This essay animates the concept-metaphor of the sexological floorplan across sites of sexological self-reflection in its incipient institutional form to propose a model of trans study. We begin by speculating on the relationship between the history of sexological incorporation and the hesitant institutionality of trans study. In the context of a racially segregated postwar American culture reorganizing its senses of normative gender and moral sexual practice, the sexological project to limn the category “trans” became a site of interaction between multiple vectors of social experience and varieties of scientific classification. This essay considers four women differently subjected to sexological scrutiny on the basis of sex, and tracks how that sexual basis articulates with gender, race, and sexuality to map the floorplan of institutionalizing sexual knowledge. We consider four women whose circulation through and labor within the Kinsey Institute for Sex Research, Inc., maps the terrain of sexology's bids for credibility. Their respective roles in the business of sexology (the public face of gender transformation, a working housewife, a sympathetic social scientist, a long-suffering librarian) and respective racial, gender, and sexual identities made each differently disposed to and differently subjected to sexological ways of looking. By attending to each of these figures in turn, a view onto the sexological floorplan emerges with social and historical density, overlaid with the labors of self-determination inside the architectures of scientific capture.

You do not currently have access to this content.