November 19, 2004
On December 7, 1941, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. World War II focused national attention on a global threat to mankind. Meanwhile, unobtrusively, in the heartland of America, the seed of a quieter, but equally profound attack on America was taking root.
On the quiet campus of Indiana University, a group of researchers was busy interviewing men and women, collecting data on their intimate sex lives. Alfred Kinsey seemed to be the perfect man to direct this project: married, a father of three children, a zoologist well-respected for his work with gall wasps, and known around campus for his open and comfortable approach to talking about sex.
Kinsey’s move from gall wasps to humans began even before 1938 when popular lore has it that “the Association of Women Students petitioned Indiana University for a course for students who were married or contemplating marriage.” On the side, outside of his regular teaching duties in the zoology department, he began to collect sexual histories, developing an extensive list of over 350 interview questions which he committed to memory.
When soldiers returned home in 1945, Kinsey was on the home stretch of preparing his findings for the American public. On January 5, 1948, Sexual Behavior in the Human Male was published. While it had only one week as #1, it spent 43 weeks, just short of one year, on The New York Times bestseller’s list. A second volume, Sexual Behavior in the Human Female, followed in 1953.
Kinsey’s authority on sexual behavior went virtually unchallenged for thirty years. Then on July 23, 1981, at the Fifth World Congress of Sexology in Jerusalem, a diminutive American psychologist stepped to the podium to present her research findings to a standing-room only session.
I was confident my sexology colleagues would be as outraged as was I by these tables [Tables 30-34 from Male] and the child data describing Kinsey’s reliance on pedophiles as his child sex experimenters. Perhaps worst of all for me, as a scholar and a mother were pages 160 and 161 where Kinsey claimed his data came from ‘interviews.’ How could he say 196 little children—some as young as two months of age—enjoyed ‘fainting,’ ‘screaming,’ ‘weeping,’ and ‘convulsing’? How could he call these children’s responses evidence of their sexual pleasure and ‘climax’? I called it evidence of terror, of pain, as well as criminal. One of us was very, very sexually mixed up.
Dr. Reisman laid out her charges methodically, presenting slides of Tables 30-34 and analyzing the specific entries which calculated the rates and timed the speeds of orgasms in at least 317 infants and children. How, she challenged the audience, did rape and molestation of children ever make the transition from criminal activity to research? And she rested her case.
“The reaction in the room was heavy: it was numbing for some, discomforting for others.” A Kinsey Institute representative present for her presentation predictably “protested that none of this was true.” Yet, Dr. Reisman felt certain her documentation would be a call to action, stimulating an immediate and thorough scientific review of Kinsey’s research.
She recalls what actually happened. “Late that afternoon my young assistant from Haifa University returned from lunch visibly shaken. She had dined at a private table with the international executives of the conference. My paper was hotly contested and largely condemned, since everyone at her table of about twelve men and women wholeheartedly agreed that children could, indeed, have ‘loving’ sex with adults.”
This potential “loving sex” is best described by Kinsey’s coauthor Dr. Paul Gebhard in a letter to Dr. Reisman, where he explained the source of data on the tables in question. The data, Gebhard explained, “were obtained from parents, teachers and male homosexuals, and …some of Kinsey’s men used ‘manual and oral techniques’ to catalog how many ‘orgasms’ infants and children could produce in a given amount of time.”
Further research by Reisman linked “some of Kinsey’s men” to one man in particular, Mr. Rex King. Biographer James Jones fleshes out the details in an interview for a Yorkshire documentary, Secret History: Kinsey’s Paedophiles. “Kinsey relied upon [King] for the chapter on childhood sexuality in the male volume….I think that he was in the presence of pathology at large and…Kinsey…elevated to, you know, the realm of scientific information…what should have been dismissed as unreliable, self serving data provided by a predatory pedophile.”
While trained sexologists easily dismissed this sexual abuse of children as “loving sex with adults,” persistent inquiries from concerned lay people finally prompted The Kinsey Institute to post responses to these charges on its web site. These statements, drafted by Director John Bancroft, M.D., are carefully worded denials that proceed to confirm the truth of the charges but “explain” them in “harmless” terms. In other words, “It depends on what the meaning of is is.”
Before you buy a ticket to the new movie Kinsey, consider this. Papers promote the film with an endorsement from Paul Gebhard, the man who catalogued orgasms of infants and children and used this to demonstrate the benefits of incest. He likes the film. He gives Kinsey a thumbs-up.
What could this film do to offend Mr. Gebhard? He gives a thumbs-up to Kinsey, but consider who is behind the thumb. Endorsing fame and adulation for one of the greatest child abusers of the modern world is child’s play for a man unmoved by the ‘screaming,’ ‘weeping,’ and ‘convulsing’ of innocent children.
Considering seeing Kinsey? Don’t.
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