Shere Hite obituary

Feminist researcher into women’s sexuality who broke new ground with her bestselling 1976 study The Hite Report

Shere Hite, the feminist sex researcher, who has died of corticobasal degeneration aged 77, dedicated her career to documenting the sex lives of women. She was catapulted to fame by her groundbreaking study into female sexual response, The Hite Report: A Nationwide Study of Female Sexuality, published in 1976. Based on responses from 3,500 women to questionnaires about their experiences of sex and pleasure, the book has since sold almost 50m copies worldwide.

Sigmund Freud’s theory of the vaginal orgasm was thoroughly debunked following the publication of The Hite Report. Freud claimed that many women experienced orgasm through the clitoris but declared that such orgasms were sexually and psychologically immature and that women who could not orgasm through penetration were “frigid”.

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