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Further Response to Allegations, 2003

Response to controversy
Why study sex?
About The Kinsey Institute

Attention has focused on Dr. Alfred Kinsey recently because of the institute's celebration of the 50-year anniversary of his book and reports that a Hollywood film company is interested in producing a film about Kinsey.

This attention provides an opportunity for long-time anti-Kinsey crusader Judith Reisman to put forth, once again, her opinions on Kinsey and on the Institute. Allegations against Alfred Kinsey and his research on children's sexual responses, as reported in Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, were first made in 1981 by Dr. Reisman. She subsequently enlarged on these ideas in a book written jointly with Edward Eichel and published in 1990 (Kinsey, Sex, and Fraud). When The Kinsey Institute responded, Reisman filed suit in 1991 against The Kinsey Institute, then director June Reinisch, and Indiana University, alleging defamation of character and slander. In September 1993, Reisman's lawyer withdrew from the case, and in June 1994 the court dismissed Reisman's case with prejudice (which means that Reisman is prohibited from refiling the suit).

Response to Controversy

Below is a reiteration of previous accusations and the Institute's response.

The act of encouraging pedophiles to rape innocent babies and toddlers in the names of "science" offends. The act of protecting them from prosecution offends. The act of falsifying research findings which, in turn, open the floodgates for the sexual abuse of children, offends. (from Dr. Laura's (Schlesinger) website)

This would be a cause of great concern if it were true. Kinsey was not a pedophile in any shape or form. He did not carry out experiments on children; he did not hire, collaborate, or persuade people to carry out experiments on children. He did not falsify research findings and there is absolutely no evidence that his research "opened flood gates for the sexual abuse of children". Kinsey did talk to thousands of people about their sex lives, and some of the behaviors that they disclosed, including abuse of children, were illegal. In fact, many sexual behaviors, even those some between married adults, were illegal in the 1940's and 1950's. Without confidentiality, it would have been impossible to investigate the very private lives of Americans then, and even now.

Where did Kinsey's information about children's sexual responses come from?

Kinsey clearly stated in his male volume the sources of information about children's sexual responses. The bulk of this information was obtained from adults recalling their own childhoods. Some was from parents who had observed their children, some from teachers who had observed children interacting or behaving sexually, and Kinsey stated that there were nine men who he had interviewed who had sexual experiences with children who had told him about how the children had responded and reacted.

In a British documentary, a woman says she was sexually abused by her father and grandfather, and that her father justified it as doing research for Alfred Kinsey by filling out questionnaires.

We have no reason to doubt that this woman was sexually abused. However, Kinsey did not ask people to fill out questionnaires. It is conceivable that this woman's father or grandfather wrote to Kinsey, as many people have done. Following that documentary, we checked through Kinsey's correspondence and could not find any that would match this story. We do know that there have been people who have used Kinsey's name to justify what they do sexually, even recently.

Kinsey used a Nazi SS officer from Germany as one of his key contributors

In Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, Kinsey invited people to write to him about their sex lives. In 1955, a German wrote to him and told him about his sexual experiences with children. Kinsey, in his reply, was non-judgmental, as usual.Kinsey never made use of this information. He did however point out how strongly society condemned such behavior. Kinsey never made use of the information from this man. He also had no idea that this man had been a Nazi ten years earlier.... To suggest that Kinsey had something to do with Nazi torture of children is a bizarre fabrication.

More responses to accusations about Alfred Kinsey.


Why Study Sex?

Sex research addresses a range of problems, including those related to overpopulation, reproductive health, sexually transmitted diseases (most notably, HIV and AIDS), teenage pregnancy, sexual abuse, assault and harassment, and sexual dysfunction. These problems require basic understanding of sexual behavior, taking into account individual differences, biological and cultural factors, and the influences of family, society, media and education. The Kinsey Institute recognizes that these problems require an interdisciplinary approach and serves as a center for the study of sexuality.

About The Kinsey Institute

  • The Kinsey Institute for Research, in Sex, Gender and Reproduction was founded in 1947 by pioneering sex researcher Alfred Kinsey and is affiliated with Indiana University. Kinsey's landmark studies, Sexual Behavior in the Human Male (1948) and Sexual Behavior in the Human Female (1953) included data from more than 11,000 interviews.
  • The Kinsey Institute's mission is to promote interdisciplinary research and scholarship in the fields of human sexuality, gender and reproduction. Mission Statement
  • The Kinsey Institute has two components: a not-for-profit corporation that owns and manages the institute's archives, collections and databases, and an Indiana University research institute responsible for carrying out a program of research related to sexuality. More about Structure and Funding.
  • The Kinsey Institute's current research program includes the study of high-risk sexual behavior, sexual well-being and distress in women, hormonal effects on sexuality, sex and the internet, the psychophysiology of arousal, sexual dysfunctions in men and women and sexual compulsivity. More about Research
  • The Kinsey Institute supports the concept of sexual responsibility, as promoted by the Surgeon-General Dr David Satcher, in his Call To Action to Promote Sexual Health and Responsible Sexual Behavior, issued in 2001: http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/sexualhealth

    For more information on The Kinsey Institute, contact us.

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