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Alfred Kinsey

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Alfred Kinsey

What naughty girl has not heard of Alfred Kinsey and the Kinsey Institute?

Kinsey is without a doubt one of the most famous, if not the most famous great sexual thinkers of all time. Certainly he is regarded as one of the first and more important Americans to study sexuality.

He started out as a biologist studying wasps at Indiana University.

Sex is certainly a long way from wasps but luckily for us, Kinsey made the leap.

Some say his study of gull wasps and their mating habits started him thinking about the sexual practices of humans.

One of the most scientifically significant things Kinsey did was to develop his scale to measure sexual orientation where 0 was exclusively heterosexual and 6 was exclusively homosexual.

Kinsey theorized that most people fell somewhere in between 0 and 6 in their sexual thoughts and practices.

Kinsey also felt that the best way to gather data about sexual behavior was to interview subjects face to face. He developed a coding system for recoding answers to ensure their privacy and accuracy.

He published his results in two books: Sexual Behavior of the Human Male in 1948 and Sexual Behavior of the Human Female in 1953.

Both skyrocketed to the top of the best seller list and made Kinsey a household name and instant celebrity.

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As a great sexual thinker, Kinsey was not without criticism.

His methods of observation and participation in sexual activity for research purposes were controversial and many tried to find fault with his data.

His use of prisoners, discussion of prepubescent orgasms in males and omission of African American subjects are only a few of the aspects of his research that have been criticized.

However, despite the doubts about his work, perhaps the most important thing Kinsey did was raise the level of dialogue in this country about sexuality.

That alone qualifies him as one of the great sexual thinkers in all history.

Learn more about Alfred Kinsey with these books:

• Alfred C. Kinsey: A Life

• Kinsey: Sex the Measure of All Things

• Alfred C. Kinsey: A Public/Private Life

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