Resistance to Sex Research
Who was Alfred Kinsey and what was his work? “Alfred Kinsey (1894 – 1956) was an American biologist, professor of entomology and zoology, and sexologist who in 1947 founded the Institute for Sex Research at Indiana University”. He contributed greatly to the field of entomology with his research on gall wasps. He noticed a great degree of variation in the gall wasps’ mating practices and wondered if human mating practices showed similar variation. Dr. Kinsey published two books about his research, Sexual Behavior in the Human Male (1948) and Sexual Behavior in the Human Female (1953). He was on the cover of Time magazine August 24, 1953. The first book was a surprise best seller. The second was an internationally anticipated media event. The media frenzy for Dr. Kinsey’s second book was so intense that he decided to invite only 60 international magazine and newspaper writers to several four day sessions. The writers were required to sign a contract limiting their stories to 5000 words or less. The stories were to be fact checked by Kinsey and his staff.. No photographs were to be taken and only photographs purchased from Kinsey were to be used in the publications. The media was truly eating from his hand.
What forms of resistance did Dr. Kinsey’s sex research encounter? What social factors motivated the resistance? Which individuals and organizations motivated the resistance? While Kinsey’s early work was well received, his work was later largely regarded as taboo. Reaction to the second book was initially favorable. "Analysis of the leading magazines found all but one (Cosmopolitan) favorable, and of 124 leading newspapers, 64 per cent were favorable to 31 not.". But later comments were resistive and Kinsey was bantered by conservative and religious groups. The academic community also questioned his data collection and analysis practices.
Dr. Kinsey’s work was eventually...