Alfred Kinsey

Tuesday 2 January 2018.
 

Alfred Kinsey

The book, Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, by Alfred Kinsey published in 1948 is also historically significant in the development of the concept of the modern homosexual. Kinsey’s study was once considered the "defining study of homosexuality" but which has now been shown to be otherwise. Kinsey in his study saw not a homosexual person, but homosexual acts. He wrote about the physical sexual acts a male did, and it was based on the orgasms he achieved. The often-quoted myth, 10 % of the population is homosexual originated from Kinsey’s study. Kinsey earned a PhD from Harvard University. He became a biology professor at Indiana University where he wrote biology textbooks and a book about gall wasps. He was an entomologist by training, and a foremost authority on gall wasps. It was at Indiana University that Kinsey’s interest in sex research arose after he was asked to participate in a sex education class. This course was to prepare students for fulfilling marriages. Kinsey’s liberal attitudes and open support for contraception resulted in his being quickly replaced by the university administration in teaching the sex education class. Yet Kinsey’s interest in sex research grew and he began the research that eventually led to the formation of the Institute for Sex Research at Indiana University. It was through this institute that he published in 1948 the book, Sexual Behavior in the Human Male.

Time has not served Kinsey and his sex studies well. The criticism he initially received over the publication of his studies has continued to grow over the years. Even in his day the studies were questioned about their scientific value and the scientific standards he imposed in undertaking the studies. It was believed at the time Kinsey was a scrupulous and disinterested scientist during sex research. But over time and through a closer look at Kinsey, of his studies and of the Institute for Sex Research has shown other-wise. Besides looking critically at his research and how it was conducted, there are questions about Kinsey’s own sexually and sexual life. Questions are raised about Kinsey being a homosexual himself, and he has at least been labeled a bisexual. Two areas of Kinsey’s study receiving closer attention is how he chose those who were to be a part of the study and the age of some of those included in the data.

Kinsey’s Objectivity

Kinsey was by far impartial and objective in his life’s work as sex researcher. He revealed this in his criticism of others, even those more knowledgeable in those fields important to his research, such as statistics. Also, he expressed his biases and values in the books in which he published his research. Kinsey simply had a goal to present his “point of view” in the field of sex research. One may raise the question, was Kinsey’s goal in publishing his sex research an attempt to justify his own private sexual behavior?

“Although Kinsey was often critical of those who made assertions about sexual behavior without revealing the evidence on which their assertions were based, Kinsey indulged in a fair amount of this editorializing in the Male volume.” (Kinsey, Pomeroy, Martin and Gebhard. Sexual Behavior in the Human Female, p. n)

“But the fact that the complier of all this data (he eventually interviewed about twelve thousand white men) was out to make a point, was out, in fact, to bring the world’s view of human sexuality more in line with his own (which of course was based in intuition, formed as it was before he began his study), is of enormous significance.” (Archer, The End of Gay (and the death of heterosexuality), p.117)

“The second, not unrelated point is that Kinsey was not merely presenting data in his first Report - he was making a point, a point he himself was clear about long before he handed out his first questionnaire. This colors things.” (Archer, The End of Gay (and the death of heterosexuality), p.124)

“The most visible trademark of the Kinsey style was an ostentatious avowal of both disinterestedness and incompetence wherever matters of ethics were at issue. This is first of all a report on what people do, he wrote of the Male Volume, which raises no question of what they should do. In reality, Kinsey held strong opinions about what people should and should not do, and his efforts to disguise those opinions were only too transparent.” (Robinson, The Modernization of Sex: Havelock Ellis, Alfred Kinsey, William Masters and Virginia Johnson, p.49-50)

“At the same time, heterosexual intercourse suffered a relative eclipse simply because of the prominence Kinsey assigned to masturbation and homosexuality, both of which were objects of his partiality.” (Robinson, The Modernization of Sex: Havelock Ellis, Alfred Kinsey, William Masters and Virginia Johnson, p.64)

“But though scientists may avoid explicit moral judgments, research is implicitly striated with values and biases. In fact, Kinsey’s values permeate his work.” (Irvine, Disorders of Desire: Sex and Gender in Modern American Sexology, p.37)

“But though scientists may avoid explicit moral judgements, research is implicitly striated with values and biases. In fact, Kinsey’s values permeate his work. Kinsey conveys his belief, cloaked in the rational that what is “natural” is right, that sex is good and more is better, thus effecting an important ideological shift for sexology. His pro-sex stance inheres in modern sexology and accounts for some of the field’s ideological complexity, particularly with respect to female sexuality.” (Irvine, “Toward a “Value-Free” Science of Sex”, p. 329 - 330 in Sexualities in History edited by Kim M Phillips and Barry Reay.)

“Kinsey’s claim to objectivity and neutrality was in many ways a careful presentation of self. For his books make it clear that he had deep convictions regarding social and political mores. He was critical of the church, educational institutions, and homes for being “the chief source of sexual inhibitions, the distaste for all aspects of sex, the fears of the physical difficulties that may be involved in sexual relationship, and the feelings of guilt which many females carry with them into marriages.”” (Irvine, “Toward a “Value-Free” Science of Sex”, p. 332 in Sexualities in History edited by Kim M Phillips and Barry Reay.)

“Although Kinsey claimed to have been completely neutral and detached in gathering and tabulating his data and to have avoid[ed] social or moral interpretations of the facts, the Report is peppered with commentary and interpretation that reveal Kinsey’s strong biases.” (Lewes, The Psychoanalytic Theory of Male Homosexuality, p. 125)

“Kinsey, however, did not limited himself to simply reporting his data, but readily offered interpretations and inferences. The Report includes a long section describing checks that performed on the sample and interviewing technique, and concluded that the figures on the frequency of homosexual activity must be understatements.” (Lewes, The Psychoanalytic Theory of Male Homosexuality, 128)

“It is, I think, now generally accepted by all commentators, and has been for some time, that Kinsey had a range of social and legal reforms - his ’social agenda’ in today’s jargon. Of these, the only one we need to look at further is homosexuality.” (Gathorne-Hardy, Kinsey Sex the Measure of All Things, p. 259)

“*There is a minute but telling example here of how, though he never remotely falsified evidence, Kinsey would always interpret any doubtful fact to support his own crusades. Pomeroy describes how Dellenback filmed 4,000 feet of animal behavior, including a bull mounting another bull ‘achieving complete anal penetration and ejaculating as he withdrew’. This is how Kinsey would present the film. But Dellenback, in conversation, said apart from the fact the bull was excited by the presences of cows, it was not all clear what exactly went on. He thought it was not penetration but friction on the outside which caused ejaculation (Promprey, 1972, p. 183; Dellenback, in an interview with author).” (Gathorne-Hardy, Kinsey Sex the Measure of All Things, p. 351)

“When William C. Cochran tackled him on the subject in 1951, Kinsey said he had recalculated ‘strategic bits of the Male volume, taking out the prison population, and it made little difference. “Gebhard says that at the time they hadn’t done this.” Kinsey often dealt with his internal critics by saying he’d made changes when he hadn’t, or else by promising changes he’d no intention of implementing.” (Gathrone-Hardy, Kinsey Sex the Measure of All Things, p.326)

“Intellectually, this argument has always presented problems, but never more so than in Kinsey’s case. However, much he talked about science’s need for data, this was not his primary motivation. Again, his research sprang from a private agenda shaped by personal politics. Decades of inner turmoil had transformed Kinsey into a rebel, a man who rejected the sex¬ual mores of his age. He meant to change the public’s thinking on sexual matters. Convinced that cold, hard facts alone would persuade the public to develop more tolerant sexual attitudes, Kinsey was determined to pro¬vide those data. And if that meant trafficking with someone like Mr. X, then so be it. The end justified the means. As Pomeroy put it, Kinsey "would have done business with the devil himself if it would have furthered the research."” (Jones, Alfred C. Kinsey A Public/Private Life p. 513)

“Despite his claim of cool disinter¬est Kinsey was nothing of the sort. He had definite ideas about how peo¬ple should behave sexually, and these preferences were only too transparent in his writing. Anything but a bloodless treatise, the male volume was packed with special pleadings, thinly disguised opinions, and polemical stances, all designed to challenge conventional morality and to promote a new social ethic.

Decades after the male volume appeared, Gebhard pointed to the es¬sential paradox that was Kinsey, acknowledging that the man who posture as an objective scientist was actually a passionate reformer. Dismissing the protestations of disinterest, Gebhard noted that Kinsey turned his prose into a weapon for combating sexual repression. "Now, you had to really twist his arm to get him to admit to this humanitarian impulse, observed Gebhard, following the company line, "because ordinarily he was the ob¬jective scientist without any ax to grind, without any crusade to pursue. But underneath there was this powerful streak of crusading humantarianism which, despite his attempts to cover it, show up in between the lines in everything he ever wrote." Elaborating, Gebhard repeated Kinsey tried to be completely objective, but he couldn’t succeed, because this thing was too much a matter of heart and emotion with him to keep it out of his writings.” (Jones, Alfred C. Kinsey A Public/Private Life, p. 519)

“Reflecting on the issue of motivation, Gebhard thought that Kinsey had two overriding goals for his research "One was he felt that knowledge would prevent tragedies, upsets, frictions, guilt—bad things of this sort,” revealed Gebhard. “In other words, it is almost like the biblical saying ’The truth will set you free.’ If he could only get the facts and the truth to people," he explained, "Life would be a lot happier and less guilt [ridden]. That was motivation number one." “Motivation number two was that he was a great champion for tolerance and liberailty." Kinsey believed "that it didn’t much matter what you did sexually as long as it didn’t hurt anyone else and it made you and your partner happy." Added Gebhard, "Both of these motivations showed up in his writings despite his efforts to be clin¬ical and objective."” (Jones, Alfred C. Kinsey A Public/Private Life, p. 520

“Kinsey ended the male volume with the usual disclaimer. "The social val¬ues of human activities must be measured by many scales other than those which are available to the scientist," he declared. "As scientists, we have ex¬plored, and we have performed our function when we have published the record of what we have found die human male doing sexually, as far as we have been able to ascertain that fact." What Kinsey did not say, however, was that he had placed a meaty thumb on the scale. Although he had been able to compile more facts on human sexuality than any other researcher in history, his methodology and sampling technique virtually guaranteed that he would find what he was looking for.” (Jones, Alfred C. Kinsey A Public/Private Life, p. 532 – 533)

The book, Statistical Problems of the Kinsey Report on Sexual Behavior in the Human Male is the report published in its entirety by an American Statistical Association committee. Three of the authors were appointed as a committee of the Association’s Commission on Statistical Standards. The committee had the cooperation of Kinsey, which included visits to the Institute of Sex Research, Inc. at the University of Indiana. Also, the authors went through the interviewing process that Kinsey used in gathering the data for his book.

“By the way of summary, the general statement that much of the writing in the book falls below the level of good scientific writing seems justified.” (Cochran, Mosteller, Tukey and Jenkins, Statistical Problems of the Kinsey Report on Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, p.150)

“The critics are justified in their objections that many of the most interesting and provocative statements in the book are not based on data presented therein, and it is not made clear to the reader on what evidence the statements are based. Further, the conclusions drawn from the data presented in the book are often stated by KPM in a much too bold and confident a manner. Taken cumulatively, these objections amount to saying that much of the writing in the book falls below the level of good scientific writing. In the case of homosexuality, we are chiefly concerned about possible bias in the sample, although cover-up may also be a factor.” (Cochran, Mosteller, Tukey and Jenkins, Statistical Problems of the Kinsey Report on Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, p.152)

Kinsey in his book, Sexual Behavior of the Human Male, was supposedly based on a representative sample of males in the US at the time. A contemporary of Kinsey’s, renowned psychologist, Abraham Maslow, pointed out the concern of sampling when using individuals on a clearly volunteer basis. They are not a representative sample of the general population. Kinsey rejected Maslow’s concern. But his sampling techniques based on today’s sampling standards have raised serious scientific concerns. The findings of his study were terribly flawed by the methodology that was used to collect the supposedly representative sample of the U.S. population. His study had more college graduates, than was the normative for that period, in general most people were not college graduates at that time. He included more Protestants than Catholics; the latter were being less likely to engage in "unusual sexual practices. Approximately 25% of the 5,300 participants in the study were prison inmates. Moreover, Kinsey especially sought out those prisoners who were sex offenders. Of this large percentage of the individuals studied, 44% of these inmates had their homosexual experiences while in prison. Kinsey, himself, admitted to including several hundred male prostitutes. Finally, he sought out "militant gays" and members of gay affirming organizations.

“The starting point for discussions of systematic sampling error in sexuality surveys is the studies by Kinsey and colleagues from the 1940s and 1950s (see Brecher & Brecher, 1986; Cochran, Mosteller, & Tukey, 1954; Laumann et al., 1994). In Kinsey, Pomeroy, and Martin’s (1948) landmark survey of 5,300 males, there was no systematic random sampling. Rather, 163 separate groups were approached, including college students and staff, seven groups of institutionalized males, (juvenile delinquents, adult prisoners [including many male prostitutes], and one group of mental patients), and assorted others including high school students, speech therapy patients, conscientious objectors (for army service), hitch hikers, and people from three rooming houses. A serious limitation of the sample was the over reliance on college students. Kinsey estimated that about half of his personal histories were from people recruited following the attendance of tens of thousands of people at several hundred college and public lectures given by him and his colleagues (Cochran et. Al., 1954).” (Wiederman and Whitley editors, Handbook for Conducting Sex Research on Human Sexually, p.86-87)

“Once published, it elicited a number of critical reviews from statisticians and 1950 the National Research Council committee that had been funding Kinsey’s research requested the American Statistical Association to evaluate Kinsey’s methodology. After a long period of assessment, involving many meetings with Kinsey and his team, a detailed report by the review group of three - Cochran, Mosteller and Tukey-was published.” (Kinsey, Pomeroy, Martin and Gebhard. Sexual Behavior in the Human Female, p.b)

“The more serious criticism centered on what were perceived as the three chief weaknesses of the research. They were the lack of an adequate sample, too broad projection from the date to a larger population, and the use of a mechanistic orgasm-counting approach to the sexual experience.” (Christenson, Kinsey: A Biography, p. 143)

“While no single reviewer crystalized all the objections, the academic and professional critics of Kinsey’s work tended to raise one or more of the following criticisms: first, Kinsey was a poor statistician (he did not un¬derstand statistical theory, his numbers did not always add up, some of his cells contained too few cases to be meaningful, etc.); second, his sampling technique was unrepresentative (volunteers skewed his data, too many people from the Northeast and Midwest, too many college-educated sub¬jects, too many prisoners, etc.); third, his interview technique was faulty (human memory was unreliable, rapid-fire questions did not give people time to think, placing the burden of denial on a subject could produce false answers, sympathetic looks and words from the interviewer were not neu¬tral, etc.); fourth, Kinsey approached human beings as animals; fifth, he lacked the conceptual tools needed to study human sexual behavior (he was a crude empiricist, he was a rank biological reductionist, his behaviorism was too blatant, his understanding of Freudian psychology was too unso¬phisticated, etc.); sixth, he ignored the emotional or social context of sex (there was no discussion of love, he made sex appear joyless, he "atomized" sex, etc.); seventh, he had no appreciation of how culture works and the role that certain necessary restraints play in the preservation of culture (the "normal" vs. "abnormal" problem); and finally, he was a crypto-reformer who promoted permissiveness under the guise of science.” (Jones, Alfred C. Kinsey A Public/Private Life p. 577)

Scientific value and scientific standards of Kinsey’s work

“However flawed, whether by sample, procedures, or analysis, Kinsey’s insistence upon behavioral variation opened the way for far-reaching and critical cultural transformation in Americans’ understanding of sexual orientation. Kinsey challenged, that is, the biological essentialist and morally flawed deficit views of human nature in man and woman as social and psychological prototypes in Western thought.” (Herdt, Sambia Sexual Culture Essays from the Field, p.226)

“He was clearly a stubborn man with strongly held opinions. He needed to be in control, making it less likely that he would accept the advice of others, and this resulted in his taking some wrong directions.” (Kinsey, Pomeroy, Martin and Gebhard, Sexual Behavior in the Human Female, pg. p)

“Nevertheless, given the potential for selection bias that his method did involve, the review group were critical of his lack of caution in interpreting his findings, and his incorrect use of statistical procedures (e.g., the weighting procedure to produce US corrections)." (Kinsey, Pomeroy, Martin and Gebhard. Sexual Behavior in the Human Female, p.b)

“KPM’s interpretations were based in part on tabulated and statistically analyzed data, and in part on data and experience which were not presented because of their nature or because of the of space limitations. Some interpretations appear not to have been based on either of theses. ... However, KPM should have indicated which of their statements were undocumented or undocumentable and should have been more cautious in boldly drawing highly precise conclusions from their limited sample.” (Cochran, Mosteller, Tukey and Jenkins, Statistical Problems of the Kinsey Report on Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, p.2)

“By the way of summary, the general statement that much of the writing in the book falls below the level of good scientific writing seems justified.” (Cochran, Mosteller, Tukey and Jenkins, Statistical Problems of the Kinsey Report on Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, p.150)

“The critics are justified in their objections that many of the most interesting and provocative statements in the book are not based on data presented therein, and it is not made clear to the reader on what evidence the statements are based. Further, the conclusions drawn from the data presented in the book are often stated by KPM in a much too bold and confident a manner. Taken cumulatively, these objections amount to saying that much of the writing in the book falls below the level of good scientific writing. In the case of homosexuality, we are chiefly concerned about possible bias in the sample, although cover-up may also be a factor.” (Cochran, Mosteller, Tukey and Jenkins, Statistical Problems of the Kinsey Report on Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, p.152)

“In reality, he limited his research to Americans and Canadians, and he also excluded black histories from his tabulations. Thus, by his own admission his generalizations extended only to the white population of North America, despite his inclusiveness of his titles.” (Robinson, The Modernization of Sex: Havelock Ellis, Alfred Kinsey, William Masters and Virginia Johnson, p.53)

“Kinsey has been criticized on various grounds, not the least of which concerns the implied universality of his American study. Responses by anthropologists at the time ranged from the very critical (Gorer 1955) to the more positive Kluckhohn (1955). Geoffrey Gorer, a British anthropologist, felt that Kinsey exaggerated sex as behavior as a mere "device for physical relaxation . . . . Not only is sex, in Dr. Kinsey’s presentation, as meaningless as a sneeze, it is also equally unproductive; after the equivalent of blowing the nose, that is the end of the matter" (1955:51-52). This point, while perhaps over inflated, raises a cultural critique agreed upon by many in gender research, including John Gagnon (1990) and John De Cecco (1990): that Kinsey studied disembodied acts, discrete behaviors, rather than meaning- filled patterns of action. As De Cecco sees it, Kinsey had four conceptions of sex: that it was a physical activity, that it developed in a mechanistic way, that robust sexual performance was to be admired, and that its chief outcome was not reproduction but erotic pleasure. These attributes all are related to the question of sex as meaning-filled symbolic expression of normative development and sexual socialization in culture. By emphasizing acts instead of symbolic action, Kinsey managed to create a field of sexual study amid a moral climate that had hindered it (Kuckhohn 1955), yet he did so at the cost of divorcing sex from the lives and meanings of whole persons (see also Stoller 1985a)”. (Herdt, Sambia Sexual Culture Essays from the Field, p.227)

Sampling

“In particular he was troubled by the charge he had failed to secure a random sample of the American population in his interviews and that his findings therefore did not accurately reflect national patterns of sexual behavior.
This was an especially sensitive matter for Kinsey, since he had leveled a similar criticism at many of his predecessors. For example, he had taken both Freud and Ellis to task for the grossly unrandom character of the evidence on which they based their sexual doctrines.”
(Robinson, The Modernization of Sex: Havelock Ellis, Alfred Kinsey, William Masters and Virginia Johnson, p.47)

“Sexual Behavior in the Human Male and Sexual Behavior in the Human Female give the impression of a powerful and sophis¬ticated statistical technique. Yet Kinsey was curiously unsure of himself as a statistician. In particular he was troubled by the charge that he had failed to secure a random sample of the American population in his interviews and that his findings there-fore did not accurately reflect national patterns of sexual behavior.” (Robinson, The Modernization of Sex Havelock Ellis, Alfred Kinsey, William Masters and Virginia Johnson, p. 47)

“As a result, Kinsey’s sample was overrepresented in some areas and underrepresented in others. It contained, for instance, to many Midwesterners, particularly Indianians, to many prison inmates, and to many homosexuals. Above all, there was the suspicion that those who volunteered for the project were among the less inhibited members of society, and the Reports thus registered an excessively licentious image of American sexual mores.” (Robinson, The Modernization of Sex: Havelock Ellis, Alfred Kinsey, William Masters and Virginia Johnson, p.48)

“Kinsey recognized that if his study of human sexuality was to respect the principle of distribution, it too would have to be based on specimens drawn "from the whole range of the species. Only then could he generalize confidently about "sexual behavior in the human male" or "sexual behavior in the human female. In reality he limited his research to Americans and Canadians, and he also excluded black histories from his tabulations. Thus by his own admission his generalizations extended only to the white population of North America, despite the inclusiveness of his titles.” (Robinson, The Modernization of Sex Havelock Ellis, Alfred Kinsey, William Masters and Virginia Johnson, p.53)

“Weaver also stated that anyone who knew anything about sampling theory had to be very disturbed by Kinsey’s deficiencies, charging "that substantially more than one-third of all of Doctor Kinsey’s histories have been obtained on the basis of what a statistician calls ’cluster’ sampling," a flaw that all but destroyed Kinsey’s claims that his data were representative.” (Jones, Alfred C. Kinsey A Public/Private Life p. 636)

“Whether the subject was the gall wasp or sex, the key to valid research, for Kinsey, was identical: amass a vast sample. In this case, his nonrandom sample consisted of the sex of histories of individuals as varied as college students, prisoners, mental patients, whit- and blue-collar workers, minsters, and prostitutes. His technique was to interview. The average interview lasted from ninety minutes to two hours and covered from 350 to 500 items, or more.” (Irvine, “Toward a “Value-Free” Science of Sex”, p. 334 - 335 in Sexualities in History edited by Kim M Phillips and Barry Reay.)
“There is now general agreement in the scientific community that Kinsey’s method of obtaining a sample of Americans did not meet todays’ standard of survey sampling.” (Kinsey, Pomeroy, Martin and Gebhard. Sexual Behavior in the Human Female, p.b)

“The critics are correct in their statements about sample size. The implication that conclusions should have been drawn more hesitatingly is also sound.” (Cochran, Mosteller, Tukey and Jenkins, Statistical Problems of the Kinsey Report on Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, p.149)

“Many of KPM’s findings are subject to question because of a possible bias in the constitution of the sample." (Cochran, Mosteller, Tukey and Jenkins, Statistical Problems of the Kinsey Report on Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, p.2)

“KPM had to choose the population to which this study should apply. This decision does not seem to have been made clearly. From the basis for the U. S. Corrections (p.105) we should infer it to be all U.S. white males.” (Cochran, Mosteller, Tukey and Jenkins, Statistical Problems of the Kinsey Report on Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, p.10)

“The criticism is well-taken that KPM gave inadequate information about what was done. We cannot tell how big the samples were, what groups went into what cells, or just how the sampling was done, in fact we cannot even make a good stab at guessing the sampled population to which KPM’s sample might reasonably apply.” (Cochran, Mosteller, Tukey and Jenkins, Statistical Problems of the Kinsey Report on Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, p.65)

“In the case of homosexuality, we are chiefly concerned about possible bias in the sample, although cover-up may also be a factor.” (Cochran, Mosteller, Tukey and Jenkins, Statistical Problems of the Kinsey Report on Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, p.150)

“The defects of this work are widely known: for example, respondents were disproportionately drawn the Midwest and from college campuses, and the research did not use probability sampling.” (Turner, Miller, and Moses, Editors. AIDS Sexual Behavior and Intravenous Drug Use, p.9)

“Both Jones and Gathorne-Hardy agree his sample was distorted with Indiana furnishing the greatest number of subjects, but he also had a disproportionate number of homosexuals.” (Bullough, The Kinsey Biographies, p.20-21)

“It has long been recognized that one of the greatest faults of the Kinsey research was the way in which the cases were selected: the sample is not representative of the entire U.S. population or any definable group in the population. This fault limits the comparability and appropriateness of the Kinsey data as a basic for calculating the prevalence of any form of sexual conduct.” (Turner, Miller, and Moses, Editors. AIDS Sexual Behavior and Intravenous Drug Use, p.82)

“Yet, for all his posturing and bluster, Kinsey was chronically unsure of himself as a statistician. This was not without irony, given the fact that he had set himself up as the scientist with not only the most data but the most reliable data. Indeed, his criticisms of previous sex researchers had centered not just on the size of their samples but on how they had collected their data. Most researchers, he charged, had relied upon written questionnaires, which were notoriously unreliable for getting people to admit illegal or al¬legedly immoral behavior. Their data, he stressed again and again, rested on puny samples that should not be used to generalize. Yet the reliability of Kinsey’s sample was no less problematic. Despite the huge number of histories he had compiled, his sample was far from random and therefore far from representative—too many of his histories came from prisoners, too many from college students, and too many from subjects he knew in advance to be gay.”) (Jones, Alfred C. Kinsey A Public/Private Life p. 521-522)

Data

“Then Kinsey discussed the daunting statistical problems inherent in sex research, followed by a cogent. If somewhat defensive, justification of his sampling technique. Part I closed with soothing reassurances about the validity of the data, with Kinsey out¬lining the various safeguards he had adopted, such as retakes, comparisons of interviews provided by spouses, 100 percent samples, and the like. Al¬though he repeatedly vouched for the accuracy of his research, Kinsey ended with an official disclaimer, cautioning readers that the data are probably fair approximations, but only approximations of the fact.” (Jones, Alfred C. Kinsey A Public/Private Life p. 521)

“The interview was one of the most controversial aspects of the Kinsey research; even today curiosity persists about what exactly went on. It is clear that Kinsey’s interviewing format was highly idiosyncratic. He admitted that certain techniques worked better for some interviewers than others and that approaches to different informants might vary in language, style, and the definition and construction of questions. He believed that an experienced interviewer (one trained in the Kinsey method) would be alert to and responsive to intangibles that called for a modification in technique. In a rare lapse of his usual aspirations to scientific objectivity, he acknowledged that effective interviewing could require empathy from the researcher: The interviewer who senses what these things are can mean, who at least momentarily shares something of the satisfaction, pain, or bewilderment, which was the subject’s, who shares something of the subject’s hope that things will, somehow, work out right, is more effective, though he may not be altogether neutral.” He went so far as to describe the interview as a “communion between two deeply human individuals, the subject and the interviewer.” This was striking departure from the traditional stimulus-response approach to the interview.” (Irvine, “Toward a “Value-Free” Science of Sex”, p. 335 in Sexualities in History edited by Kim M Phillips and Barry Reay.)

“Kinsey’s emphasis on the primary of physiological response and his insistence on empiricism led him, as we have seen, to adopt organism as an accessible and quantifiable unit of measurement. He defined orgasm operationally, as “the moment of sudden release.”” (Irvine, “Toward a “Value-Free” Science of Sex”, p. 342 in Sexualities in History edited by Kim M Phillips and Barry Reay.)

“Armed with a unit of measurement. Kinsey turned to collecting data on the types of activities people engaged in and counting the number of times they engaged in them. A major construct of his research was “sexual outlet”-a taxonomy of the six major sources of organism (masturbation, nocturnal emissions, heterosexual petting, heterosexual intercourse, homosexual relations, and intercourse with animals). The sum of the organisms from these various sources was called the individual’s total sexual outlet. The most significant ramification of this conceptualization was its elevation of typically marginalized behaviors (bestiality, nocturnal emissions) and stigmatized activities (homosexuality and masturbation) to an equivalent status with heterosexual behavior. Anticipating Masters and Johnson’s conclusion that, physiologically, an organism is an organism, Kinsey accorded all equal dignity.” (Irvine, “Toward a “Value-Free” Science of Sex”, p. 342 - 343 in Sexualities in History edited by Kim M Phillips and Barry Reay.)

“Kinsey’s method of interviewing and his handling of the data compiled thereby were the subjects of considerable scholarly de¬bate during his lifetime. Much of this literature was highly tech¬nical. In essence, however, it focused on two issues: whether the information obtained in the interviews was accurate, and whether the sample interviewed was representative of the popu-lation as a whole. On both counts Kinsey defended himself vigor¬ously and in the process revealed a number of his basic sexual assumptions.” (Robinson, The Modernization of Sex Havelock Ellis, Alfred Kinsey, William Masters and Virginia Johnson, p. 44)

“The most striking example of Kinsey’s materialism-or, more precisely, of his behaviorism-was his decision to evaluate sexual experience strictly in terms of organisms, and organisms themselves strictly in terms of numbers. This meant he took no statistical note of how organisms differed from one another in intensity or in the emotional values associated with them. It also meant that he ignored, at least in statistical terms, those sexual activities that did not culminate in organism. Kinsey defended this decision on purely pragmatic grounds. He argued not that organism was a completely adequate measure of sexual experience, but rather that it was the only measure distinct enough to allow of statistical. In other words, the organismic standard was to large extent a mathematical convenience.” (Robinson, The Modernization of Sex: Havelock Ellis, Alfred Kinsey, William Masters and Virginia Johnson, p.57)

“The notion of outlet, for all of its apparent innocence, performed critical services for Kinsey. Principal among these was the demotion of heterosexual intercourse to merely one among a democratic roster of six possible forms of sexual release the six, in order of their treatment in the Male volume, were masturbation, nocturnal emissions, heterosexual petting, heterosexual intercourse, homosexual relations, and intercourse with animals of other species). What for centuries had been honored simply as “the sexual act” here found itself tucked away unceremoniously in slot number four, and its socially acceptable form, marital intercourse, was even more rudely confined to a single chapter toward the back of the book, where it received about one-third the attention devoted to homosexual relations. The notion of outlet thus allowed Kinsey to bring off a remarkable feat of sexual leveling and altogether he was elsewhere to reveal a lingering loyalty to the regime of marital heterosexuality, the fundamental categories of his analysis clearly worked to undermine the traditional sexual order.” (Robinson, The Modernization of Sex: Havelock Ellis, Alfred Kinsey, William Masters and Virginia Johnson, p.58 – 59)

“In Part II of the male volume, Kinsey devoted nine chapters to the topic “Factors Effecting Sexual Outlet.” These factors included age, marriage, religion, and social class. To learn how each of these factors operated, Kinsey used the organism to as his basic unit of measurement. Intellectually, there were compelling reasons to do so. Most men could tell whether or not they had an orgasm, and organisms could be counted. It was all so straightforward. Yet, whatever its intellectual justification, Kinsey’s emphasis on organisms was a brilliant tactical maneuver. No approach could have been more deeply subversive of traditional morality, as organisms reduced sex to quantifiable physiological events. This in turn, only served to demystify sex, which was exactly what Kinsey intended.” (Jones, Alfred C. Kinsey A Public/Private Life p. 522)

Children

Three of Kinsey’s books were reprinted at the same time, in 1998, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the publication of Sexual Behavior in the Human Male. Of interest, additional information was added and is found in only one of the three-reprinted books. This new information addresses Chapter 5 from the 1948 edition of Sexual Behavior in the Human Male. Chapter 5 from the book, Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, deals with the sexual response of infants and young children. Interestingly this new information was included in an introduction by John Bancraft, the current director of the Kinsey Institute for Sex Research in Sexual Behavior, in the reprinted book, Sexual Behavior in the Human Female. This new information was not included in the reprinted book, Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, Chapter 5 is from this book and it is this chapter that is controversial. Yet John Bancraft addresses this controversy in only one of the three- reprinted books, and not in the reprinted book in which the controversy arises from, Sexual Behavior in the Human Male.

Large portions of the data on the sexual response of children came from one individual who has now been identified, Kenneth Green. His interview by Kinsey included the notes he recorded of his personal sexual experiences with family members, animals, male and female children as young as infants.

Kinsey’s biographer Gathorne-Hardy in his book, Kinsey Sex the Measure of All Things, writes of Kinsey gathering information from interviewing children from 2 to 5 years of age. This revealing information should alarm everyone in evaluating Kinsey’s work as a sex researcher. Young children of this age not only lack the vocabulary to articulate themselves but more importantly their mental maturity would not allow them to comprehend anything sexual. A very important question which needs to be answered is what was Kinsey hoping to achieve from interviewing children ages 2 to 5? A second question would concern Kinsey’s qualifications as a scientist and specifically a sex researcher.

“I decided to check on the sources of this information and found that, without any doubt, all of the information reported in Tables 31-34 came from the carefully documented records of one man. From 1917 until the time that Kinsey interviewed him in the mid-1940s, this man kept notes on a vast array of sexual experiences, involving not only children but adults of both sexes. Kinsey was clearly impressed with by the systematic way he kept his records, and regarded them as of considerable scientific interest. Clearly, his description in the book of the source of this data was misleading, in that he implied that it had come from several men rather than one, although it is likely that information elsewhere in this chapter, on the descriptions of different types of organisms, was obtained in part from some of these other nine men. I do not know why Kinsey was unclear on this point; it was obviously not to conceal the origin of the information from criminal sexual involvement with children, because that was already quite clear. Maybe it was to conceal the single source which otherwise might have attracted attention to this one man with possible demands for his identification (demands which now have occurred even though he is long dead). It would be typical of Kinsey to be more concerned about protecting the anonymity of his research subjects (and convincing the reader of the scientific value of the information) than protecting himself from the allegations that eventually followed.” (Kinsey, Pomeroy, Martin and Gebhard, Sexual Behavior in the Human Female, p.k)

“In fact, he lifted large chunks of Green’s pre-adolescent material and it furnished considerable proportion of Chapter 5’Early Sexual Growth and Activity’, in the Male Volume.” (Pomperoy, Dr. Kinsey and the Institute for Sex Research, p. 222)

“The longest history we ever took was done, thus, conjointly, by Kinsey and me. We had heard through Dr. Dickinson of a man who had kept an accurate record of a lifetime’s sexual behavior. When we got the record after a long drive to take his history, it astounded even us, who had heard everything. This man had had homosexual rela¬tions with 600 preadolescent males, heterosexual relations with 200 preadolescent females, intercourse with countless adults of both sexes, with animals, of many species, and besides had employed elabo¬rate techniques of masturbation. He had set down a family tree going back to his grandparents, and of thirty-three family members he had had sexual contacts with seventeen. His grandmother introduced him to heterosexual intercourse, and his first homosexual experience was with his father. If that sounds like Tobacco Road or God’s Little Acre, I will add that he was a college graduate who held a responsible government job. We had traveled from Indiana to the Southwest to get this single extraordinary history, and felt that it had been worth every mile.

At the time we saw him, this man was sixty-three years old, quiet, soft-spoken, self-efffacing—a rather unobtrusive fellow. It took us seventeen hours.to get his history, which was the basis for a fair part of Chapter Five in the Male volume, concerning child, sexuality. Because of these elaborate records, we were able to get data on the behavior of many children, as well as of our subject.” (Pomperoy, Dr. Kinsey and the Institute for Sex Research, p. 122)

“Both Jones and Garthorne-Hardy point out the data was mostly dependent upon the notes taken by a pedophile although Kinsey tried to cover this up by attributing it to varying sources.” (Bullough, The Kinsey Biographies; p.22)

“Second, Pomeroy wrote that confessed pedophile Kenneth S. Green’s experiences, which included six hundred preadolescent boys and two hundred preadolescent girls, were “the basis for a fair part of Chapter Five in the male volume, concerning child sexuality.” Green also kept his own records of his experiences with adolescents, other adults, animals, and incestuous sex with seventeen relatives. The most notorious of the tables in the chapter “Early Sexual Growth and Activity” was table thirty-four, Examples of Multiple Organism in Pre-Adolescent Males”, which lists the number of multiple organisms that boys from five months through fourteen years of age had over a single period of up to twenty-four hours. Other tables list preadolescent eroticism and organisms generally, the speed of the preadolescent organism, and the number of boys experiencing multiple organisms, “based on a small and select group of boys. Not typical of the experience, but suggestive of the capacities of pre-adolescent boys in general.”” (Drucker, The Classification of Sex Alfred Kinsey and the Organization of Knowledge p. 95

“For sheer perversity, the jewel of Dickinson’s collection was a man we shall call Mr. X. His bizarre sexual behavior, it seems, was a family legacy. The product of a home poisoned by cross-generational incest, he had sex with his grandmother when he was still a young child, as well as with his father. In the years that followed, the boy had sexual relations with seven¬teen of the thirty-three relatives with whom he had contact. And this was just the beginning. After he reached adulthood, Mr. X was obsessed with sex, a walking id with polymorphous erotic tastes. By the time Dickinson brought him to Kinsey’s attention, wrote Pomeroy, "This man had had ho-mosexual relations with 600 preadolescent males, heterosexual relations with 200 preadolescent females, intercourse with countless adults of both sexes, with animals of many species, and besides had employed elaborate techniques of masturbation." Mr. X had also compiled a sizable collection of erotic photographs, and he had made extensive notes on all his sexual activities, chronicling not only his behavior and reactions but those of his partners and victims.” (Jones, Alfred C. Kinsey A Public/Private Life, p. 507)

“Finally, Mr. X consented, agreeing to rendezvous at a site about fifty miles from his home so that the meeting would go unnoticed. In June 1944, Kinsey and Pomeroy traveled some eighteen hundred miles to in¬terview Mr. X, their longest trip ever to take a single history. "At the time we saw him," wrote Pomeroy, "this man was sixty-three years old, quiet, soft-spoken, self-effacing—a rather unobtrusive fellow." Despite his un¬prepossessing appearance, it took a record seventeen hours to record Mr. X’s case history, which as Pomeroy put it, "astounded even us, who had heard everything."”” (Jones, Alfred C. Kinsey A Public/Private Life, p. 508)

“Science would have been better served had Kinsey not allowed his lust for data to obscure his judgment. Viewed from any angle, his relationship with Mr. X was a cautionary tale. Whatever the putative value to science of Mr. X s experiences, the fact remains that he was a predatory pedophile. Over the course of his long career as a child molester, he masturbated in¬fants, penetrated children, and performed a variety of other sexual acts on preadolescent boys and girls alike. Betraying a huge moral blind spot, Kin¬sey took the records of Mr. X’s criminal acts and transformed them into sci¬entific data.” (Jones, Alfred C. Kinsey A Public/Private Life, p. 510)

“He concentrated at first on the three-, four- and five-year old levels, working primarily in nursery schools, and always getting the parents’ histories first. He also took a scattering of older children, and found that after age eight it was better to exclude parents. There were a few nine- and ten-year olds who gave histories, but this aspect of the project never really developed. Kinsey had hopes and dreams of exploring in depth such a relatively untouched field, but that part of the investigation died with him.” (Pomperoy, Dr. Kinsey and the Institute for Sex Research, p. 219)

“By 1944 he had realized how extraordinarily early - three, four or five year olds - sexual attitudes and responses (and therefore future happy or unhappy sex lives) start to develop. He decided they must investigate little children directly and not rely on adult memory of child-hood.” (Gathorne-Hardy, Kinsey Sex the Measure of All Things, p. 214)

“Kinsey followed to the letter later ’standards’ in these things, but with small children, though parents were usually present, they were not invariably so, as Pomeroy asserts. Ruth Weinberg arrived at the Bureau of Juvenile Research in Columbus, Ohio, as a newly trained psychologist in 1943. She had no task so they sent her along to see Dr. Kinsey. To her amazement he sat her down and began to fire questions at her. ’I assumed that when you start work as a psychologist all your most intimate personal experiences are subject to question.’ But she said during the two years she worked there Kinsey saw the children alone.” (Gathorne-Hardy, Kinsey Sex the Measure of All Things, p. 215)

“In this two-month California visit he took 450 histories: 100 per cent samples from women counsellors at the University of California, and of children (two- to four-year-olds) in a nursery school; he also got sidetracked into a ’group of amputees’" - but the most important to Kinsey were the convicts. He could, wrote Pomeroy, have taken the entire prison, warders included.” (Gathorne-Hardy, Kinsey Sex the Measure of All Things, p. 327)

Kinsey and homosexuality

“It would encourage clear thinking on these matters if persons were not characterized as heterosexual or homosexual, but as individuals who have had certain amounts of heterosexual experience and certain amounts of homosexual experience. Instead of using these terms as substantives which stand for persons, or even as adjectives to describe persons, they may better be used to describe the nature of the overt sexual relations, or of the stimuli to which an individual erotically responds.” (Kinsey, Pomeroy, & Martin, Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, p. 617)

“Males do not represent two discrete populations, heterosexual and homosexual.” (Kinsey, Pomeroy, & Martin, Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, p. 639)

“From all of this, it should be evident that one is not warranted in recognizing merely two types of individuals, heterosexual and homosexual, and that the characterization of the homosexual as a third sex fails to describe any actuality.” (Kinsey, Pomeroy, & Martin, Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, p. 647)

“For Kinsey, then, labels such as "homosexual" and "heterosexual" did not make sense. People engaged in homosexual acts; they were not homosex¬uals. Therefore, the only proper use for the word "homosexual" was as an adjective, not as a noun. Pressing this point vigorously, he declared. “It would encourage clearer thinking on these matters if persons were not characterized as heterosexual or homosexual, but as individuals who have had certain amounts of heterosexual experience and certain amounts of ho¬mosexual experience.”” (Jones, Alfred C. Kinsey A Public/Private Life, p.531)

“Ironically, in view of the importance Kinsey attributed to homosexual outlet, the principal theoretical contention he wished to make about homosexuality was that, properly speaking, it did not exist. That is, he argued that homosexuality was neither a clinical syndrome nor a sexual identity. There was no homosexual persons, but only homosexual acts. Thus the word “homosexual,” he insisted, was properly used only as an adjective, not a noun.” (Robinson, The Modernization of Sex: Havelock Ellis, Alfred Kinsey, William Masters and Virginia Johnson, p.67)

“The common element of these criticisms of prevailing opinion concerning homosexuality was Kinsey’s aversion to the notion of sexual identity, the notion, as he expressed it, “that homosexual males and females are discretely different from persons from persons who merely have homosexual experience, or who reacts sometimes to homosexual stimuli.” A person, for Kinsey, was what he did, and nothing more.” (Robinson, The Modernization of Sex: Havelock Ellis, Alfred Kinsey, William Masters and Virginia Johnson, p.67)

“In the end Kinsey stuck to his contention that homosexuality required no explanation whatsoever. The ability to respond to homosexual stimuli was a universal human, indeed a universal biological, capacity. The fact that some persons showed a greater affinity for homosexual relations than did others could be attrib¬uted to the accidents of individual experience (in particular whether one’s first sexual experience happened to be with a per¬son of the same or the opposite sex) or to the mysteries of indi¬vidual choice:” (Robinson, The Modernization of Sex Havelock Ellis, Alfred Kinsey, William Masters and Virginia Johnson, p. 67)

“In three areas Kinsey’s influence has been significant. First, there can little doubt that, to his everlasting credit, he helped to create a more tolerant attitude toward homosexuality. This liberalizing influence derived most obviously from his simple empirical demonstration of exactly how many people are involved in homosexual activities. At the same time, his dissolution of the very category of homosexuality may have even worked an even deeper effect. It suggested not merely that homosexual acts are extremely common, but that homosexuality, since it is not a state of being, exists as a potential in all persons. “We’re all bisexual, it’s just a matter of degree.”” (Robinson, The Modernization of Sex: Havelock Ellis, Alfred Kinsey, William Masters and Virginia Johnson, p.116 -117)

“It is, I think, now generally accepted by all commentators, and has been for some time, that Kinsey had a range of social and legal reforms - his ’social agenda’ in today’s jargon.’ Of these, the only one we need to look at further is homosexuality.

It is here, above all, sharpened obviously by autobiography, that there is passion in the Report. Kinsey had seen how these men had been harmed by society for their sexuality - he had seen them in prison, blackmailed, made to feel guilt and anxiety, even made outcasts, and it had made him very angry. This never led him to falsify his figures; it did dictate his presentation.

Kinsey is famous for three statistics: 37 per cent, 10 per cent and 4 per cent 37 per cent is the percentage of men who have ’at least some overt homosexual experience’ to orgasm (Kinsey’s emphasis) between adoles¬cence (thirteen) and old age. 10 per cent is the number of males who ’were more or less exclusively homosexual for at least three years (Kinsey s emphasis, plus my italics) between sixteen and fifty-five. 4 per cent is the number of men ’exclusively homosexual throughout their lives’.

It is obvious that this method of presentation was specifically designed to make there seem to be as much homosexual activity as pos¬sible (and it is equally obvious Kinsey’s own bisexuality played a role here).” (Gathorne-Hardy, Kinsey Sex the Measure of All Things, p. 259)

“Kinsey had some specific advice to give to the homosexuals who wrote to him, and it flew in the face both of accepted psychologic theory and of psychoanalytic and psychiatric practice. But as he liked to point out, no published-study had a quarter as much material as he already had on the subject. By the end of 1940 he had recorded more than 450 homosexual histories, enough to convince him that the psychologists were making matters worse by starting with the assumption that homosexuality was an inherited abnormality which could not be cured simply because it was inherent. Kinsey was con¬vinced that there was absolutely no evidence of inheritance.

The physical basis, he believed, of both homosexual and hetero¬sexual behavior was a touch response. When an individual had a pleasurable first experience of either kind he looked forward to-a repetition of the experience, often with such anticipation that he could be aroused by the sight or mere thought of another person with whom he might make contact. Unsatisfactory experience, on- the other hand, built up a prejudice, against repetition. Whether one built a heterosexual or a homosexual pattern depended, therefore, partially on the satisfactory or unsatisfactory nature of one’s first experience.

There were social factors, too, which forced an individual into a totally heterosexual or homosexual pattern, he observed. Most social -forces encourage the heterosexual, but society’s ostracism of the homosexual forces him into the exclusive company of other homosex¬uals and into an exclusively-homosexual pattern. Without such social forces, Kinsey was convinced, many people would carry on both heterosexual and homosexual activities coincidentally.

For homosexuals who wanted to change their pattern of behavior Kinsey had a program. ’To begin with, he said, the only way to change was to develop satisfactory heterosexual relations that might become acceptable as a substitute, rather than to try to persuade oneself that one did not enjoy homosexual behavior. Psychiatrists accomplished nothing, he thought, by discrediting the homosexual.

In Kinsey’s files were the records (as early as 1940) of more than eighty cases of men who had made a satisfactory heterosexual adjust¬ment which either accompanied or largely replaced earlier homosexual ’experience. Males continued to arouse them, but they found it increasingly simple to avoid male contacts if they built up satisfactory female relations". "Kinsey warned these men not to try to acquire heterosexual experience by means of prostitutes, whom he considered to be rarely satisfying, even to the most heterosexual males.

The course of training Kinsey recommended to those who wanted to change began by associating with heterosexual men, then taking opportunities to make social contacts with girls, and finally starting physical contacts of the simplest kind, working up slowly to intercourse only after definite, arousal in petting. Sex relations with males had to be avoided as far as convenient.” (Pomperoy, Dr. Kinsey and the Institute for Sex Research, p. 75-76)

Homosexual: 10% Myth

“I think it worth noting two major points about the quoted section from the men’s report. The first is that, as I’ve indicated, what Kinsey said and what we have come to believe Kinsey said are two different things, He did not say that 10 percent of the male population was homosexual. In fact, he said there was no such thing as a homosexual. He was quite explicit on the subject.” (Archer, The End of Gay and the death of heterosexuality, p.123)

“From all of this, it becomes obvious that any question as to the number of persons in the world who are homosexual and the number who are heterosexual is unanswerable.” (Kinsey, Pomeroy, & Martin, Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, p. 650)

The 10% myth for the number of homosexuals is connected to the Kinsey study and an individual, Bruce Voeller. Laumann,et al. in a footnote, on page 289, in their book, The Social Organization of Sex: Sexual Practices in the United States, links the two together. In a 1990 claim made by Bruce Voeller, who was in the late 1970s chair of the National Gay Task Force, takes credit for the origination of the 10% myth. Voeller writes in his article “Some Uses and Abuses of the Kinsey Scale” how he came up with the 10% number. This article is found in the book, Homosexuality/Heterosexuality Concepts of Sexual Orientation. The use of this myth, beginning in the late 1970s by the modern gay rights movement’s campaign was to convince politicians and the public that “We [gays and lesbians] Are Everywhere.”

Though this 10% number is no longer widely used, you may still hear or read about it. The 10% myth is widely used in older books and articles published advocating for homosexuality. Kirk and Madsen in their book published in 1989, After the Ball How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of the Gay’s in the 90s, wrote about this 10% figure. Marshall Kirk is a 1980 graduate of Harvard University. Co-author Hunter Madsen is a public-communications expert who has taught on the Harvard University faculty, designed commercial advertising on Madison Avenue and helped with the first national gay advertising effort, the Positive Images Campaign. It is a book advocating for homosexuality and a change in the strategy from a gay revolution to a public relations campaign for winning greater acceptance of homosexuality in America.

“Consequently, gays are assumed to be quite rare. Although when polled, the average American now estimates the proportion of gays in the general population at roughly 10 percent - which is quite correct - he is only parroting back a much-bandied-about and, to him, a meaningless statistic. He doesn’t understand its implications, and certainly doesn’t believe that that ‘10 percent’ lives anywhere near him, still less that it might include some of his friends and acquaintances. Rather his believe is, “Maybe 10 percent nationally, but not in my backyard.” (Kirk and Madsen, After the Ball How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of the Gay’s in the 90s, p. xvi-xvii)

“If we must draw the line somewhere and pick a specific percentage for propaganda purposes, we may as well stick with the solidly conservative figure suggested by Kinsey decades ago: taking men and women together, at least 10% of the populace has demonstrated its homosexual proclivities so extensively that the proportion may reasonably be called ‘gay’.” (Kirk and Madsen, After the Ball How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of the Gay’s in the 90s, p. 15)

LeVay is a homosexual advocate and researcher who conducted the “gay brain” study in the early 1990s. In a book, City of Friends, published in 1995, he acknowledges that the 10% figure is a myth.

“In addition, Kinsey reported that 10 percent of men are more or less exclusively homosexual for at least three years between the ages of sixteen and fifty-five. This figure was later seized on by gay rights activists and taken that one in ten men are gay. In fact, however, Kinsey stated that only 4 percent of the male population are exclusively homosexual throughout their lives.” (LeVay & Nonas, City of Friends, p.51)

“What fraction of the US population is gay or lesbian? The figure one hears most commonly in the gay community is 10 percent. Several gay and lesbian organizations, books and periodicals uses this figure in their names, an indication that it is seen as important to gay and lesbian esteem.

The 10 percent figure is derived from the Kinsey studies of forty to fifty years ago (see chapter 3). What Kinsey actually reported was that 10 percent of men were more or less exclusively homosexual for three years of their adult lives. In Kinsey’s data, only about 4 percent of men and 2 percent of women were exclusively homosexual throughout their adult lives. Furthermore, Kinsey’s sampling and interviewing procedures would not be considered scientifically valid today.

More recent studies have consistently produced figures lower than 10 percent.” (LeVay, & Nonas, City of Friends, p.101-102)

Paigila self-identifies as a libertian and a lesbian woman. She has both foes and critics among other gays and lesbians. Her quotes are from a book published in 1994.

“From the start of my media career, I attacked the much-touted activists claim that 10 percent of the population is gay - which always was a distortion of Kinsey’s findings that 10 percent had had some homosexual experience over their lifetime.” (Paigila, Vamps & Tramps, p. 73-74)

“The 10 percent figure, servilely repeated by the media, was pure propaganda, and it made me, as a scholar despise gay activists for their unscrupulous disregard for the truth. Their fibs and fabrications continue now about the still-fragmentary evidence for a genetic link to homosexuality and for homosexual behavior among animals.” (Paigila, Vamps & Tramps, p. 74)

Kinsey’s sexual behavior

Kinsey was sexually active with both men and women. Although married to his wife, Clara, who was may have been his first sexual partner, he was not sexually faithful to her. When Kinsey was nineteen years old he may have been sexually active with another fifteen year old male, Kenneth Hand. It is from Garthorne-Hardy’s book, Kinsey Sex the Measure of All Things which provides the most details and insight into Kinsey’s sexual behavior. He writes of not only Kinsey’s homosexual cruising but of his sexual affairs with both men and women.

“At least we have concrete evidence lacking from earlier speculation about the details of Kinsey’s own sex history. From 1939, almost certainly for the first time Kinsey was at last able to satisfy fully his longing for a physical homosexual outlet. Not with the Rush Street boys, but in this world of ‘tea rooms’ (US slang for urinals; in English ‘cottages’) that they had shown him. He continued to do this until 1948.” (Gathorne-Hardy, Kinsey Sex the Measure of All Things, p. 137)

“He had to give up casual sex in bathhouses and tea rooms.” (Gathorne-Hardy, Kinsey Sex the Measure of All Things, p. 309)

“But whatever the genesis and its ramifications, Pomeroy said that – outside, of course, anonymous and casual ‘tea-room’ sex – this strongly sexed and idealistically promiscuous man only had about nine other partners during his life.” (Gathorne-Hardy, Kinsey Sex the Measure of All Things, p. 248)

“66 Promeroy in discussion with Tripp, who relayed it to A. Pomeroy was referring to nine male partners – of whom I can locate six. I can also locate six female partners. These will emerge. Given Kinsey’s secretiveness, there may have been additional ones but given Promeroy’s observation – and he knew Kinsey extremely well – probably mot many.” (Gathorne-Hardy, Kinsey Sex the Measure of All Things, p. 479, foot note 66)

Women

Alice Dent

“Alice Dent was being discreet. In fact, Kinsey’s ’light of sexual arousal’ was probably sparked by experience. As with Spears, he used to lunch and dine Alice Dent in New York and had sex with her on a number of occasions. Both liaisons were suspected at the time, as was one with another Alice - odd the number of Alices — Alice Field. Kinsey had plans for this attractive young woman to run a branch of the ISR in New York, but unfortunately she died before this was possible. P.aul Gebhard is not certain here, but thinks it likely she and-Kinsey had sex together too.” (Gathorne-Hardy, Kinsey Sex the Measure of All Things, p. 316)

Alice Spears

“He had what amounted, not to an affair quite, but a sexual liaison with Alice Spears, often lunching or dining her in New York and later when she moved to California.” (Gathorne-Hardy, Kinsey Sex the Measure of All Things, p. 315)

Men

Glenway Westcott

“In the art world, Kinsey’s New York guide was Monroe Wheeler, director of exhibitions at the Museum of modern Art, who arranged dinners at which Prok could meet people who might be helpful as contacts for his research. As a result he got the histories of a large group of artists.” (Pomperoy, Dr. Kinsey and the Institute for Sex Research, p. 192)

“Another writer who became a Kinsey friend was also in time a contributor to the project in many ways. Glenway Wescott visited Bloomington, saw Kinsey occasionally in New York and corresponded with him frequently. It was his literate, informed help that gave Kinsey a begining on his analysis of pornography, as he acknowledged later.” (Pomperoy, Dr. Kinsey and the Institute for Sex Research, p. 194)

“It was as close as he ever came to telling his future biographer that he had at that point begin his affair with Kinsey, an affair which, soon after this, became what Glenway really always preferred, a three-part affair, with Monroe Wheeler also becoming Kinsey’s lover.”(Gathorne-Hardy, Kinsey Sex the Measure of All Things, p. 354)

“Paul Gebhard felt there was never any great likelihood of the team or anyone else letting things out, and indeed no one did so - at the time.’’ Nevertheless, it seems to me there was, as it were by definition, a considerable risk just entering the group round Glenway Wescott. Wescott’s three obsessions in life were snobbery/gossip/society, writing (usually his) and sex, and it would be hard to choose the most important. And the whole homosexual group which revolved round him was charged with sex and fascinated by it. They were all equally charged with gossip about sex and Kinsey didn’t just observe them, at Stoneblossom,in New York and Bloomington; he also, if rarely, joined in. He had sex with Bill Miller for example’- a young man ’of absolutely stun¬ning physique when young’.” (Gathorne-Hardy, Kinsey Sex the Measure of All Things, p. 358)

“One of Wescott’s chief pleasures at this time was to give dinner parties for men, usually in their twenties, and try and provoke orgies, in which he would participate or more often watch (there was a strong element of the voyeur in him). Kinsey sometimes attended these and Wescott described to his biographer how he seemed on these occasions to completely disappear. ‘Everyone said that.’ He sat silent, motionless, his face stern, almost lugubrious. ‘And suddenly he he’d get up and move and you’d think, “My God, he’s been there a long time.’” (Pomperoy, Dr. Kinsey and the Institute for Sex Research, p. 336)

Dr. Earle Marsh (Mr. Y)

“Sometimes one friend led to another. It was Dr. Dickinson, for instance, who brought Kinsey together with Earle Marsh, the San Francisco gynecologist, in 1946. They met at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York where Marsh gave his history.” (Pomperoy, Dr. Kinsey and the Institute for Sex Research, p. 165)

“Some time before, Dickinson had introduced him to a young, extremely bright, good-looking, lively and likeable West Coast gynaecologist, Dr Earle Marsh. Marsh came from a stern, sexually repressive religious background similar to Kinsey’s, and like Kinsey - like converts famously everywhere - had reacted violently in the opposite direction. His history, when Kinsey took it, as of course he soon did, was diverse and active and included sadomasochism and a good deal of homo¬sexuality.

On the visit, Kinsey invited Marsh to see him in his hotel room. While they chatted. Marsh suddenly told him he’d had a fantasy of having sex with him ’[I told him] with no idea in mind except to report it’. Kinsey looked at him, and then ’He sort of said "Take off your clothes." So I did,’ said Marsh, ’and we started right there. So every time we met from then on, we had sexual contact.’” (Gathorne-Hardy, Kinsey Sex the Measure of All Things, p. 248)

“But under the beneficent sunshine of fame, a certain relaxation became evident. Shortly after the Male volume came out, around 15 January, Earle Marsh, the young gynaecolgist who had effectively seduced Kinsey in California some time before, arrived to stay with the Kinseys. Although he was to help professionally, his chief role at this point was sexual.

Marsh fulfilled this task with pleasure, and described it graphically. But on this visit - and on subsequent ones - he also had sex with Mac. Still very close emotionally, the Kinseys now ’slept in different bed¬rooms’, said Marsh. ’I don’t think he had sex with Mac to have sex, but if I was there we’d all have sex. Kinsey and I’d be having sex upstairs and I’d go down and have sex with Mac in the same house. She accepted what went on, you know... ‘They totally accepted what the other one did, totally.’” (Gathorne-Hardy, Kinsey Sex the Measure of All Things, p. 289)

Kinsey and male loves (Hand/Voris/Martin)

Kinsey had three male loves in his life, but how much was sexual is not known. The three men were Kenneth Hand, Ralph Voris, and Clyde Martin. It was Kinsey who initiated all three relationships and it was Kinsey who invested the most in these relationships.

“ This affair was to lead Kinsey in the direction of further sexual experimentation First, as with Voris, it clearly follows the patter laid down by Kenneth Hand of teacher/pupil, leader/follower. It also includes the element of frustration-that wind notorious for fanning the flames of love. With Hand it was probably ignorance about what was going on; with Voris, among other things, their geographical separation. With this last love, there seems to have been an element of reluctance on Martin’s part.” (Gathorne-Hardy, Kinsey Sex the Measure of All Things, p. 168)

Kenneth Hand

“It seems likely that when he was nineteen Kinsey had a romantic friendship along the lines sketched briefly above with one of his scout troop, Kenneth Hand, aged fifteen. Kinsey kept all of his letters over about two and a half years.” Gathorne-Hardy, Kinsey Sex the Measure of All Things, p. 25)

“And this is the third and most significant thing to note here. It seems likely Hand created a pattern. Kinsey was to fall in love three times in his life, and twice it was with people whose relationship with him was that of pupil/follower to leader/counselor; all but one of his sexual affairs were with men or woman younger than himself.” (Gathorne-Hardy, Kinsey Sex the Measure of All Things, p. 27)

Ralph Voris

“He was also, Kinsey told Gebhard, the second great love of his life.” (Gathorne-Hardy, Kinsey Sex the Measure of All Things, p. 82)

“They kept in touch, but Breland never replaced Ralp Vorris. No one did, though Kinsey was to fall in love once more, and have at least one significant affair, quite apart from numerous sexual encounters.” (Gathorne-Hardy, Kinsey Sex the Measure of All Things, p. 149)

“Yet there was one event that made these years far from ordinary for him. It was his friendship for a student, Ralph Voris, who studied with him through his graduate work, made many of the field trips with him and eventually went on to teach biologic sciences at Southwest Missouri State College, in Springfield. Voris became the closest friend Kinsey ever had; their relationship probably meant more to him than any other.” (Pomperoy, Dr. Kinsey and the Institute for Sex Research, p. 46)

“Two people who knew Kinsey well in his later years insist that Kinsey fell head-over-hills in love with Voris. “He was in love with Voris from day one,” declared one former friend and confidant. Another close friend, who admitted having homosexual relations himself with Kinsey on numerous occasions during the last decade of Kinsey’s life, declared “I think the first H[omosexual] contact he had of any significance was with his graduate student [Voris]. The friend stated that Kinsey told him that Voris was the second great love of his life, Clara being the first.” (Jones, Alfred C. Kinsey A Public / Private Life, p.272)

Clyde Martin

“Martin was a different kind of person. He found Kinsey likable, and he enjoyed gardening. For him it was a pleasant change from inside work and study, and he had always liked the outdoors, which particularly endeared him to Kinsey.” (Pomperoy, Dr. Kinsey and the Institute for Sex Research, p. 86)

“Martin came on staff full time in 1941. It had been a gradual process, from gardener to lab assistant to researcher.” (Pomperoy, Dr. Kinsey and the Institute for Sex Research, p. 122)

“Especially on Martin. Martin’s relationship with Kinsey could be fraught. Kinsey was still attracted to him, so his position was privileged. But by now Kinsey had to accept Martin’s rejection – which could suddenly irritate him.” (Pomperoy, Dr. Kinsey and the Institute for Sex Research, p. 297)

“Since Martin was not the first young man Kinsey had “educated,” and since he already knew Martin’s sexual preferences, Kinsey had a pretty good idea how to proceed. After all, the power relationship between Kinsey and Martin was not exactly equal. Kinsey was older, well established professionally, and Martin’s employer. Kinsey worked hard at seducing this insecure, anxious, and financially strapped young man, and martin became the third and final love of Kinsey’s life.” Jones, Alfred C. Kinsey A Public/Private Life, p.392-393)

“But Kinsey was much more interested in having sex with Martin than Martin was with Kinsey. For a time, Martin was able to be sexually responsive, but homosexually was not his inclination. He was much more interested in women. “Kinsey got Martin into all kinds of things, but Martin did not like it,” their friend explained. In fact, it really was a case of Martin’s “being dragged against his will in to it.” Asked about the duration of the sexual phase of the relationship between Kinsey and Martin, their friend replied, “I’m not sure … how long it lasted. I know that Kinsey was quite frustrated that Martin sort of wanted out of that … I know it wasn’t Martin’s scene at all.” Still in fact that Martin did not return his feelings in kind did little to dampen Kinsey’s attraction or hope. As their friend put it, Kinsey stayed “after him for years.”” Jones, Alfred C. Kinsey A Public/Private Life, p.393)

Kinsey/Sex/Pain

Of all of the autobiographical books written, the one by Garthorn-Hardy, Kinsey Sex the Measure of All Things which provides many details of Kinsey’s private sexual behavior and they are very revealing. This details of Kinsey’s private sexual behavior gives insight in to why Kinsey may have become a sex researcher. Not only are the following details of Kinsey’s private sexual behavior revealing, but particularly damming of all Kinsey’s sexual behavior. For they show the downward spiral of Kinsey’s sexual behavior.

“During his Bloomington visits. Marsh joined in the various staff encounters. ’I also had sex with everyone else round there too... we all sucked one another.’ But he became aware that while Kinsey joined in, with husbands and wives equally — one wife always refused him. It seems likely that this was Alice Martin, still harbouring her resentment

One further thing we should notice. Kinsey by this time had evolved, when strictly on his own, a much closer association between pain and sexual pleasure than is usual — and in the secondary and limited dictio¬nary meaning he was certainly a masochist.” (Gathorne-Hardy, Kinsey Sex the Measure of All Things, p. 290)

“Now it is perfectly true that during the late 1940s it emerged that Kinsey practiced a form of masturbation which did involve urethral insertions, and that by this time he had evolved certain patterns in which pain and pleasure were closely associated( see pp. 336-7)” (Gathorne-Hardy, Kinsey Sex the Measure of All Things, p. 291)

“Kinsey experimented with this pain/pleasure/sex connections in various ways. One, no doubt learned from his histories, was the tying of a rope around the genitals and tugging, sometimes combining this with a rope around his neck – both while masturbating.” (Gathorne-Hardy, Kinsey Sex the Measure of All Things, p. 336)

“The practice is not all that unknown because every now and again prominent figures are discovered strangled having got carried away. But the tendency is to push the practice to the point of pain, a bridge is thus built between pain and intense sensation, reinforced each time and gradually increased. Kinsey seems to have followed this path, at some point experimenting with the rope round his testicles alone. By 1954, it is clear years of pulling had strengthened these fragile tissues to an extraordinary degree.

We must also have in mind, when we come to events in 1954, that a time can eventually come, according to Dr. Michael Perring, when the sexual element can’t function without the painful supplement.

Some of the same considerations can apply to someone, like Kinsey, who finds that his urethra is erotically sensitive. Beginning we don’t know when but possibly, as we discussed earlier, quite late, Kinsey began to develop this. Getting pleasure from inserting thin objects, as the years passed and the passage grew insensibly larger, and also less sensitive, the size of the objects increased, until by 1949-50 he was able to insert pencils and even a toothbrush, bristle end first.” (Gathorne-Hardy, Kinsey Sex the Measure of All Things, p. 337)

“Both Gebhard and Dellenback recall that by 1949 there were holes visible in his foreskin which, one supposes at the exquisite peak of his orgasm, Kinsey had pierced." (Gathorne-Hardy, Kinsey Sex the Measure of All Things, p. 337)

“Sometime during this final period, Kinsey told Dellenback he had ‘circumcised’ himself in the bath tub with a pen knife. Since we know he had pierced his foreskin numerous times before in pursuit of intense sexual pain/pleasure sensation, this was probably the last of such incidents (last because there was nothing left to pierce).” (Gathorne-Hardy, Kinsey Sex the Measure of All Things, p. 414)

“While Dellenback could not remember shooting any homosexual activity including his boss, he often filmed Kinsey, always from the chest down, engaged in masochistic masturbation. Once the camera started rolling, the world’s foremost expert on human sexual behavior and a scientist who valued rationally above all intellectual properties would insert an object into his urethra, tie a rope around his scrotum, and then simultaneously tug hard on the rope as he maneuvered the object deeper and deeper.” (Jones, Alfred C. Kinsey A Public/Private Life, p. 609)

“But Kinsey also exercised a form of selective secrecy within the circle itself. He would tell Promeroy or Gebhard something and no one else. For instance, the rope around Kinsey’s testicles was complete news to Gebhard.” (Gathorne-Hardy, Kinsey Sex the Measure of All Things, p. 357)

Kinsey begin his career as a sex research with a marriage course he taught with others at the University of Indiana beginning in 1938. The first book was published in 1948, Sexual Behavior in the Human Male. Kinsey died, August 25, 1955, at the age of 62. Four biographies have been published of Kinsey’s life. The most critical is by Jones, Alfred C. Kinsey A Public/Private Life. The fourth, by Gathorne-Hardy, Kinsey Sex the Measure of All Things, although a more favorable view of Kinsey also reveals more personal details of Kinsey’s private life. It is some of these personal details that are by far more damaging and incriminating to Kinsey’s legacy. For they reveal more information about Kinsey’s sexual behavior, and sexual activity outside of his marriage. This author also writes more details of Kinsey’s lack of impartiality and objectivity, along with his deliberate attempts and intentions of not being forthright in actions and words (i.e saying one thing and then not doing it, that is changes he said would be made and then intentionally not making these specific changes).

“When William C. Cochran tackled him on the subject in 1951, Kinsey said he had recalculated ‘strategic bits of the Male volume, taking out the prison population, and it made little difference. “Gebhard says that at the time they hadn’t done this.” Kinsey often dealt with his internal critics by saying he’d made changes when he hadn’t, or else by promising changes he’d no intention of implementing.” (Gathrone-Hardy, Kinsey Sex the Measure of All Things, p.326)

So, in the end, what can be said of Kinsey’s life and legacy as a sex researcher sixty-years after his death? It depends on the scale that is used to measure Kinsey’s life, how much emphasis is placed on Kinsey’s shortcomings as compared to Kinsey’s accomplishments. Using as a scale the biography of Kinsey by Gathorne-Hardy, Kinsey Sex the Measure of All Things, one may objectively question Kinsey’s legacy by the damaging and incriminating personal details of Kinsey’s private life it reveals. For these details reveals Kinsey’s character, and the way he lived out his life. How much does Kinsey’s personal sexual behavior influence his sex research? Does the published results of Kinsey’s sex research meet today’s standards for publishing research findings, i.e. child sexual behavior from Chapter Five in Sexual Behavior in the Human Male. The scale falls out of balance to towards Kinsey’s shortcomings, thus allowing one to question Kinsey’s accomplishments. Thus, one may say, Kinsey’s legacy as a sex researcher, along with his findings in sex research, should be called into question.

Bibliography

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