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Global History of Sexual Science, 1880-1960$
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Veronika Fuechtner, Douglas E. Haynes, and Ryan M. Jones

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780520293373

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520293373.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

“Tyranny of Orgasm”

“Tyranny of Orgasm”

Global Governance of Sexuality from Bombay, 1930s–1950s

(p.353) Fifteen “Tyranny of Orgasm”
Global History of Sexual Science, 1880-1960

Sanjam Ahluwalia

University of California Press

This chapter examines the global governance of sexuality from the 1930s to the 1950s through a close textual reading of the discussions on female orgasms in the International Journal of Sexology (IJS), issued from Bombay between August 1947 and August 1955, with A. P. Pillay as editor in chief. The IJS featured views by contributors from India, Europe, and the United States about the “authenticity, normality, abnormality, of women's orgasms.” While some participants were sexual scientists, the public, especially women themselves, also shared their opinions in the form of letters and commentary. The chapter considers some of the issues addressed in the IJS in relation to female orgasm, including women's frigidity, pregnancy, female sterility, and miscarriage. It shows that the story of sexology was a global rather than an exclusively modern “Western” scientific enterprise.

Keywords:   sexuality, female orgasm, International Journal of Sexology, A. P. Pillay, India, Europe, frigidity, pregnancy, miscarriage, sexology

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