An Analysis of the Kinsey Reports on Sexual Behavior in the Human Male and Female

By Donald Porter Geddes | Go to book overview

factors, rather than a cause-and-effect relationship, may be involved -- that is, the females more likely to be responsive in marriage are the ones who seek out such experiences before marriage. But after weighing this possibility against his evidence that orgasmic responses can be -- learned, and that such learning is most effective in the earlier years, he is inclined to accept the causal relationship.

We have considered the major features of the research method, but there are many incidental aspects which, minor in themselves, can nonetheless contribute greatly or detract heavily from the overall significance of such a massive work as this. It appears to us that in many of these aspects Kinsey has evidenced imaginative and careful workmanship. To touch briefly on just two of these, we would mention first the exhaustive study of past researches in the area of sexual behavior, and the unusual and insightful supplementary sources of evidence which are cited. Even the sexual life of the porcupine and the inscriptions sometimes found on toilet walls have not escaped the rigorous scrutiny of Dr. Kinsey and his colleagues in their unending search for data which will illuminate human sexual behavior. And secondly, we would comment on the clarity and effectiveness of the charts and tabular presentations. Critics of the first volume often remarked that many of the tables were difficult to interpret, and that there were puzzling and irritating omissions or discrepancies which created difficulty. In the present volume, these defects seem to have been quite completely remedied. Moreover, the convenient tabular summaries of male vs. female data at the end of most chapters are immensely helpful to the non-technical reader who might otherwise become lost in detail.


Conclusion

We emphasized at the outset that it is not easy to give a simple answer to such questions as: How good is Kinsey's survey? Does his Report present a true picture of female sexual behavior? How valid are his conclusions? We hope the reader now realizes that Kinsey's Report has a monumental stature in the literature on sexual behavior, but that, like any other investigation, and especially a pioneering investigation in a field which has hitherto been largely impenetrable, it has its limitations and weaknesses. Certainly one cannot, for some of the reasons we have mentioned, accept Kinsey's findings as

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