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[KINSEY TODAY]

A publication of the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction

Fall 2004

Table of Contents

 

Kinsey Institute Staff

Newsletter Staff

Board of Trustees

Kinsey Institute Board of Governors

Mission

Alfred Kinsey Revisited

Benefit Event

Director's Column

Heidi Frankson Joins the Institute

Spotlight on the Collections: Filmmaker Kenneth Anger

Docents Know it All

Sex Ed

Adopt a Work of Art!

Julia Heiman's Research Agenda

 


Kinsey Institute Staff

Julia Heiman, Director

Stephanie Sanders, Associate Director

Thomas Albright, Systems Analyst
John Bancroft, Senior Research Fellow
Jennifer Bass, Head of Information Services
Lori Duggan, Cataloging Specialist
Heidi Frankson, Development Assistant
Cynthia Graham, Director Graduate Education Sarah Hahn, Research Associate
Erick Janssen, Associate Scientist

 

Catherine Johnson-Roehr, Curator
Nancy Lethem, Development Director
Meghan MacKrell, Webmaster / Temporary Administrator
Glenda McAvoy, Temporary Departmental Secretary
Garry Milius, Assistant Curator
Julia Mobley, Accounting Associate
Shawn C. Wilson, User Services Coordinator
Liana Zhou, Head of Library
June M. Reinisch, Director Emerita

Newsletter Staff

Ellen Michel, Writer
Terry Howe, Art Director
Jennifer Bass, Newsletter Coordinator, Writer

Board of Trustees

Trevor Brown, Dean of School of Journalism, Indiana University

Suzanne Thorin, Dean of University Libraries, Indiana University

Jeffrey A. Wolin, Director, School of Fine Arts; Ruth N. Halls Professor of Photography, Indiana University

Kinsey Institute Board of Governors

P. Delbert Brinkman, Retired Dean, Journalism and Mass Communications, University of Colorado
Jo Ann Eisenberg, Chairman, Medical Research Council of Children's Memorial Medical Center, Chicago
Sophia Gruskin, Director, Program on International Health and Human Rights, Harvard School of Public Health
Julia Heiman, Director, The Kinsey Institute
Ellen D. Ketterson, Chair, Professor of Biology, Co-Director, Center for the Integrative Study of Animal Behavior, Indiana University*
The Honorable Justice Michael Kirby, High Court of Australia
J. Scott Long, Chancellor's Professor, Department of Sociology, Indiana University
Michael A. McRobbie, Vice President for Information Technology and CIO, Vice President, Research, Indiana University
Charlie Nelms, Vice Chancellor for Academic Support and Diversity, Indiana University
Lauren Robel, Dean and Van Nolan Professor of Law, Indiana University
Michael D. Shumate, Retired partner of law firm, Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue
Eugene R. Tempel, Executive Director, Center on Philanthropy, IUPUI
William Yarber, Professor of Applied Health Sciences; Director, Rural Center for AIDS/STD Prevention, Indiana University, Ex-officio

*also serves as trustee

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The mission of The Kinsey Institute is to promote interdisciplinary research and scholarship in the fields of human sexuality, gender, and reproduction. The Institute was founded in 1947 by renowned sex researcher Alfred Kinsey. Today, the Institute has two components, an Indiana University research institute and a not-for-profit corporation, which owns and manages the Institute's research data and archives, collections, and databases.


Alfred Kinsey Revisited

Over fifty years ago, with the support of IU President Herman B Wells, Alfred C. Kinsey founded the Institute and pioneered the discipline of modern sex research. Today, just over five years after the publication of two extensive biographies, Kinsey has once again become a cultural icon. A wave of recent interest in both his life and his work (and also in American culture of the mid-20th century) has resulted in a number of riveting creative artifacts: a film, a novel, a musical, and two upcoming television documentaries.
During this flurry of attention to Kinsey's personality and vision, the Institute continues its work: always with an emphasis on sex research, education, and the preservation of unique collections tracing the history of sexual practices and representations across the world.
"This is a tremendous opportunity for us to tell our story and talk not only about our founder but especially about the importance of the work we are doing today," says Jennifer Bass, Head of Information Services. "Many people, particularly younger people, are going to be learning about us for the first time."

The much-anticipated Fox Searchlight movie, Kinsey, starring Liam Neeson and Laura Linney, opens to the general public in mid-November. A special screening of the film to benefit the Institute will take place at the IU Auditorium on November 13th. Director Bill Condon, who was given a standing ovation for the movie at the Toronto Film Festival, in September, will be present, along with members of the cast.The Inner Circle, a novel by T.C. Boyle (published by Viking in September) also draws inspiration from Kinsey's story. Like the Chicago musical Dr. Sex (which will open in New York in 2005), The Inner Circle takes artistic liberties, using the persona of Alfred Kinsey as a springboard for fiction, spectacle, and speculation.

Taking a more biographical approach on Alfred Kinsey by using interviews with people who knew him, family members, biographers, and historians is an upcoming PBS documentary in the American Experience series, to be aired February, 2005. This 90 minute show includes interviews with former directors Paul Gebhard and John Bancroft. An A&E television documentary is also in production.

"It is somewhat ironic that Alfred Kinsey, who was so committed to preserving the confidentiality of individuals, should be the subject of such scrutiny and fascination," says Assistant Director Stephanie Sanders. "Dr. Kinsey was a unique and compelling individual, and through these interpretations of his life and his work people are able to hold a public conversation about sex, comparing contemporary issues to life in the 40's and 50's. It's interesting to think about what might have changed since his time, and I believe that is a huge part of the appeal."

Docents Know it All

A team of volunteer and staff docents (Kathryn Brown, Christine Lemley, Catherine Johnson-Roehr, Jennifer Bass, and Garry Milius, Erin Hoschouer) lead tours of The Kinsey Institute. To schedule a visit, call 812-855-7686.

 

Benefit Event

On Saturday, November 13, 2004, The Kinsey Institute hosted a benefit reception and screening of Fox Searchlight Pictures' film Kinsey at the Indiana University Auditorium. Special guests included actor Laura Linney, director Bill Condon and IU Chancellor Kenneth Gros Louis.

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Director's Column - By Dr. Julia R. Heiman

I arrived in Bloomington on May 20, 2004, in a period of great import and drama. Not because I had trekked from the Northwest to immerse myself in a new set of opportunities at The Kinsey Institute. Not because film stars were in town. But because that week, Brood X, consisting of three species of cicada (magicicada), had emerged from their lair, where they had been feeding on tree roots for the past 17 years. The male makes a terrific vibrating sound to attract a female for mating and once successful, the male dies. The female lays 400-600 eggs and then she too dies. Then eggs, on tree branches, hatch, nymphs drop to the

ground, burrow 2 feet down to a root and repeat the life cycle; only 4-6 weeks in the sun and open air, after 17 years of developing underground. It is a remarkable story of sex, gender, and reproduction. And a fine introduction to the tempo of the Institute.

Meanwhile, John Bancroft gracefully passed the baton of Directorship to me on June 1. He left behind a competent and vibrant staff and legacy of strong scholarship. I am learning how the world works in Indiana and at its University and am impressed. The University remains supportive in a variety of ways. This is vital to the Institute as it needs a scholarly base and the principles of academic freedom as a touchstone. To me, the major theme is growth over the next few years. The Kinsey Institute and the field of sex research in general need to find ways, against the odds of the apparent times, to expand. The areas needing attention are pretty clear: increasing sex research faculty, finding research funding for improving our knowledge base to deal with social problems, linking knowledge and social policy, and constantly modifying training for current scholars and scientists and for those who will come next. In addition, a special issue for The Kinsey Institute is managing the ever enlarging library collection which will require new funding for safe preservation and storage.

It seems Alfred C. Kinsey is currently fashionable and, as if a spell has been cast, is raising similar worries and critiques as more than 50 years ago. While we work on the present, we discuss the implications of the past more than I ever expected to be doing in 2004. With the help of a new grant from the Ford Foundation, we are getting out our message about sex research now and tomorrow, how it has changed, what is needed, and its importance for our society.
In our next issue, I'll have more on a new project, the methods testing phase of a new national survey of sexual behavior in the US. More about this and other initiatives will be posted on our website. I look forward to collaboration opportunities to advance the science, the training and the thinking about sex research. Please visit, either through our website or Morrison Hall itself. Don't wait for the next Brood X emergence.

 


Heidi Frankson Joins the Institute
A new employee at The Kinsey Institute will play a significant role in the future of the organization. This past summer, Heidi Frankson joined the staff as Development Assistant. Heidi recently returned to Bloomington after a number of years in New York City, where she was development director of The Marilyn Horne Foundation. She will work closely with Development Director Nancy Lethem on all aspects of
fund-raising and special events, as well as serving as liaison to The Friends of The Kinsey Institute.

"New leadership has led to stepped-up development goals and Heidi's experience will be a valuable asset in our work to endow the future of the Institute," says Lethem.

"I'm honored to be part of such a distinguished organization," says Heidi, who can be reached at hfrankso@indiana.edu

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Spotlight on the Collections: Filmmaker Kenneth Anger

For many years now The Kinsey Institute has been amassing a unique collection based on a relationship that extends back to Alfred Kinsey's time. Kenneth Anger, a widely influential American avant garde filmmaker has chosen the Institute as archival home for both his own work and for almost daily mailings on the subjects of sex, gender, and reproduction. Head Librarian Liana Zhou explains the nature of Anger's contribution by opening one of many boxes containing ephemera, news clippings, playbills, magazines, and books he has sent to the collection in recent years. As she explores the contents of the box, noting publications as varied as a Spanish language pamphlet on child rearing and articles about celebrities (Anger is also known for his Hollywood Babylon books about the private lives of movie stars), the subtle sound of a catcall escapes.

Zhou locates a plastic object that emits an appreciative whistle when touched: "Dr. Anger often sends humorous objects that reflect sexuality within popular culture. Boxer shorts covered with shiny valentine hearts, a salt shaker in the shape of a phallus, and this little key chain with its whistling lips." Given the interest that artists, filmmakers, cultural critics, and historians have in Anger himself, the gifts have all been organized into the Anger Collection, making the Institute an intellectual home base for information concerning the filmmaker.

Curator Catherine Johnson-Roehr points out a work of art on the wall in an Institute hallway: it is a print by Anger illustrating a scene from one of his films. The work hints at the lush visual texture of the movies, influenced by early Hollywood, Jean Cocteau, surrealist poetry, and theories of the unconscious, myth, and religion. Kenneth Anger recalls that Alfred Kinsey was his first customer, purchasing a copy of Fireworks when they first met in 1947. Anger went on to help Kinsey build his film archive; the Anger Collection includes correspondence between the two men, as well as letters to and from former Institute director John Bancroft.

"Kenneth Anger's overriding interest is in supporting Alfred Kinsey's original vision, which was one of collecting information about human sexuality from diverse populations," explains Zhou. The archive highlights the intersection between sex and politics, including news clippings about issues concerning personal expression and the history of censorship in American film. Whether it's an LA Times article on the baring of Janet Jackson's breast on national television, an obituary for Helmut Newton (one of many photographers influenced by Anger's work), or a piece about sexual politics in the workplace, Anger recognizes its significance to our culture and to the Institute collections.

"Thanks to Dr. Anger's unprecedented support, we are reminded almost daily of many subjects that are currently in the news," says Zhou. "We see how issues about the body emerge to become political hot topics with social and aesthetic implications."

The experimental films of Kenneth Anger contain elements of erotica, documentary, psychodrama, and spectacle. They have had a profound impact on the work of many other filmmakers and artists, as well as on music video as an emergent art form using dream sequence, dance, fantasy, and narrative.

Recent awards and recognition given to filmmaker Kenneth Anger:

  • Life Achievement Award
    Man del Plata Film Festival, Argentina, 2002.

  • Douglas Edwards Independent Experimental Film/Video Award
    Presented by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, January 2003.

  • Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters
    Art Center College of Design
    Pasadena, California, 2002.

  • The Man We Want to Hang: A Kenneth Anger Film Retrospective
    Sponsored by the University of Southern California School of Film & Television and The Schindler House, 2002.

  • Anger Me
    A documentary of Kenneth Anger's work
    In production, expected to broadcast in Italy in 200

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Sex Ed Currently on view in the Institute Gallery is a new show simply called Sex Ed. The brainchild of Assistant Curator Garry Milius, objects in this exhibit show how information about sexual and reproductive health has been disseminated to the general public. The exhibit includes film posters, human anatomy models of sexual organs and fetal development, Dr. Kinsey's microscope (which was used in filming the upcoming PBS American Experience documentary about Kinsey's life), novelty condoms and marital aids, birth control devices, pillow books from Japan, and illustrated copies of the Kama Sutra.A series of lobby cards for a movie called The Birth of a Baby: Before Your Very Eyes will be included. Shown to sex-segregated audiences, this 1938 film used sensationalized publicity to promise footage of an actual birth. "Most of these films were not nearly as risqué as the publicity implied," says Curator Catherine Johnson-Roehr. "We raided the library stacks a little more heavily than we normally do. The collection includes materials documenting approaches to sexual health and education, including some of those used at the time Kinsey developed his marriage course at Indiana University."It was with the 1938 marriage course that Kinsey began his professional transition from zoologist to founder of The Institute for Sex Research. Student groups, including the Association of Women Students, petitioned the University requesting the course, an indication that sex education was a desired yet undeveloped component of the curriculum at the time. Says Garry Milius, "This exhibit focuses on how we learn about our bodies, and how we learn about sex. There's a sense of nostalgia to it."The exhibit runs through February 11 and is open to the public by appointment. Call 812-855-7686

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Adopt a Work of Art!

The Kinsey Institute will hold its fourth Adopt a Work of Art event on Thursday, December 16th. Approximately 50 unframed drawings, paintings, prints, and photographs will be on display in our conference room. Visitors will be invited to "adopt" an artwork by making a tax-deductible donation to cover the cost of matting and framing the piece of their choice. We will acknowledge each adoption by placing the donor's name on a label to be displayed with the piece when it is exhibited. In the past, some of our donors have chosen to adopt an artwork in honor of a friend or relative-the perfect holiday gift for that person who has everything!

Many of the Institute's more than 8,000 works of art are not framed and have never been shown to the public. Some of the pieces that will be on display for this event will be featured in the upcoming exhibition in the Kinsey Institute Gallery-Out of Russia: The Art of Chagall, Tchelitchew, and Avinoff.Call 812-855-7686 or e-mail catjohns@indiana.edu to schedule a specific time to view the works.

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Julia Heiman's Research Agenda

Dr. Julia Heiman, new Director of The Kinsey Institute, has devoted her career to achieving a better understanding of the physiological and emotional dimensions of sexuality. Her research is also concerned with developing successful interventions to help people overcome sexual problems.

"From the beginning," Dr. Heiman explains, "I've been interested in how sexuality changes, either on its own or with some kind of external effort. How do we come up with newer and better ways to measure aspects of sexuality?" These questions organize her approach to a wide range of topics, including the quality of sexual experience in the wake of treatment for cancer; sexual risk-taking when under the influence of alcohol; the impact of childhood sexual abuse and physical abuse on adult relationships; and sex therapy for couples when one partner is using Viagra.

"I'm interested in how sex fits within other aspects of a person's life, instead of conceiving of it as separate from the other ways people function, think, or feel."

Photograph courtesy of Shawn Spence

A number of Dr. Heiman's recent projects focus on identifying appropriate treatments for people who are experiencing sexual difficulty. "Findings from an early study of couples showed that sex therapy without medical intervention does help a number of people. We want to know who is likely to benefit from this kind of therapy, and who might need a different kind of treatment."

Postdoctoral fellow Lori Brotto is working with Dr. Heiman to find out if women who have been treated for cervical or endometrial cancer benefit from short-term psychological therapy."So far the pilot data look surprisingly promising," she notes. "Our current medical system measures success by lives saved. We are concerned with quality of life."
"Often no additional treatment is provided to cancer patients once their life is saved," Heiman says. "This study attempts to determine the value of combining brief psychological sex therapies with medication for women recovering from cancer treatment."

In a Viagra study, Heiman and her co-investigators are looking at the effects of Viagra alone versus Viagra plus brief sex therapy, and considering the effect of these interventions on both the man and his partner. "Many of these men have medical conditions that affect sexual functioning, putting a strain on the couple's relationship. Brief sex therapy gives women in these relationships a chance to hear the men talk about sex in an unthreatening environment."

"It isn't easy to talk about sex," Heiman observes, "particularly when people think they are going to have to do something about it."

In researching the kinds of experience that either enhance or interfere with a person's sexuality, Dr. Heiman studies women who have a history of sexual and/or physical abuse as children.

"What we and other researchers have found is that physical abuse, especially combined with sexual abuse in childhood, can damage one's sexual function as an adult. The physical abuse is often overlooked."

In another on going project, Dr. Heiman is working with principle investigator Dr. William George of the University of Washington to study how sexual arousal impacts decision making about safer sex and alcohol, and how age and mood are contributing factors.

"What can we learn about advising people to be careful when making decisions about sex? What happens in a risk-taking scenario if the subject has been drinking alcohol and also has a history of childhood sexual abuse? And how well are people able to control their arousal, either maximizing or suppressing it? I want to know more about how people can both take responsibility for their sexuality and control it when they need to," Heiman explains.


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