From the “hygiene films” of the 1920s to porn dressed up as marital guides in the 1950s, it’s been hard to integrate the taboo nature of sexuality with legitimate scientific research. Only in the 1970s—following pioneering work by the likes of Kinsey and Hite—could genuine research begin without having to hide in the shadows.
Former Salon.com columnist Mary Roach has explored odd corners of the scientific world previously in works like Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers and Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife. In her latest book, Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex, Roach meticulously documents the breakthroughs—both in research and in attitudes—that allowed the physiology of sex to become a legitimate field of inquiry. Who are the men and women who have made such studies their life’s work, and what preconceptions did they have to fight along the way? Join the author this week to find out—and you don’t have to wear a trenchcoat and dark glasses.
Mary Roach: Bonk @ Main Library Auditorium, 210 E. 400 South, 801- 524-8200, Thursday, April 16, 7 p.m. SamWellers.com