February 14, 2005

WELL-RESEARCHED, UNLIKE HIS STUDIES:

This Kinsey study is well-researched, yet sad (Sam Allis, February 14, 2005, Boston Globe)

Tonight, ''American Experience" brings us Alfred Kinsey and his revolutionary look at human sexuality, warts and all. The timing is a bit strange given that his clinical approach to the subject lacked any whiff of emotion, let alone love, but Happy Valentine's Day anyway.

With Kinsey's previous fame and the big Hollywood biopic about him last year, it's hard to believe there still may be people out there who don't know who the man was. If there's a reason to watch this show at this point, frankly, it's to learn about the dark side of his crusade to liberate Americans sexually. There is fascination in the train wreck that occurred involving his professional and personal lives. [...]

The Rockefeller Foundation, which had funded his work, pulled its support after Senator Joseph McCarthy cited Kinsey's work as a threat to the country at the height of the Cold War. Kinsey spiraled into depression and plunged deeper into experiments in sexual masochism. He died a broken man in 1956.

The Rockefeller Foundation, among others, also challenged his findings for their disproportionate focus on people most willing to talk about sex at the expense of the silent majority, for focusing on college students at the expense of the working class, whites at the expense of blacks. Most damning, it turned out that all his data on orgasms among prepubescent boys were drawn from the diaries of one pedophile. Defenders counter that Kinsey may have overstated the frequency of some encounters, but not the variety of them.


That last line is priceless. Such is the damage political-correctness has done to the very idea of science.


MORE:
Kinsey as He Really Was--What You Won't See in the Movie (Albert Mohler, November 15, 2004, Crosswalk)

In a groundbreaking biography published in 1997, James H. Jones blew the cover on the Kinsey myth. According to this popular and pervasive mythology, Alfred Kinsey was a scientist who brought his rigorous scientific skills and objective scientific interests to the study of human sexuality. The real Alfred Kinsey was a man whose own sexual practices cannot be safely described to the general public and whose interest in sex was anything but objective or scientific.

From the onset, Jones recognized Kinsey's central role in the sexual revolution. "More than any other American of the twentieth century," Jones acknowledges, "he was the architect of a new sensibility about a part of life that everyone experiences and no one escapes."

Nevertheless, the real Kinsey was hidden from the public. Jones describes his project in these words: "As I burrowed into more than a dozen archives, read tens of thousands of letters, and interviewed scores of people who knew Kinsey in various capacities, I discovered that his public image distorted more than it revealed."

As Jones reports, "The man I came to know bore no resemblance to the canonical Kinsey. Anything but disinterested, he approached his work with missionary fervor. Kinsey loathed Victorian morality as only a person who had been badly injured by sexual repression could despise it. He was determined to use science to strip human sexuality of its guilt and repression. He wanted to undermine traditional morality, to soften the rules of restraint, and to help people develop positive attitudes toward their sexual needs and desires. Kinsey was a crypto-reformer who spent his every waking hour attempting to change the sexual mores and sex offender laws of the United States."

There was more to it than that, of course, and Jones marshals an incredible mountain of documentation to prove this point. In the first place, the adolescent Alfred Kinsey was deeply involved in masochistic self-abuse. In Jones' words, "Somewhere along the line, he veered off the path of normal development and was pulled down a trail that led to tremendous emotional conflict and self-negating physical abuse."

Driven by wild sexual fantasies and determined to overthrow what he saw as a repressive sexual morality, Kinsey eventually dropped his study of insects and turned his study to human sexuality. Tragically, Jones must acknowledge that the world of science "would have been better served had Kinsey not allowed his lust for data to obscure his judgment."

What exactly was Kinsey up to? He and his close band of young male associates went about collecting an enormous body of data on human sexuality, first looking at male and later at female populations. In his research on the sexual behavior of males, Kinsey brought his ideological and personal passions to the forefront of his supposedly scientific work. He arbitrarily decided that human beings are to be located in a continuum of development between heterosexual and homosexual poles. He developed a six-step chart and argued that men and boys are arrayed all along this line between absolute heterosexuality and absolute homosexuality. He would later argue that almost forty percent of all males would have some homosexual experience. Of course, hidden from public view was the fact that Kinsey was doing his very best to rationalize his own homosexuality--or bisexuality as later commentators would explain--and was not at all the objective scientist collecting neutral data from a responsible population base.

Among the many problems inherent in Kinsey's research is the fact that he relied upon reports and sexual studies taken from prison populations, including sex criminals. Therefore, Kinsey's notion of "normal" was drawn from a decidedly abnormal population sample.

The most troubling aspect of Kinsey's research is the data he collected on the sexual response of children--especially young boys. Chapter Five of Sexual Behavior in the Human Male considered the sexual experience of boys, including infants. Kinsey wanted to prove that children are sexual beings who should be understood to have and to deserve sexual experiences. In this chapter, Kinsey is largely dependent upon the data contributed by "Mr. X," a man who had molested hundreds of boys ranging from infants to adolescents. As Jones explains: "Viewed from any angle, his relationship with Mr. X was a cautionary tale. Whatever the putative valued as science of Mr. X's experience, the fact remains that he was a predator pedophile." Over decades, this man abused hundreds of young boys, tortured infants, and, as Jones explains, "performed a variety of other sexual acts on preadolescent boys and girls alike."

Kinsey did not condemn this man, but instead eagerly solicited his "data." As a matter of fact, Kinsey went so far as to attempt to pay Mr. X for further research and once wrote to him, "I wish I knew how to give credit to you in the forthcoming volume for your material. It seems a shame not even to name you."

Those words betray a moral monster of the most horrible depravity and assured criminality. Alfred Kinsey celebrated the fact that this man had sexually tortured children and, as Kinsey's own published work documents, had sexually abused two-month-old infants.

All this was explicit in the data published in Kinsey's 1948 volume, but he was nonetheless celebrated as a sexual pioneer and as a profit of sexual enlightenment.


Posted by Orrin Judd at February 14, 2005 3:28 PM
Comments

"profit of sexual enlightenment."

Is this intended as irony, or just a mistake?

Posted by: joe@joe.com at February 14, 2005 7:10 PM

His 10% figure for gays has been long debunked but is still being passed as gospel by the Left.

Glamour and Self still quote him all the time. At least in the issues I read out of deseperation in my doctor's waiting room for lack of other material.

Posted by: Gideon at February 15, 2005 3:53 AM
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