Virginia Johnson
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Virginia Johnson

Masters of Sex

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About Her

Grew up… in Springfield, Mo., in a family of farmers. Virginia never saw herself as the farming type. In order to better herself, she married several times. For a woman of her relatively young age, she has collected a set of varied experiences that proved useful for her work with Dr. Masters.

Living… in St. Louis. Virginia’s most recent marriage has left her alone with two children. She is a responsible mother, raising and supporting the children on her own, while also reaping the benefits of single life.

Profession… officially, Dr. Masters’ secretary. By night, she’s his research assistant on a secret project. Virginia is helping the doctor with his study on human sexual response. “This,” she says, “is either the smartest or the stupidest thing I’ve ever done.” Little does she know, but the study is bound to get very personal.

Relationship Status… single. Dr. Johnson chose Virginia to be his assistant because of the depth and variety of her experience with men. She’s wise, daring and, when it comes to relationships and sexuality, far ahead of her time (the 1950s) in her frankness. “I think women often confuse love with sexual attraction,” she says.

Challenge… overcoming the cultural taboos surrounding her study of human sexuality. Virginia will face discrimination and prejudice for her involvement in Dr. Johnson’s work. It’s up to her to face these hardships with her head held high.

Personality… witty, strong and honest. Virginia is an independent and powerful woman. Her belief in the importance of their research is what Dr. Masters needs to drive the project forward. As she says, “Rome wasn’t built in a day. Neither were outreach clinics. We’ll get funded eventually.”

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