Alfred Kinsey: History and Contributions to Psychology

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Alfred Kinsey: History and Contributions to Psychology

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Biographic Overview of Alfred Kinsey

Alfred Kinsey was born in 1894 in Hoboken, New Jersey, to a father who was an engineering teacher at Stevens Institute of Technology. His family was poor in the greater parts of his childhood and therefore he basically had a humble upbringing. After graduating from Columbia High School, Kinsey was faced with a hard decision since his father insisted that he should pursue a course in engineering at Stevens Institute. Nevertheless, two years into his degree course, Kinsey considered engineering to be outside his passion. For that reason, he got a transfer to Bowdoin College, Maine to pursue a course in biology, specifically entomology. The choice to take entomology would later prove to have been instrumental in the contributions Kinsey made in sexology (Brown & Fee, 2003). Kinsey married in 1921 and the marriage resulted to four children. In terms of his sexuality, Kinsey was bisexual and his relationship with his wife Clara McMillen included the understanding that they could both have sexual relationships with other people and with each other.

Widely regarded as the most significant sex researcher in the history of sexual development education, the entomologist Alfred Kinsey wrote two prominent books on the nature and characteristics of human sexuality. The first was Sexual Behavior in the Human Male published in 1948 and the other one was Sexual Behavior in the Human Female published in 1953. Kinsey also played a major role in the founding of the Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction (now named in his honor) at Indiana University.

The release of the Sexual Behavior in the Human Female in 1953 almost brought to a halt Kinsey’s research work because he had allegedly offended thousands of Americans and the U.S. congress put Dean Rusk (the in-charge of the Rockefeller Foundation) under immense pressure to unilaterally terminate the monetary support of the institute.

After being unsuccessful in reaching the necessary level of funding from other sources, Kinsey regrettably gave up his amazing efforts that transformed sexuality research. Nevertheless, the institute carried on and is still running as an autonomous organization under Indiana University and it currently named ion honor of Alfred Kinsey. Alfred Kinsey passed on at the age of 62 years on August 25, 1956 due to a combination of a heart ailment and pneumonia.


In 1916, Alfred Kinsey earned a B.S in biology and psychology which further earned him a listing in a doctoral program in zoology at the Harvard University where he earned Sc.D. in 1919. After taking a teaching position at Indiana University’s department of zoology, he continued there for the rest of his career. While Kinsey mainly focused in and even carried out researches that became a pivotal point in the field of entomology, he also developed interest in the field of psychology, more so human sexuality, which bore fruit when Indiana University publication (the Daily Student) through an editorial called for extensive information relating to and testing for sexually transmitted infections. Venereal diseases were a serious problem that had then just stormed the United States.

Kinsey applied for permission design noncredit course on the subject of marriage with approximately hundred registered participants, in which a number of issues with reference to sexuality were dealt with. Almost immediately he stopped his research on gall wasps and focused entirely on human sexuality. His projects and research studies obtained funding from the Rockefeller Foundation. Following this, the National Research Council set up the Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction at Indiana in 1942 to enable the continued research in human sexuality. He carried out interviews from 5,300 males and 5,940 females which became the basis of his revolutionary works. His study findings about male sexuality was published and released in 1948 which sold over a half million copies. The study findings for female sexuality were printed five years later in 1953, nevertheless to a less warm reception.

Through the various interviews Kinsey conducted in conjunction with his associates, he was able to gather about 18,000 individual records between 1938 and 1956. Through the application of personal interviews Kinsey and his associates were to intermingle directly with the participants thus enabling him to gather an extensive record of their sexual account and background. The span of the information collected during these interviews was bolstered for the reason that Kinsey and his as.............

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