Sexual Behavior in the United States: The Kinsey Report
Sex talk titillated the public in the 1950s the way the national deficit, drugs, AIDS, and malfeasance in government excite us today; but in the 1950s we had more fun, feeling very devilish when discussing bedroom topics in the open. In this milieu, the book Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, generally called the Kinsey Report, filled a niche in 1948. It fitted with the changing attitudes and sexual behavior of the whole of society in the United States, a trend that ultimately peaked following the introduction of oral contraceptives and changed again with the AIDS epidemic. The Kinsey Report got enormous publicity from radio talk shows of the time and from interest generated when nearly every comic based jokes on it. Nevertheless, I doubt that many people actually read it, because it was a serious scholarly work based on about nine years of field work by Alfred C. Kinsey and his colleagues Wardell B. Pomeroy and Clyde E. Martin. It was lush with tables and methodological descriptions, and so it took an avid and diligent reader to find out that more people seemed to be engaged in more diverse sexual activities than the general public had appreciated. The reported extent and variety of these behaviors shocked the U.S. population.
KeywordsSexual Behavior American Statistical Association Human Female Percent Group Gall Wasp
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