Kinsey is regarded by many to be the foremost pioneer in the quantitative study of human sexuality. From his roots studying marriage and sex to his quantitative studies on women's sexuality, Dr. Alfred Kinsey is a research pioneer in human sexuality.

His interest in human sexuality fortuitously began when in 1938 the Indiana Association of Women Students petitioned the university to offer a noncredit course on marriage. Kinsey coordinated the course and presented lectures on the biological dimensions of sex and marriage. In preparing for his lectures in what quickly became a very popular course, he discovered that little survey research was available on human sexuality.

Initially, Kinsey gathered data from students in his classes, then from other students and faculty, and later from people whom he could persuade to be interviewed. At his own expense, he interviewed people in other Midwestern cities, thereby adding people from other social classes to his sample.

In 1941, Kinsey obtained a grant from the National Council's Committee for Research in the Problems of Sex, which was at the time funded by the Rockefeller Foundation. He assembled a multidisciplinary research team that included Clyde Martin, a student assistant who became a research associate; Wardwell Pomeroy, a clinical psychologist; and Paul Gebhard, an anthropologist. Kinsey and his colleagues established the Institute for Sex Research in 1947 as a separate, nonprofit organization.