Alfred Kinsey  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Alfred Charles Kinsey (June 23, 1894August 25, 1956), was an American biologist and professor of entomology and zoology. Kinsey's research on human sexuality profoundly influenced social and cultural values in the United States and many other countries in the West which went through the sexual revolution starting in the 1960s.

The 2000s have seen renewed interest in Kinsey. The 2004 biographical film Kinsey, written and directed by Bill Condon, stars Liam Neeson as the scientist and Laura Linney as his wife. In 2004 as well, T. Coraghessan Boyle's novel about Kinsey, The Inner Circle, was published. The following year, PBS produced the documentary Kinsey in cooperation with the Kinsey Institute, which allowed access to many of its files. Mr. Sex, a BBC radio play by Steve Coombes concerning Kinsey and his work, won the 2005 Imison Award.

Contents

Controversy

Both Kinsey's work and private life have been the subject of an enduring controversy over the study of human sexuality (sometimes called sexology), Kinsey's ethical decisions, research methodology and the impact of Kinsey's work on sexual morality.

Interviews with pedophiles

In 1981 questions were raised of how Kinsey and his staff gathered the information to produce some of the data in the Kinsey Reports. Attention was directed to Tables 30-34 of Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, which report observations of orgasms in over three-hundred children between the ages of five months and fourteen years. Former and current directors of The Kinsey Institute confirmed that some of the information was gathered from nine pedophiles and that Kinsey chose not to report the pedophiles to the authorities, balancing what Kinsey saw as the need for their anonymity against the likelihood that their crimes would continue.

Sex life

Kinsey had been rumored to participate in unusual sexual practices. James H. Jones's biography, Alfred C. Kinsey: A Public/Private Life, describes Kinsey as bisexual and experimenting in masochism. He encouraged group sex involving his graduate students, wife and staff. Kinsey filmed sexual acts in the attic of his home as part of his research. Biographer Jonathan Gathorne-Hardy explained that using Kinsey's home for the filming of sexual acts was done to ensure the films' secrecy, which would certainly have caused a scandal had the public become aware of them.

Bias

James H. Jones wrote that Kinsey’s appetite for unconventional sex and his disdain for conventional sexual morality, drove Kinsey's agenda to strip sexuality of guilt and to undermine traditional sexual morality. Critics contend that Kinsey allowed his agenda to bias his work. They point to Kinsey's over-representation of prisoners and prostitutes and his classification of couples who have lived together for at least a year as "married".

Significant publications

  • "New Species and Synonymy of American Cynipidae," in Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History (1920)
  • "Life Histories of American Cynipidae," in Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History (1920)
  • "Phylogeny of Cynipid Genera and Biological Characteristics," in Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History (1920)
  • An Introduction to Biology (1926)
  • The Gall Wasp Genus Cynips: A Study in the Origin of Species (1930)
  • New Introduction to Biology (1933, revised 1938)
  • The Origin of Higher Categories in Cynips (1935)
  • Edible Wild Plants of Eastern North America (1943)
  • The Kinsey Reports:




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Alfred Kinsey" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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