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The Politics of Sex Research


Udry, J. Richard (1993). The Politics of Sex Research. The Journal of Sex Research, 30(2), 103-110.


The politics of sex research is intimately related to the politics of sexual behavior. The politics of sex is the foundation for the politics of abortion, contraception, and the current politics of family values. As patterns of sexual behavior have been transformed during the past century, opposing groups have been organized to affect government action on behalf of particular sexual moralities. Research on patterns of sexual behavior cannot avoid becoming a part of the politics of sex. Sex research lifts the veil of pluralistic ignorance and tells us what people are doing. Some think we would be better off not knowing. Some people think sex research legitimates nontraditional sexual behavior. Sex researchers often become identified with nontraditional sexual views. In this way, the researchers themselves may become partisans in the politics of sex. The recent political interventions to block large national sex surveys funded by the National Institutes of Health are a natural outgrowth of these political processes. To protect the future of sex research, the scientific research community must be politically organized to defend it.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

The Journal of Sex Research


Udry, J. Richard