Sexual health and sexual behavior

Sebastian E. Bartoş

Research output: Contribution to Book/ReportEntry for Dictionary/Encyclopediapeer-review


Both academic and lay definitions of sex vary. However, definitions generally gravitate around reproduction and experience of pleasure. Some theoretical directions, such as psychoanalysis and evolutionary psychology, have positioned sexuality at the center of psychological phenomena. Much research has also linked sex to health and disease. On the one hand, certain sexual thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and identities have been described as pathological. Over time, some of these have been accepted as normal (esp. homosexuality), while other forms of pathology have also been proposed (e.g., “porn addiction”). On the other hand, some aspects of sexuality are being researched due to their relevance to public health (e.g., sex education) or to counseling (e.g., assisted reproduction). Sex research has always been controversial, paradoxically receiving both positive attention and disdain. These contradictory social forces have arguably affected both the content and the scientific quality of sex research.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOxford Research Encyclopedia of Psychology
EditorsOliver Braddick
PublisherOxford University Press
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Jun 2020

Publication series

NameOxford Research Encyclopedia of Psychology


  • Sexual health
  • Sexual behavior
  • LGBT
  • Intersex
  • Pornography
  • Sexual pathology
  • Minority stress
  • Sex education


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