Encyclopedia of Sex and Sexuality

Understanding Biology, Psychology, and Culture

by Heather L. Armstrong, Editor


While researchers like Alfred Kinsey laid a foundation of knowledge about modern human sexual behavior, current perspectives on sex and sexuality continue to evolve along with our society.

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Cover image for Encyclopedia of Sex and Sexuality

November 2020


Pages 889
Volumes 2
Size 7x10
Topics Psychology/Human Sexuality
  Health & Wellness/Love, Sex, and Sexuality
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Providing a comprehensive framework for the broad subject of human sexuality, this two-volume set offers a context of historical development, scientific discovery, and sociopolitical and sociocultural movements.

The broad topics of sex—encompassing subjects as varied as sexuality, sexual and gender identity, abortion, and crimes such as sexual assault—are among the most important and controversial in American society today. The two-volume encyclopedic set Encyclopedia of Sex and Sexuality: Understanding Biology, Psychology, and Culture provides readers with more than 450 entries on the subject, offering a comprehensive overview of major sexuality issues in American and global culture.

Themes that run throughout the volumes include sexual health and reproduction; sexual identity and orientation; sexual behaviors and expression; the history of sex and sexology; and sex and society. Entries cover a breadth of subjects, such as the major contributors to the field of sexology; the biological, psychological, and cultural dimensions of sex and sexuality; and how the modern-day political climate and the government plays a major role in determining attitudes and beliefs about sex. Written in clear, jargon-free language, this set is ideal for high school and undergraduate students as well as general readers.


  • Explores the important yet often controversial nature of human sexuality through a carefully curated selection of entries that provide clear yet sensitive coverage of the topic
  • Includes a thorough treatment of the understanding of sexual behaviors in individuals and relationships that contextualizes models of sexuality related to contemporary lifestyles
  • Defines common terms related to sexual and gender identity as well as their application to the modern-day understanding of sexual behavior
  • Further readings sections at the end of each entry guide readers toward additional information
Author Info

Dr. Heather Armstrong is lecturer (assistant professor) in sexual health at the University of Southampton. Her research focuses on improving sexual health and well-being, especially for sexual and gender minority folks. She has a PhD in Experimental Psychology from the University of Ottawa and completed postdoctoral fellowships at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the University of British Columbia at the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS.

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Sexually Transmitted Diseases cover imageSex and Gender cover imageHooking Up cover image

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