Modern Researchers Ignoring Kinsey Report

USA TODAY, February 2009 | Go to article overview
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Modern Researchers Ignoring Kinsey Report


The landmark "Sexual Behavior in the Human Male" report revealed major insights into bisexual behavior and orientation--without even using the word "bisexual"--when it was published 60 years ago by pioneering sex researcher Alfred Kinsey and his research team at Indiana University, Bloomington. The iconic "Kinsey Report" unveiled the seven-point Heterosexual-Homosexual Rating Scale, commonly known as the Kinsey Scale, as a tool to gauge a person's sexual orientation or experiences with both sexes.

While the Kinsey Scale has become a fixture in sexuality textbooks--and even popular culture--the rating system and Kinsey's findings regarding male bisexuality, and cultural influences on male sexuality in general, largely have been overlooked by today's sex researchers, according to the Center for Sexual Health Promotion (CSHP) at IU, which collaborated with Paul H. Gebhard, an original member of Kinsey's research team and director of The Kinsey Institute from 1956-82, to reflect on recent research involving male bisexuality.

"Overall, Kinsey would be disappointed," Gebhard told researchers Michael Reece and Brian Dodge, director and associate director, respectively, of CSHP. Kinsey believed that culture plays a key role in a person's sexual behavior. Gebhard said Kinsey and his research team avoided looking for causes for sexual orientation out of concern that the findings could be used against people. Through sexual history interviews, they instead sought to capture snapshots of human sexual experience, which proved to be fluid, according to their research, with individual sexual preferences or orientation often moving along the heterosexual-homosexual scale during one's lifetime.

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