April 8, 1947, Dr. Alfred Kinsey founded the Kinsey Institute. Giving researchers the freedom to study sex, improving relationships all over the world. In the process, he began to transform our understanding of sex and sexual behavior.
Kinsey was raised in a highly religious home, passionate about the outdoors and the natural world. While in college he would study botany and zoology (while his parents wanted him to become an engineer). He would lay down the foundation for the emerging study of plants and animals in the single field of biology, thus giving scientist the ability to promote evolution.
There is no doubt that it was the Kinsey Institute that changed the perception of sex on a global platform. The institute was originally named the Institute for Sex Research, founded at the Indiana University using grants from the Rockefeller Foundation.
The landmark document, Sexual Behavior in the Human Male would be published just one year later. Researchers found that 37% of men and 13% of women had same-sex-experiences that brought them to orgasm. At the same time, they published statistics (still-cited) that 10% of men are exclusively homosexual. It would be at this point the "Kinsey Scale" was established, a six-point method to indicate gendering of a person's attraction.
The work was not without controversy or questionable methods, Kinsey encouraged sex between colleagues and he had several relationships (sexual) with work colleagues as well. One example was that he would film fellow researchers having sex. Some of the data he collected is considered inaccurate, for example on single pedophile was extrapolated to represent multiple people. Kinsey has been accused of disproportionately focusing on queer men and prisoners, without fully understanding the culture that represented each one. At one point Kinsey began to import erotic material from other countries, thus gaining the attention of the U.S. Government, and the U.S. Customs would have to sue to release pornographic material.
Kinsey passed away in 1956 and Dr. Paul Gebhard took over the institute, and successfully fought off government restrictions over the word that the institute conducted. Dr. June Reinisch took over the helm and at this time began to publish newspaper columns that discussed topics in sexual research.
Today the institute has continued to move forward the discussion about sex. There are now online resources to help people understand their bodies and desires. How far has the Kinsey Institute come? Well, there is now a sexual health clinic and exhibits erotic art shows which allow research into the humanities.
For 71 years the Kinsey Institute has changed our perception regarding sex and sexual behavior. While there have been some questionable research and conclusions, there is no doubt the Institute has allowed human around the world to have an open discussion. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!