Kinsey Reports

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The Kinsey Reports were two books reporting research on human sexual behaviour published by Alfred Kinsey (a zoologist at the Indiana University) et al in 1948 and 1953. The reports created immediate controversy. Kinsey founded in 1947 the Institute for Sex Research at Indiana University, now called the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction (see their website).

Kinsey et al gathered their data primarily by means of interviews, which they encoded using a code to maintain confidentiality. Later the data was computerised for processing. The data and the researcher's notes are only made available to qualified researchers who demonstrate a need to view the materials, in order to maintain confidentiality; they are currently held by the Kinsey Institute. The institute, however, allows researchers to submit SPSS programs to be run on the data.

Some conservative authors (e.g. Judith A. Reisman) have attacked Kinsey's research as biased. About 25% of his 'normal' male sample were prison inmates. Of those, a high number were convicted sex offenders. He arbitrarily eliminated black males from the evaluation process. He refused to consider volunteer bias as a confounding factor even when he was warned by prominent research psychologists. His statistical methods of analysis were inappropriate and he provided incomplete demographic data. His survey procedure allowed an adult who reported one incidence of homosexual activity to be classified as homosexual.

Supporters of Kinsey argue that while his research had many imperfections, it was a great advance at the time. Reisman also claims that the data of Kinsey et al on sexual behaviour and response in infants and children were procured through abusive means, primarily the co-operation of paedophiles. While it cannot be denied that paedophiles where the source for much of Kinsey's data on this issue, there is no evidence that Kinsey actively encouraged them in their behaviour, rather than merely passively using information they had provided to him. (For the Kinsey Institute's response, see here).

References

  • A.C. Kinsey, W.B. Pomeroy, C.E. Martin, Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, (Philadelphia, PA: W.B. Saunders, 1948)
  • A.C. Kinsey, W.B. Pomeroy, C.E. Martin, P.H. Gebhard, Sexual Behavior in the Human Female, (Philadelphia, PA: W.B. Saunders, 1953)
  • Dr. Judith A. Reisman, Edward W. Eichel, Dr. John H. Court & Dr. J. Gordon Muir, Kinsey, Sex and Fraud, (Lafayette, LA: Lochinvar-Huntington House Publishers, 1990).