The whole exhibition has a large link to human behaviour and the way humans respond to our environment. The current society's view on sex is reflected in the displays. The tiny secretive palm sized sex guides and publications reflect the perception of sex during a time were displays of sex in publications was crudely obscene. Views on female sexuality during the Victorian era were displayed through small paintings of naked women in chastity belts, as to remain faithful to their husbands.

The "massage" vibrators that were created to cure female "hysteria" quite truthfully depicted how people did not believe women craved sex, that they were just there to appease their husband's needs. So much to an extent that a women's behaviour due to a lack of sex was diagnosed as a mental illness!

Later on within the exhibition Playboy magazines are displayed depicting women in an overtly sexual and objectifying manner much contrasting to the secretive parody sex journals sold under the counter during the 1940s. It's interesting to observe how radically views on female sexuality changed after the 1970s where "sexual revolution" started to take place after the second world war.

Leading on to more modern times were second wave feminism started to influence the lives of women and their views on sex. More women are more in control of their own bodies. Issues of the LGBTQ community and feminism are topics of discussions that people are urged to speak about. This is evident in "The Classroom" an interview initiated by Dr. Kinsey talking to a group of young women attending an all women's college on their views on sex and feminism.


"'The Institute of Sexology' is a candid exploration of the most publicly discussed of private acts. Undress your mind and join us to investigate human sexuality at 'The Institute', the first of our longer exhibitions. Featuring over 200 objects spanning art, rare archival material, erotica, film and photography, this is the first UK exhibition to bring together the pioneers of the study of sex.

From Alfred Kinsey's complex questionnaires to the contemporary National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal), 'The Institute of Sexology' investigates how the practice of sex research has shaped our ever-evolving attitudes towards sexual behaviour and identity. Moving between pathologies of perversion and contested ideas of normality, it shows how sex has been observed, analysed and questioned from the late 19th century to the present day.

'The Institute of Sexology' tells the complex and often contradictory story of the study of sex through its pioneers, including Magnus Hirschfeld, Sigmund Freud, Marie Stopes, Alfred Kinsey, Margaret Mead, William Masters and Virginia Johnson, and the team behind Natsal. It highlights the profound effect that the gathering and analysis of information can have in changing attitudes and lifting taboos."


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