Alfred Kinsey


IU Bloomington

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"It is desperately strategic that our civilization realize something of the diversity in human sex behavior, and acquire some sympathetic understanding of that which is different from one’s own." 

Alfred Kinsey revolutionized the scientific study of sexual behavior and provoked a national conversation about sexuality. Joining the IU faculty in 1920, he became a recognized authority on the taxonomy of gall wasps. Turning to sex research midcareer, he offered a non-credit “Course on Marriage” in 1938 and pioneered interview techniques to gather comprehensive sex histories. With support from the National Research Council, Kinsey and his team recorded more than 18,000 sex histories. The Institute for Sex Research was incorporated in 1947, giving legal protection to data, artifact, and library collections. Kinsey and his co-workers published Sexual Behavior in the Human Male in 1948 and Sexual Behavior in the Human Female in 1953. Both books were national bestsellers and scientific landmarks.