First Liberal Sexologist in Modern Times

Most writers on sex are liberals these days. There can be little doubt that progressive views are fashionable; they are also, some of us may believe, desirable. At the moment it is relatively easy to be liberal and progressive, a situation which we largely owe to the early progressive writers in the field of sex. Among these Havelock Ellis was perhaps the most significant. In Brecher’s nice phrase Havelock Ellis (18591939) was “the first of the Yea-Sayers.” He contributed vastly to an enlargement of man’s view of human sexuality; and he brought to all his work a humanistic sympathy and tolerance which have informed psychosexual therapy and research ever since. Healer and educator, writer and scholar, Havelock Ellis recorded the results of his studies in a multi-volume work, “Studies in the Psychology of Sex”, which he published and periodically revised in the years between 1896 and 1928. This monumental work was first published in America, English prudery being too vigorous to allow the book to be published here!

WSR Writer

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