Badpuppy Gay Today

Tuesday 20 August, 1997


Says Male Sexual Bonding Overemphasized by a "Closeted" Researcher
Kinsey's "Husband & Father" Image Called "Carefully Cultivated"

By John Long


The latest issue of The New Yorker, (August 24-September 1, 1997) scrambling for a catchy topic to fight off the publishing industry's late summer doldrums, has showcased an article defaming Alfred Kinsey, a man who had been dead for four decades, and his work. The piece has been written by James H. Jones, a former senior research fellow at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University, a Roman Catholic institution.

Professor Jones' article--based on his forthcoming biography of Kinsey (to be published in October by W.W. Norton & Co.)-- suggests that the celebrated researcher (who is credited with doing more than any other single individual to end America's harmful silence about sex with his 1948 publication of Sexual Behavior in the Human Male ) was, in fact, a closet case who not only philandered with males when away from his wife and children, but who recommended to members of his inner circle that they and their wives enjoy other partners too, according to their own tastes. Kinsey and his staff are said to have been filmed performing sexual acts, reportedly for sex science purposes.

Kinsey's statistics covering homosexual behavior, hints ethicist Jones, are therefore suspect because the researcher was probably drawn to such conclusions due to his own same-sex proclivities, carefully hidden desires. In spite of everything that Kinsey did to prove his work to be disinterested research, Jones insists, he was a "covert crusader" who reached the conclusions he himself desired.

Such a deliberately damning suggestion is neither new nor surprising. Similar suggestions were made in 1948 when a fiercely sex closeted society reacted at first with extreme alarm-- some newspaper columnists nearly exploded with disdain-- to the idea of so many homosexually-behaved citizens in its midst. In that time, controversies about the man Kinsey and his work, similar to those raised in the current issue of The New Yorker, were endemic.

If claims of Kinsey's sex-act film-making are true, this "revelation" would put Kinsey ahead of more recent researchers like Masters and Johnson who, later, filmed many subjects in sexual congress, both male and female, including also simultaneous reports on their bodily reactions, including heartbeat counts, breathing speed, and bodily temperatures.

Of particular concern to Professor Jones is Kinsey's finding that 37% of all American men experience at least one same-sex encounter leading to orgasm. This figure does not mean that this large segment of men are necessarily homosexual by preferred inclination, but that some have simply experimented or, perhaps, have been passive oral sex recipients responding in concert with a more eager male partner. Persons who live primarily on the more homosexually-inclined side of the sexual continuum, said Kinsey, number approximately ten percent of the population.

By critiquing Kinsey with suggestions that he was closeted, Jones also throws suspicions on the motivations of the Kinsey report's co-authors, the late Dr. Wardell B. Pomeroy and Clyde E. Martin. Gay pioneers who met or knew Dr. Pomeroy as early as the 1960's state unequivocally that the distinguished doctor appeared to be heterosexually inclined. "At public meetings his steely gaze was obscured only by the smoke from his ever-present pipe," said one observer.

Jones believes that Kinsey's "risk taking" through sexual trysts with males had become, by the late 1940's, problematic and that had the press been aware of his behavior he would have suffered humiliation and an abrupt end to his career. He says that the famed collector of sex data carefully cultivated an image as a happily-married Midwestern father. Jones writes:

"Within a select circle of staff members and trusted outsiders, he (Kinsey) set out to create his own sexual utopia....Kinsey decreed that the men could have sex with each other, and that the wives, to, could be free to embrace whatever sexual partners they liked."

Alfred Kinsey opened American minds to the full range of human sexual behaviorial patterns, though, as a former editor of Sexology magazine puts it, his reflections on the prevalence of homosexuality, in spite of what Professor Jones says to discredit him, have proved admirably on target if not prophetic, now that the gay and lesbian movement has turned conventional sexual assumptions upside down.

Recent attempts have been made by fundamentalist propagandists and political pollsters to suggest that the number of exclusively homosexual persons hovers in the 1% to 2% bracket. Jones would seem, says the editor, to be making an attempt to bolster such low estimates, conceivably to render same sex affection unimportant and statistically peculiar.

In fact, Kinsey's statistics say that up to 50% of all males experience at least one or two momentary flashes of desire for members of their own sex. If this is so, homosexual desire cannot be said to be statistically abnormal.

1997 BEI; All Rights Reserved.
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