Many attribute the major developments within the field of human sexuality almost completely to men. There have been, however, quite a few women who have made their marks on history as trailblazers when it comes to the research and expression of sexuality. As a sexpert, my focus is on heroines in the feld of human sexuality. I want to spotlight on one woman who has done so much to make positive changes within his arena. She is well known throughout media and the field of sexuality and has been credited for ushering in a new aged, freer style of communicating about sex. That’s right! I’m talking about the Dr. Ruth Westheimer, better known simply as "Dr. Ruth", the sex therapist who rose to fame as a pop culture icon in the '80s and is still very relevant today.
Image: © V. Jay Windsor/ Tampa Bay Times/ ZUMAPress
Dr. Ruth has an interesting personal history. She was born in Germany as the only child of Orthodox Jews who were murdered during the Holocaust while serving as a scout and sniper in the Israeli militia in the 1940s. She later moved to France where she studied and eventually taught psychology at the University of France. Dr. Ruth then moved to the United States in 1950 where she continued her education and receives a masters degree in Sociology and an Ed. D from the Teachers College, Columbia University. She completed her post-doctorate work in human sexuality at New York Presbyterian Hospital under the training with pioneer sex therapist Helen Singer Kaplan. Out of all these accomplishments, Dr. Ruth is famously known for her candid thoughts and frankness when speaking about the topic of sexuality. Standing only at 4 foot 7 inches, this lively and passionate therapist was able to break down the shameful veil placed over sexual expression by using her bold voice in a mighty way through media.
In 1980, when speaking candidly about sex over the airways was uncommon and risqué, WYNY-FM (an NBC radio station at the time) took a chance by giving Dr. Ruth her own talk show titled “Sexually Speaking.” After receiving an increase in their listening base during her guest appearances on a Sunday Public affairs show on the station, the station figured they would have a hit on their hands. The show’s known feature was the question and answer portion segment where Dr. Ruth would read letters submitted from listeners through the mail and answer them live on air. The producers were impressed with her personality and sense of humor, and her show became a huge success leading to its national syndication and landing her several appearances on "Late Night with David Letterman".
Within less than two years, Dr. Ruth became a household name heard on radio stations across the nation. She had her own show, "The Doctor Ruth Show", which even featured the likes of Jerry Seinfeld. She is a New York Times bestseller, having published 35 books in counting, including “Sex for Dummies” and “Dr. Ruth’s Encyclopedia of Sex.” She is known by celebrities, media personalities, dignitaries and medical professionals alike and continues to speak boldly and proudly about sex even at the seasoned age of 85.
Dr. Ruth is an amazing woman to celebrate because of her commitment to sex positivity and healthy sexual communication. She has managed to bring the topic of sex to the mainstream and has helped countless of people become unashamed about facing sexuality head-on. Hats off to this mother of two and advocate of change!
(Image: © DPA/ZUMApress.com)
Follow me on Twitter @glamazontyomi
Sexpert Tyomi is a modern day sex educator/Coach and blogger committed to spreading sex positivity. Here "reach them where they are" approach to speaking about sexuality has gained attention from major media outlets as well as her growing youtube fanbase.