For the past half-century, researchers, health providers, advocacy groups, commercial interests and more have invested in sexual health. But what exactly does this broad term mean? What does it actually mean to be sexually healthy?

Sociologist Steven Epstein, Ph.D., tries to answer these questions, and others, in his new book, "The Quest for Sexual Health: How an Elusive Ideal Has Transformed Science, Politics and Everyday Life," recently published by the University of Chicago Press. He examines the social, cultural and political processes that shape sexual health, as well as the consequences of being sexually healthy.

Epstein is the John C. Shaffer professor in the humanities and a professor in the sociology department at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. He is also the author of "Impure Science: AIDS, Activism and the Politics of Knowledge" and "Inclusion: The Politics of Difference in Medical Research."

In this exclusive interview with Giddy, Epstein discusses the factors that led to the rise of sexual health, provides guidance for finding a credible sexual health expert and more.