The Kinsey Institute: The First Seventy Years

The Kinsey Institute: The First Seventy Years

The Kinsey Institute: The First Seventy Years

The Kinsey Institute: The First Seventy Years

Synopsis

Founded by Alfred C. Kinsey in 1947, the Kinsey Institute has been a leading organization in developing an understanding of human sexuality. In this new book with over 65 images of Kinsey and the Institute's collections, Judith A. Allen and the coauthors look at the work Kinsey started over 70 years ago and how the Institute has continued to make an impact on understanding on our culture. Covering the early years of the Institute through the "Sexual Revolution," into the AIDS pandemic of the Reagan era, and on into the "internet hook-up" culture of today, the book illuminates the Institute's work and its importance to society.

Excerpt

It is the function of a scientist to discover the truth about that portion of the
universe which is made of matter. It is not the function of a scientist to judge the
esthetic or moral qualities of that universe…. [T]here is no right, no wrong, no
beauty, no lack of beauty—nothing but the observed truth…. Any scientist who
passes opinions on things spiritual or moral speaks as a theologian or as a mere
man, and not as a scientist.

Alfred C. Kinsey, “A Scientist’s Responsibility in Sex Instruction”

A young indiana soldier on furlough in 1945 wrote to Indiana University zoology professor Alfred C. Kinsey in great distress. On a date with an older woman, the soldier had attempted oral sex. Indignant, “she told me how low, dirty, mean, and contemptible I am—a pervert. Am I a fit specimen of a man after such conduct? I want to be a normal man.” Kinsey reassured him that there was “nothing in your experience which is in any fashion unusual or abnormal,” explaining that he and other expert researchers had found such activity in 40–75 percent of married couples’ histories. in addition, it is a “basic biologic situation which occurs in all the other animals related to man.” Another youth, a Canadian drugstore clerk, wrote Kinsey in 1948, asking to borrow a copy of the recently published Sexual Behavior in the Human Male because he could not afford to buy it. and a marine recruit wrote from camp in North Carolina in 1953: “I was reading a book of yours and I was whant to no if you no whear I canget a book on marriage manuols. If you can help me, please let me no. I need one bad.”

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