Sexual Behavior in the Human Male

Sexual Behavior in the Human Male

Sexual Behavior in the Human Male

Sexual Behavior in the Human Male


When published in 1948 this volume encountered a storm of condemnation and acclaim. It is, however, a milestone on the path toward a scientific approach to the understanding of human sexual behavior. Dr. Alfred C. Kinsey and his fellow researchers sought to accumulate an objective body of facts regarding sex. They employed first hand interviews to gather this data. This volume is based upon histories of approximately 5,300 males which were collected during a fifteen year period. This text describes the methodology, sampling, coding, interviewing, statistical analyses, and then examines factors and sources of sexual outlet.


Seen from the four points of the compass a great mountain may present aspects that are very different one from the other—so different that bitter disagreements can arise between those who have watched the mountain, truly and well, through all the seasons, but each from a different quarter. Reality, too, has many facets—some too readily disputed or denied by those who rely only on their own experience. Nor can science itself rightly lay claim to finality or the complete comprehension of reality, but only to honesty and accuracy of the additional facets it may be permitted to discover and report. I say “may be permitted” since the human race is familiar with the suppression of truth in both small matters and great. the history of science is part of the history of the freedom to observe, to reflect, to experiment, to record, and to bear witness. It has been a perilous and a passionate history indeed, and not yet ended.

Living creatures possess three basic characteristics or capacities—growth, adaptation, and reproduction. in human biology, the reproductive function has been the least and the last studied, scientifically. To the National Research Council’s Committee for Research on Problems of Sex belongs the credit for sponsoring a more significant series of research studies on sex than has been accomplished perhaps by any other agency. Among these studies the findings of Dr. Alfred C. Kinsey and his associates at Indiana University deserve attention for their extent, their thoroughness, and their dispassionate objectivity. Dr. Kinsey has studied sex phenomena of human beings as a biologist would examine biological phenomena, and the evidence he has secured is presented from the scientist’s viewpoint, without moral bias or prejudice derived from current taboos.

Certainly no aspect of human biology in our current civilization stands in more need of scientific knowledge and courageous humility than that of sex. the history of medicine proves that in so far as man seeks to know himself and face his whole nature, he has become free from bewildered fear, despondent shame, or arrant hypocrisy. As long as sex is dealt with in the current confusion of ignorance and sophistication, denial and indulgence, suppression and stimulation, punishment and exploitation, secrecy and display, it will be associated with a duplicity and indecency that lead neither to intellectual honesty nor human dignity.

These studies are sincere, objective, and determined explorations of a field manifestly important to education, medicine, government, and the . . .

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