Shere Hite (born November 2, 1942) is an American-born German sex educator and feminist. Her sexological work has focused primarily on female sexuality. Hite builds upon biological studies of sex by Masters and Johnson and by Alfred Kinsey. She also references theoretical, political and psychological works associated with the feminist movement of the 1970s, such as Anne Koedt's The Myth of the Vaginal Orgasm. She renounced her United States citizenship in 1995 to become German.
Hite was born Shirley Diana Gregory in Saint Joseph, Missouri to Paul and Shirley Hurt Gregory. She later took the surname of her stepfather, Raymond Hite. She graduated from Seabreeze High School in Daytona Beach, Florida. She received a masters degree in history from the University of Florida in 1967. She then moved to New York City and enrolled at Columbia University to work toward her Ph.D. in social history. Hite says that the reason for her not completing this degree was the conservative nature of Columbia at that time. In the 1970s, she did part of her research while at the National Organization for Women. Hite teaches at Nihon University (Tokyo, Japan), Chongquing University in China, and Maimonides University, North Miami Beach, Florida, USA.
Hite has focused on understanding how individuals regard sexual experience and the meaning it holds for them. Hite has criticised Masters and Johnson's work for uncritically incorporating cultural attitudes on sexual behaviour into their research. For example, Hite's work showed that 70% of women do not have orgasms through in-out, thrusting intercourse but are able to achieve orgasm easily by masturbation or other direct clitoral stimulation. Only 30% of the women in her study reported ever experiencing orgasm during thrusting intercourse. She has criticised Masters and Johnson's argument that enough clitoral stimulation to achieve orgasm should be provided by thrusting during intercourse, and the inference that the failure of this is a sign of female "sexual dysfunction." Whilst not denying that both Kinsey and Masters and Johnson have been a crucial step in sex research, she believes that we must understand the cultural and personal construction of sexual experience to make the research relevant to sexual behaviour outside the laboratory. She offered the criticism that limiting test subjects to "normal" women who report orgasming during coitus was basing research on the faulty assumption that having an orgasm during coitus was typical, something that her own research strongly refuted.