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Vern Bullough

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Vern Leroy Bullough (July 24, 1928 – June 21, 2006) was an American historian and sexologist.[1][2]

He was a distinguished professor emeritus at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo, Faculty President at California State University, Northridge,[3] a past president of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, past Dean of natural and social sciences at the Buffalo State College in Buffalo, New York, one of the founders of the American Association for the History of Nursing, and a member of the editorial board of Paidika: The Journal of Paedophilia.[4]

Early life and career[edit]

Born in Salt Lake City, Utah to a Mormon family,[5] Bullough earned his A.B. at the University of Utah in 1951. He then attended the University of Chicago, earning an A.M. in 1951 and a Ph.D in 1954, and was a university fellow during 1953-1954.[6] In 1981 he received a B.S.N. from California State University, Long Beach.

According to the university:

He is the author, co-author, or editor of nearly 50 books, has contributed chapters to another 75 or so, and has over 100 refereed articles, and hundreds of more popular ones. His expertise encompasses several fields: sexology, history, community health and public policy, contraception and population issues. He has lectured in most of the 50 states and 20 or so foreign countries including China, Russia, Greece, Egypt, Ghana, et al. Among his many awards is the Alfred Kinsey Award for distinguished sex research.[citation needed]

He began teaching at Youngstown University, where he was an Assistant Professor of History and Social Science from 1954-1959. He then moved to California State University, Northridge in 1959, and was promoted to Associate Professor in 1962, and to Professor in 1965.[7] Later in his career he taught at the State University of New York at Buffalo and USC.[5]

In 1992 Bullough received a Distinguished Humanist Service Award from the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), and served as co-Chairman of the IHEU (1995-1996). In 2003 he was one of the signers of the Humanist Manifesto.[8] Today Bullough is remembered mainly as an eminent sexologist and medical historian, and a pioneer in the scientific study of alternative sexual behaviors.

Personal life and death[edit]

He was married in 1947 to Bonnie Bullough and had five children,[5][9] the oldest of whom died in childhood in Egypt in 1967.[10] After the death of Bonnie Bullough in 1996 he married Gwen Brewer.[11] He died in Westlake Village in 2006.[5]


Bullough's archives reside at the University Library at California State University, Northridge,[12] where an endowment in his name funds special lectures, scholarships, and collection development in sex and gender studies.[13]


  1. ^ White, Todd (2015). "Bullough, Vern Leroy". International Encyclopedia of Human Sexuality. Wiley.
  2. ^ "Obituary: Vern Bullough". Deseret News. July 5, 2006. Retrieved July 11, 2023.
  3. ^ Broesamle, John (1993). Suddenly a Giant: A History of California State University, Northridge. Northridge, CA: Santa Susana Press. p. 60.
  4. ^ Hearings Before and Special Reports Made by Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives, 96th Congress, 1st session (1979). United States Government Printing Office. 1993. p. 107.
  5. ^ a b c d Woo, Elaine (July 2, 2006). "Vern Bullough, 77; Prolific Author Was Scholar of Sex History". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 11, 2023.
  6. ^ Directory of American Scholars, 6th ed. (Bowker, 1974), Vol. I, p. 81.
  7. ^ Directory of American Scholars, 6th ed. (Bowker, 1974), Vol. I, p. 81.
  8. ^ "Notable Signers". American Humanist Association. Archived from the original on 13 November 2016. Retrieved 15 September 2012.
  9. ^ Elwood-Akers, Virginia (Summer 2014). "Thanks & Recognition: Vern Bullough".
  10. ^ "Peek in the Stacks: The Vern L. Bullough Papers". 24 August 2018.
  11. ^ New York Times:Vern Leroy Bullough, 77, Noted Medical Historian, Dies
  12. ^ "Peek in the Stacks: The Vern L. Bullough Papers". 24 August 2018.
  13. ^ Elwood-Akers, Virginia (Summer 2014). "Thanks & Recognition: Vern Bullough".

Further reading[edit]

Published works[edit]

  • 1964: The history of prostitution.
  • 1969: The emergence of modern nursing.
  • 1970: Man in Western civilization.
  • 1973: The subordinate sex : a history of attitudes toward women.
  • 1976: Sexual variance in society and history.
  • 1976: Sex, society, and history.
  • 1977: A Bibliography of prostitution. New York: Garland (with others)
  • 1977: Sin, sickness & sanity : a history of sexual attitudes.
  • 1978: Prostitution : an illustrated social history.
  • 1979: Homosexuality : a history.
  • 1982: Sexual practices and the medieval church. New York: Prometheus Books ISBN 0-87975-268-8
  • 1982: Health care for the other Americans.
  • 1983: Nursing issues and nursing strategies for the eighties.
  • 1984: History, trends, and politics of nursing.
  • 1987: Women and prostitution : a social history.
  • 1994: Human sexuality: an encyclopedia.
  • 1994: Nursing issues for the nineties and beyond.
  • 1995: Sexual attitudes : myths & realities.
  • 1996: Handbook of medieval sexuality.
  • 1997: Contraception : a guide to birth control methods : condoms, spermicides, diaphragms, sterilization, natural family planning, the pill.
  • 2001: Encyclopedia of birth control.
  • 2002: Before Stonewall: activists for gay and lesbian rights in historical context.
  • 2004: Universities, medicine and science in the medieval west.
  • 2005: Adolescence, sexuality, and the criminal law: multidisciplinary perspectives.

External links[edit]