public, due to their previously taboo subject matter as well as questions regarding their scientific validity. Kinsey was a zoologist at Indiana University and the founder of the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction.
A lesbian is a homosexual woman. The word lesbian is also used for women in relation to their sexual identity or sexual behavior, regardless of sexual orientation, or as an adjective to characterize or associate nouns with female homosexuality or same-sex attraction.
Conversion therapy is the pseudoscientific practice of trying to change an individual's sexual orientation from homosexual or bisexual to heterosexual using psychological or spiritual interventions. There is no reliable evidence that sexual orientation can be changed and medical institutions warn that conversion therapy practices are ineffective and potentially harmful. Medical, scientific, and government organizations in the United States and United Kingdom have expressed concern over the validity, efficacy and ethics of conversion therapy. Various jurisdictions around the world have passed laws against conversion therapy.
The Kinsey scale, also called the Heterosexual–Homosexual Rating Scale, is used in research to describe a person's sexual orientation based on one’s experience or response at a given time. The scale typically ranges from 0, meaning exclusively heterosexual, to a 6, meaning exclusively homosexual. In both the male and female volumes of the Kinsey Reports, an additional grade, listed as "X", indicated "no socio-sexual contacts or reactions". The reports were first published in Sexual Behavior in the Human Male (1948) by Alfred Kinsey, Wardell Pomeroy, and others, and were also prominent in the complementary work Sexual Behavior in the Human Female (1953).
The Masters and Johnson research team, composed of William H. Masters and Virginia E. Johnson, pioneered research into the nature of human sexual response and the diagnosis and treatment of sexual disorders and dysfunctions from 1957 until the 1990s.
The field of psychology has extensively studied homosexuality as a human sexual orientation. The American Psychiatric Association listed homosexuality in the DSM-I in 1952, but that classification came under scrutiny in research funded by the National Institute of Mental Health. That research and subsequent studies consistently failed to produce any empirical or scientific basis for regarding homosexuality as anything other than a natural and normal sexual orientation that is a healthy and positive expression of human sexuality. As a result of this scientific research, the American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from the DSM-III in 1973. Upon a thorough review of the scientific data, the American Psychological Association followed in 1975 and also called on all mental health professionals to take the lead in "removing the stigma of mental illness that has long been associated" with homosexuality. In 1993, the National Association of Social Workers adopted the same position as the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association, in recognition of scientific evidence. The World Health Organization, which listed homosexuality in the ICD-9 in 1977, removed homosexuality from the ICD-10 which was endorsed by the 43rd World Health Assembly on 17 May 1990.
Sexual identity is how one thinks of oneself in terms of to whom one is romantically or sexually attracted. Sexual identity may also refer to sexual orientation identity, which is when people identify or dis-identify with a sexual orientation or choose not to identify with a sexual orientation. Sexual identity and sexual behavior are closely related to sexual orientation, but they are distinguished, with identity referring to an individual's conception of themselves, behavior referring to actual sexual acts performed by the individual, and sexual orientation referring to romantic or sexual attractions toward persons of the opposite sex or gender, the same sex or gender, to both sexes or more than one gender, or to no one.
The human sexual response cycle is a four-stage model of physiological responses to sexual stimulation, which, in order of their occurrence, are the excitement-, plateau-, orgasmic-, and resolution phases. This physiological response model was first formulated by William H. Masters and Virginia E. Johnson, in their 1966 book Human Sexual Response. Since then, other human sexual response models have been formulated.
William Howell Masters was an American gynecologist, best known as the senior member of the Masters and Johnson sexuality research team. Along with his partner Virginia E. Johnson, he pioneered research into the nature of human sexual response and the diagnosis and treatment of sexual dysfunctions and disorders from 1957 until the 1990s.
Elizabeth Anne Caplan is an American actress and model. Her first acting role was on the cult television series Freaks and Geeks (1999–2000). She received wider recognition with roles in the films Mean Girls (2004) and Cloverfield (2008), the latter of which earned her a nomination for the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress. Caplan has also starred on the TV shows Related (2005–2006), The Class (2006–2007), and Party Down (2009–2010). From 2013 to 2016, she played Virginia E. Johnson on the Showtime series Masters of Sex, a role for which she won a Primetime Emmy, Satellite, and Critics' Choice Award nominations. In 2019, Caplan portrayed Annie Wilkes in the Hulu anthology series Castle Rock.
The Masters and Johnson Institute (1964–1994) was the clinical and research foundation of sexologist duo Masters and Johnson. Located in Saint Louis, Missouri, the institute was established to study human sexuality with particular emphasis on the anatomy and physiology of human sexual response and the diagnosis and treatment of sexual dysfunctions.
Homosexuality is romantic attraction, sexual attraction, or sexual behavior between members of the same sex or gender. As a sexual orientation, homosexuality is "an enduring pattern of emotional, romantic, and/or sexual attractions" to people of the same sex. It "also refers to a person's sense of identity based on those attractions, related behaviors, and membership in a community of others who share those attractions."
Human sexuality is the way people experience and express themselves sexually. This involves biological, erotic, physical, emotional, social, or spiritual feelings and behaviors. Because it is a broad term, which has varied over time, it lacks a precise definition. The biological and physical aspects of sexuality largely concern the human reproductive functions, including the human sexual response cycle. Someone's sexual orientation is their pattern of sexual interest in the opposite or same sex. Physical and emotional aspects of sexuality include bonds between individuals that are expressed through profound feelings or physical manifestations of love, trust, and care. Social aspects deal with the effects of human society on one's sexuality, while spirituality concerns an individual's spiritual connection with others. Sexuality also affects and is affected by cultural, political, legal, philosophical, moral, ethical, and religious aspects of life.
The relationship between the environment and sexual orientation is a subject of research. In the study of sexual orientation, some researchers distinguish environmental influences from hormonal influences, while other researchers include biological influences such as prenatal hormones as part of environmental influences.
Bisexuality is romantic attraction, sexual attraction, or sexual behavior toward both males and females, or to more than one sex or gender. It may also be defined as romantic or sexual attraction to people of any sex or gender identity, which is also known as pansexuality.
Robert C. Kolodny is an author and specialist in human sexuality and related topics.
Helen Singer Kaplan was an Austrian-American sex therapist and the founder of the first clinic in the United States for sexual disorders established at a medical school. The New York Times described Kaplan as someone who was "considered a leader among scientific-oriented sex therapists. She was noted for her efforts to combine some of the insights and techniques of psychoanalysis with behavioral methods." She was also dubbed the "Sex Queen" because of her role as a pioneer in sex therapy during the sexual revolution in 1960s America, and because of her advocacy of the idea that people should enjoy sexual activity as much as possible, as opposed to seeing it as something dirty or harmful. The main purpose of her dissertation is to evaluate the psychosexual dysfunctions because these syndromes are among the most prevalent, worrying and distressing medical complaints of modern times.
In Medieval Europe, attitudes toward homosexuality varied by era and region. Generally, by at least the twelfth century, homosexuality was considered sodomy and was punishable by death. Before the Medieval period early Romans tolerated alternative sexual practices, such as masturbation in males and females and homosexuality. Despite persecution, records of homosexual relationships during the Medieval period did exist. This persecution reached its height during the Medieval Inquisitions, when the sects of Cathars and Waldensians were accused of fornication and sodomy, alongside accusations of satanism. In 1307, accusations of sodomy and homosexuality were major charges leveled during the Trial of the Knights Templar.
"Pilot" is the first episode of the first season of the American period drama television series Masters of Sex. It originally aired on September 29, 2013 in the United States on Showtime. The episode was written by series creator Michelle Ashford and directed by John Madden. The series is based on Thomas Maier's biography Masters of Sex: The Life and Times of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, the Couple Who Taught America How to Love.
Dr. William H. Masters, who with his co-researcher, Virginia E. Johnson, revolutionized the way sex is studied, taught and enjoyed in America, died Friday at a hospice in Tucson. He was 85 and had lived in retirement since 1994, first in St. Louis and then in Tucson. He suffered complications from Parkinson's disease, said his wife, Geraldine Baker Oliver Masters.