Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Alfred C. Kinsey: Contributions to American Sexuality


Kinsey - A Controversial Seller

Kinsey published "Sexual Behavior In The Human Male" in 1948, which came to be known as the "Kinsey Report." The report immediately created controversy for its revelations of the sexuality of white American males. It sold more than 250,000 copies and was translated into a dozen languages.

In 1953 the Institute published Sexual Behavior In The Human Female, which also sold more than 250,000 copies and was translated into several languages. These two reports sharply challenged many myths about sexual behavior in American society and revealed findings on various previously taboo topics, such as extramarital sexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, oral sex, masturbation, and prostitution.

Kinsey's research focused on six different outlets to sexual orgasm, namely masturbation, petting, nocturnal dreams, heterosexual coitus, homosexual behaviors, and bestiality. He related these forms of sexuality to various socioeconomic variables, namely age, education, marital status, occupation, and religious identification.

Many Americans in particular were shocked to learn that females are as capable of sexual response as men. Previously, the prevailing cultural myth was that women merely engaged in sex for procreative purposes or to please their male partners. Half of the females interviewed stated that they had engaged in premarital coitus and one-quarter stated that they had engaged in extramarital sex.


More to Explore