Essay on Kinsey: Alfred Kinsey Alfred

Submitted By rlona
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Alfred Kinsey
Alfred Charles Kinsey was born on June 23, 1894, to engineering professor Alfred S Kinsey and his wife, Sarah (Charles) Kinsey, in the town of Hoboken, New Jersey. He was the oldest of three children in a devout Methodist family, strict religion ruled his family, and his father had a rule of no contact with the opposite sex only at church. At the time boys and girls where strictly separated and the topic of sex was taboo. He had a fondness for the outdoors and nature, was a member of the YMCA and Boy Scouts, at the time the Boy Scouts had strict rules and teachings against masturbation. In 1912, Kinsey graduated as valedictorian of his high school class. Kinsey’s father was assistant instructor at the Stevens Institute of Technology, constantly bully Kinsey. Kinsey wanted to study science in college but his father forced him to attend the Stevens Institute to study engineering for free, he rebelled against his fathers wishes and went to Bowdoin College on a scholarship, and the resulting outcome of his choice damaged his relationship with his father. He worked to fund his undergraduate education while attending Bowdoin College, where he graduated, magna cum laude, with a Bachelor of Science in biology and psychology in 1916. In 1920, Kinsey received a doctorate degree in biology from Harvard University. Shortly after earning his doctorate at Harvard, Kinsey accepted a job as an assistant zoology professor at the University of Indiana in Bloomfield. A specialist in botany and insects, through his research, he established himself as the number one authority on the gall wasp. From 1926 to 1929, he went all over the country with his students, collecting tens of thousands of gall wasp specimens along the way. He focused intently on categorizing and numbering his specimens, but longed to take his scientific investigation a step further. Turning his focus to questions of evolution and natural selection, in 1930 a year after he was promoted to full professor Kinsey published his findings in a paper called The Gall Wasp Genus Cynips: A Study in the Origin of the Species.

His study on sex came about by his students asking him questions in regards to sex and found that little was know in science and books on the subject, the first people of his study were his students. He later taught a class on sex and called it a marriage course, and then his study was born. Kinsey used a similar approach to his study of sex as he did with the Gall Wasps, which was to collect specimens and data. Kinsey used in-depth, face-to-face interviews by highly trained interviewers. His subject selection was volunteers, due to how taboo the subject mater was and the possibility of incarceration due to some sexual acts deemed illegal. He used and anonymous questionnaire where everything was memorized and to further ensure anonymity interviewer filled an Encrypted form. In each history a subject would be questioned on up to 521 items, depending on his/her specific experience (the average questions asked were near 300). Histories covered social and economic data, physical and physiologic data, marital histories, sexual outlets, heterosexual histories, and homosexual histories. 5300 white males and 5940 white females provided almost all the data, with the majority of participants being younger white adults with some college