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Alfred C. Kinsey: Contributions to American Sexuality


Kinsey Contributes to the Sexual Revolution

A major weakness of the two Kinsey reports was their failure to examine the sexual behavior of people of color in the United States. Furthermore, the samples relied heavily upon middle-class, college-educated Americans under age 35.

Despite these limitations, the Kinsey reports served as significant benchmarks in the quantitative study of sexuality in U.S. society and their findings contributed to an era of more relaxed attitudes concerning sexual behavior. In this sense, the Kinsey reports contributed to what has been termed the Sexual Revolution, or reconfiguration of sexual mores after the Second World War. Kinsey's research and other studies by the Institute for Sex Research created and continue to create controversy in the larger society, particularly among conservative social forces. A Congressional committee accused the Institute of contributing to an alleged Communist takeover of the United States and accused the Rockefeller Foundation of "un-American" behavior, resulting in the latter's decision to withdraw funding for the Institute.

Attacks upon Kinsey's research appear to have contributed to his untimely death at age 62 in 1956. Nevertheless, the Institute has continued to produce a long list of studies of American sexual behavior including: "Pregnancy, Birth, and Abortion" (1958); "Sexual Offenders: An Analysis of Types" (1965); "Homosexualities: A Study of Diversity Among Men and Women" (1978); and "Sexuality and Morality in the U.S." (1989). Despite the wide-spread acceptance of the scientific study of sexuality in U.S. society, conservative forces continue to attack the work pioneered by Kinsey as well as on-going studies by the Institute for Sexual Research.

Copyright 2002 Sinclair Intimacy Institute


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