A Step in the Right Direction But We Must Resist Identity Politics

  • Qazi RahmanEmail author
Letter to the Editor
There is much I agree with in the Guest Editorial by Herbenick et al. ( 2019). These include the clear message that sexual harassment is unacceptable; the notion of the “sexual assumption” and the limits of sexual liberalism; that consent is not simple; and that professional sex research arenas should be primarily (but not exclusively) about work. I also appreciate Herbenick et al. noting the complexity of these issues, particularly with the impressive statement:

We acknowledge that consensual sexual interactions can include power differentials and enjoyable ways that people play with power. Indeed, sexuality researchers are adults who are able to choose, consent to, and engage in sexual interactions with others, including colleagues. Yet we cannot deny how power imbalances and precarious social positions make choice and consent murky at times.

Sexual harassment is unacceptable and should stop. However, I disagree with the ideological aspects of some of the content and recommendations...



  1. Herbenick, D., van Anders, S. M., Brotto, L. A., Chivers, M. L., Jawed-Wessel, S., & Galarza, J. (2019). Sexual harassment in the field of sexuality research [Guest Editorial]. Archives of Sexual Behavior. Scholar
  2. Pinker, S. (2018). Enlightenment now: The case for science, reason, humanism and progress. New York: Penguin Random House.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychology, Institute of Psychiatry Psychology and NeuroscienceKing’s College LondonLondonUK

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