Sunday, July 31, 2011

Author of the Day: Alfred Kinsey

Alfred Kinsey


Alfred Kinsey was a psychologist and biologist who published studies in human sexuality. In 1947, he founded his Institute for Sex Research, where he and his colleagues interviewed thousands and thousands of people about their sex lives, which Kinsey then published in two books--Sexual Behavior in the Human Male and Sexual Behavior in the Human Female, otherwise known as the 'Kinsey Report.' His reports covered all kinds of things, like orgasm, masturbation, fantasies, foreplay, extramarital sex, homosexuality, and more. Unfortunately, he died young at the age of 62 in 1956.

One article points out that while Kinsey's research was ground-breaking and interesting, it was probably flawed. He would meet his participants anywhere he could, and people would come to him to volunteer for his tests. This means the people that volunteered were probably not shy about sex and probably had very outgoing sex lives, which could skew his information.

Despite any problems in his research, Kinsey went against the grain and took numbers of all kinds of things people were hush-hush about, especially at the time. He found that 20.9% of males first had intercourse at age 16, where only 6% of females did (11.2% of females first had sex at age 19). He found that 47.6% of males in their first marriage orgasmed in less than five minutes, and that 50% of men cheated at some point in their lives (compared to only 26% of females). For his homosexuality research, he found that 10% of men aged 16 to 55 were gay, and 2% to 6% of females aged 20-35 were lesbian. Ninety-two percent of men had reported having masturbated, compared to 62% of females (45% of them reaching orgasm in less than three minutes). Also, 14% of females and 15-20% of males in their late teens and early twenties reported having multiple orgasms. One more I found super interesting was that 67%-98% (depending on socioeconomic status) of males (68% by age 18) and 50% of females reported having pre-marital sex.

Kinsey was a trailblazer, and his research institute, The Kinsey Institute, is still around today. Check out all his studies, they are very, very interesting.

Sources:

KinseyInstitute
Slate--Fifty Years After Alfred Kinsey.
NNDB--Alfred Kinsey.
About The Kinsey Institute

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