Kinsey Reports

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The Kinsey Reports are two books on human sexual behavior, Sexual Behavior in the Human Male[1] (1948) and Sexual Behavior in the Human Female[2] (1953), by Dr. Alfred Kinsey, Wardell Pomeroy and others and published by Saunders. Kinsey was a zoologist at Indiana University and the founder of the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction (more widely known as the Kinsey Institute).

The Sexual Behavior in the Human Female was based on personal interviews with nearly 6,000 women. Kinsey analyzed data on the frequency with which women participate in various types of sexual activity and looked at how factors such as age, social-economic status and religious adherence influence sexual behavior. Comparisons are made of female and male sexual activities. Kinsey's evidence suggested that women were less sexually active than men in all aspects of sexual life but that they were still more sexual than traditional views allowed. By the time the book on female sexuality was published, it appeared that Kinsey seemed to feel that women and men are more alike in the biology of their sexuality than he had previously thought, and that both men's and women's sexuality seemed shaped, not merely repressed, by social and cultural forces.

The publications astounded the general public and were immediately controversial and sensational. The findings caused shock and outrage, both because they challenged conventional beliefs about sexuality and because they discussed subjects that had previously been taboo.

Critics have raised concerns about the methodology used to collect data, including that data in the reports could not have been obtained without collaborations with child molesters.[3] The Kinsey Institute denies this charge, though it acknowledges that men who have had sexual experiences with children were interviewed, with Kinsey balancing what he saw as the need for their anonymity to solicit "honest answers on such taboo subjects" against the likelihood that their crimes would continue.[4][5] Additionally, concerns over the sample populations used were later addressed by the Kinsey Institute, and the conclusion was that none of Kinsey's original estimates were significantly affected by these data sources.[6]


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