The Kinsey Reports are two scholarly books on human sexual behavior, Sexual Behavior in the Human Male (1948) and Sexual Behavior in the Human Female (1953), written by Alfred Kinsey, Wardell Pomeroy, Clyde Martin, and (for Sexual Behavior in the Human Female) Paul Gebhard and published by W.B. Saunders. The two best-selling books were immediately controversial, both within the scientific community and the general public, because they challenged conventional beliefs about sexuality and discussed subjects that had previously been taboo. The validity of Kinsey's methods were also called into question. Kinsey was a zoologist at Indiana University and the founder of the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction (more widely known as the Kinsey Institute).
The sociological data underlying the analysis and conclusions found in Sexual Behavior in the Human Male was collected from approximately 5,300 males over a fifteen-year period. Sexual Behavior in the Human Female was based on personal interviews with approximately 6,000 women. In the latter, Kinsey analyzed data for the frequency with which women participate in various types of sexual activity and looked at how factors such as age, social-economic status and religious adherence influence sexual behavior. Comparisons are made of female and male sexual activities. Kinsey's evidence suggested that women were less sexually active than men.Kinsey's methodology used to collect data has received criticism. It has been suggested that some data in the reports could not have been obtained without collaborations with child molesters. The Kinsey Institute denies this charge, though it acknowledges that men who have had sexual experiences with children were interviewed, with Kinsey balancing what he saw as the need for their anonymity to solicit "honest answers on such taboo subjects" against the likelihood that their crimes would continue. Additionally, concerns over the sample populations used were later addressed by the Kinsey Institute. The conclusion of the Kinsey Institute was that none of Kinsey's original estimates was significantly affected by these data sources.More recent researchers believe that Kinsey overestimated the rate of same-sex attraction because of flaws in his sampling methods. Nonetheless, his work is considered pioneering and some of the most well known sex research of all time.
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part of: sexual orientation
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