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Virginia E. Johnson

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Title: Virginia E. Johnson  
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Subject: Masters of Sex, Human sexual response, Pilot (Masters of Sex), List of covers of Time magazine (1970s), Drury University alumni
Collection: 1925 Births, 2013 Deaths, 20Th-Century American Writers, 20Th-Century Educators, 20Th-Century Women Writers, 21St-Century American Writers, 21St-Century Educators, 21St-Century Women Writers, American Founders, American People of German Descent, American Psychologists, American Relationships and Sexuality Writers, American Sexologists, American Women Social Scientists, American Women Writers, Drury University Alumni, People from Springfield, Missouri, People from St. Louis, Missouri, Sex Educators, University of Missouri–kansas City Alumni, Washington University in St. Louis Alumni, Washington University in St. Louis Faculty, Women Founders, Writers from Missouri
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Virginia E. Johnson

Virginia E. Johnson
Born Mary Virginia Eshelman
(1925-02-11)February 11, 1925
Springfield, Missouri, United States
Died July 24, 2013(2013-07-24) (aged 88)
St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Nationality American
Other names Virginia Gibson
Education Drury College
University of Missouri
Kansas City Conservatory of Music
Washington University in St. Louis
Occupation Sexologist
Known for Masters and Johnson human sexuality research team
Spouse(s) Two brief early marriages, followed by
George Johnson (1950–1956)
William H. Masters (1971–1992)
Children 2

Virginia E. Johnson, born Mary Virginia Eshelman[1] (February 11, 1925 – July 24, 2013),[2] was an American sexologist, best known as a member of the Masters and Johnson sexuality research team.[3] Along with William H. Masters, she pioneered research into the nature of human sexual response and the diagnosis and treatment of sexual dysfunctions and disorders from 1957 until the 1990s.


  • Early life 1
  • Sexological works 2
  • Personal life 3
  • In popular culture 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Early life

Virginia Johnson was born in Springfield, Missouri, the daughter of Edna (née Evans) and Hershel "Harry" Eshelman, a farmer.[2][4] Her paternal grandparents were members of the LDS Church, and her father had Hessian ancestry.[4] When she was five, her family moved to Palo Alto, California, where her father worked as a groundskeeper for a hospital. The family later returned to Missouri and farming.[2] Virginia enrolled at her hometown's Drury College at age 16, but dropped out and spent four years working in the Missouri state insurance office.[2] She eventually returned to school, studying at the University of Missouri and the Kansas City Conservatory of Music, and during World War II began a music career as a band singer.[2] She sang country music for radio station KWTO in Springfield, where she adopted the stage name Virginia Gibson.[1]

Johnson moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where she became a business writer for the St. Louis Daily Record.[2] Eschewing a singing career, Johnson enrolled at Washington University in St. Louis, intending to earn a degree in sociology[2] but never attaining one.[5]

Sexological works

Johnson met

External links

  1. ^ a b c d e f
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j
  3. ^ "Craftsmen of Sexuality; William H. Masters Virginia E. Johnson". The New York Times.
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ Maier, Thomas (April 22, 2009). "Can Psychiatrists Really 'Cure' Homosexuality? – Masters and Johnson Claimed to Convert Gays to Heterosexuality in a 1979 Book. But Did They?". Scientific American. Retrieved August 10, 2013.
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ [1]. Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
  12. ^
  13. ^


The American cable network Showtime debuted Masters of Sex, a dramatic television series based on the 2009 biography of the same name, on September 29, 2013. The series stars Lizzy Caplan as Johnson.

In popular culture

Masters, who married again after his divorce from Johnson,[1] died in 2001.[13]

By her early 20s,[2] Johnson had married a Missouri politician; the marriage lasted two days.[1] She then married a much older attorney, whom she also divorced.[1] In 1950, Johnson married bandleader George Johnson, with whom she had a boy and a girl, Scott and Lisa, before divorcing in 1956.[1][2] In 1971, Johnson married William Masters after he divorced his first wife. They were divorced in 1993, though they continued to collaborate professionally.[2] Johnson died in July 2013 "of complications from several illnesses".[11][12]

Personal life

In April 2009, Thomas Maier reported in Scientific American that Johnson had serious reservations about the Masters and Johnson Institute's program to convert homosexuals into heterosexuals,[8] a program which ran from 1968 to 1977.[9][10]

in 1978. Masters and Johnson Institute called the Reproductive Biology Research Foundation. The center was renamed the St. Louis research institution in nonprofit In 1964, Masters and Johnson established their own independent [7]

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