Research on the mons veneris

By Anne SchaafMisch Pautsch Switch to German for original article

Sex and history? To some, the most beautiful pastime and what feels like the most boring school subject in the world may seem incompatible. But if you join historians on their search for the clitoris, it quickly becomes clear that this research is anything but trivial.

Where does one dig if one wants to write sexual history based on finds? There are numerous answers to this question, but one thing is for sure: Not in the ground. A researcher would not get very far looking for the clitoris and other delightful and stimulating topics there. This specific field of research is by no means hermetically sealed off; it unites, among others, the field of body history, gender and educational research as well as social and political history. A multi-perspective and interdisciplinary approach are indispensable. In order to be able to dedicate oneself to those scholars who produce research results for the Luxembourg context, we must take a step back in time and also look beyond the national borders.

An explosive subject

While Alfred Kinsey's research team had already published a report on the sexuality of male Americans in 1947, in 1953 they detonated the so-called "K-bomb"1 . The term refers to the publication date of the second report, which focused on the sexuality of female Americans. On the same day, the world public learned both about how many American women on average masturbated and already had same-sex experiences, and about the Soviet Union having a hydrogen bomb. Two different pieces of information with comparable explosive power. Especially since Kinsey's research showed that the scientific findings were fundamentally different from the prevailing sexual morality and that this discrepancy could no longer be ignored.

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"Identity is not static"