Sexology is the scientific study of human sexuality, including human sexual interests, behavior, and function. It is specifically a field of the research-based sciences; as such, sexology is distinct from the more general study of sexuality which may or may not incorporate explicitly scientific research methods. 
In modern sexology, researchers apply tools from several academic fields, including biology, medicine, psychology, statistics, epidemiology, sociology, anthropology, and criminology. Sexology studies sexual development and the development of sexual relationships as well as the mechanics of sexual intercourse. It also documents the sexualities of special groups, such as the disabled, child development, adolescents, and the elderly. Sexologists study sexual dysfunctions, disorders, and variations, including such widely varying topics as erectile dysfunction, pedophilia, and sexual orientation.
Sexological findings, in spite of being scientifically-based, can still become controversial when they contradict "mainstream", religious, or political beliefs in a given society.
Sexology as it exists today, as a specific research-based scientific field, is relatively new. While there are works dedicated towards sex in antiquity, the scientific study of sexual behavior in human beings began in the 19th century. Shifts in Europe's national borders at that time brought into conflict laws that were sexually liberal and laws that criminalized behaviors such as homosexual activity.
German society, under the sexually liberal Napoleonic code, organized and resisted the anti-sexual cultural influences. The momentum from those groups led them to coordinate sex research across traditional academic disciplines, bringing Germany to the leadership of sexology.
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