In summer 2015 Dr Jana Funke, our project director, took part in a discussion at the Southbank, London with four acclaimed writers – Malika Booker, Kei Miller, Warsan Shire and Rachel Mars – about how to make sense of sex.
The writers presented work which illustrates how radically different sex is for different people and invites us to consider sexuality from different perspectives, sometimes confronting cultural and religious taboos.
Jana discussed how literature contributes to our understanding of sexuality alongside scientific and medical research. The early pioneers of sexology research reached out beyond medical disciplines to understand our sexuality and in turn literary writers used ideas from science and medicine. She argued that this multi-disciplinary approach is important for contemporary research. Alongside brain scans, measuring hormone levels and genetics, literature helps us understand other dimensions of sex, the psychological, the social and the emotional.
This was part of the Sexology Season at Wellcome Collection.