Issue 4

Deconstructing Dignity by Eradicating Shame: The Pernicious Heritage of Alfred Kinsey

Judith Reisman and Mary McAlister Download Article

Introduction

Original shame, known already from the first chapters of the Bible, is a permanent element of culture and morality. It belongs to the very origins of the ethos of the human body…. A person of developed sensibility crosses the limit of that shame only with difficulty and inner resistance. —John Paul II

Is there not charms / By which the property of youth and maidhood / May be abused? Have you not read, Roderigo, / Of some such thing?
Shakespeare, Othello, the Moor of Venice, Act I, Scene I

Forty years before Pope Saint John Paul II articulated the spousal meaning of the body, establishing a framework for a renewed culture of life, an Indiana University zoologist named Alfred Kinsey infamously laid the framework for the emergence of the culture of death to which John Paul II was responding. John Paul II’s claim in his famous General Audience catecheses through the 1980s was that the dignity of the human person, male and female, was gracefully expressed in the personal significance of the body. Kinsey’s claim in the 1940s was that the most degrading, abusive, and exploitative sexual behavior imaginable was normal and natural for men and women. John Paul II’s appeal was to truth, “the splendor of truth” which lifted human reason to the threshold of transcendence. Kinsey’s appeal, as we will show below, was to a body of carefully manipulated lies packaged as scientific discoveries.

The direct aim of Kinsey’s work was to destigmatize pornography. From the Greek pornográph(os), literally “writing about harlots,” pornography is defined as “sexually explicit videos, photographs, writings, or the like, whose purpose is to elicit sexual arousal.”[1] With John Paul II (and Shakespeare) as cited above, we argue that pornography violates human instinctual feelings of shame, of violation, which are based on the reasonable fear of exposure to unknown, potentially dangerous persons and situations. But how does one measure the ethos of shame to which John Paul II refers, or at what point does one cross the limits of shame?  

In the modern era such questions are posed as matters of science, whose findings inform the application of law and development of general moral norms. In 1998 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that law must be based “almost entirely” on “scientific subject matter.” The “scientific subject matter” upon which law has judged human sexuality since the 1950s has been based, not on genuine science, but on Kinsey’s pseudo-scientific attack on the sexual shame instinct, which created the intellectual scaffolding for the dismantling of legal norms proscribing non-marital sex and establishing the so-called “sexual revolution.” This article, very briefly, traces the elements of that scaffolding in Kinsey’s deceptive work and its malign influence.[2]  

I.   Who was Alfred Kinsey, and what did he do?

To understand the origin of the cultural attack on shame manifested in the global contagion of pornography, we must return to 1948 and Dr. Alfred Kinsey, whom the New York Times has called “the father of the sexual revolution.” Portrayed throughout the media and academic scholarship as a conservative, husband and father, Kinsey was in reality an obsessive bi/homosexual, a masturbator, adulterer, exhibitionist and pornographic “filmmaker” and addict whose research aim was to prove the normality of his many illegal obsessions. These truths are still hidden in mainstream and official scholarly publications. 

Kinsey’s publications Sexual Behavior in the Human Male in 1948 and Sexual Behavior in the Human Female in 1953 stunned the world. Homosexual author Gore Vidal once described Kinsey as the “most famous man in America, the world, for about a decade,”[3] while Ella Fitzgerald immortalized his study of sexual “normality” in Cole Porter’s song: “According to the Kinsey Report, ev’ry average man you know….” Kinsey’s research was summarized in 1989 by the National Research Council’s conclusion that legal and social views on human sexuality can be divided into the “pre-Kinsey” and “post-Kinsey” eras. More recently, commentators have described how Kinsey’s research turned conventional morality upside down and led to the slow collapse of Judeo-Christian foundations:

[P]erhaps we could date “the revolution” from … Sexual Behavior in the Human Male in 1948 and Sexual Behavior in the Human Female in 1953. Kinsey conducted hundreds of interviews and concluded from these that most Americans’ private sexual practices differed sharply from their professed beliefs about sexual morality…. Kinsey believed Americans could achieve greater happiness and fulfillment only by expressing their sexual urges without deference to arbitrary cultural and religious rules…. The second half of the 20th century in the United States is the story of the slow collapse of a broadly Christian cultural consensus on sexual morality.

That collapse, occurring over three generations, has been aided by postmodernist “change agents”:

Postmodernism is a philosophical and a cultural movement, and such movements require that a lot of groundwork be put in place, a great deal of scaffolding be erected, and that takes a lot of work by intellectuals over several generations. Movements on this scale don’t just pop up into existence, but they really are the result of long labor…. Postmodernism…has manifestations in all aspects of culture, from law, to religion to art, to economics, [and sexuality].

Kinsey was dedicated to the elimination of sexual shame in any form. Defining Kinsey as “A Pioneer of Sex Research,” authors in the American Journal of Public Health wrote:

Kinsey was not only a scientist; he was a reformer who sought to rid himself of his personal sexual demons, while at the same time revolutionizing the repressive society in which he had grown up….[which] enshrouded sex in shame, heaping more than enough guilt on young people to mangle and twist them.

It often takes time to analyze what events have changed a culture. For example, did abandoning all guilt produce more or less “mangle and twist”? In 1986 former U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Everett Koop, declared pornography was a “crushing public health problem . . . a clear and present danger.” It was not understood, however, that eliminating the shame inherent in masturbation was critical to the growth, acceptance and success of pornography, becoming recognized as a public health crisis (in Utah, Florida, South Dakota, etc.). Masturbation is the key component of pornography acceptance, diligently covered up by and for Dr. Kinsey.[4]  Masturbation had been understood as the action of unhappy loners, thus secretive and shame-inducing. Kinsey’s “data” saw the practice as preparation for a sexually healthy marriage.  A scientist waved his magic wand and turned autoerotic activity into a responsible, social good and, from there, commerce beckoned.[5] 

II.    The 1948 and 1953 Kinsey “Reports”

Kinsey’s “era” stripped human sexual morality from its roots in reality, religion and family, establishing the postmodern poisoning of Western Judeo-Christian culture.[7] Indeed, “intellectuals over several generations…erected...a great deal of scaffolding” to deform our sexual/moral culture. World War II historian Tom Brokaw thus summarized the cultural philosophy that bulldozed the sexual morality of the Greatest Generation:

Faith in God was…part of the lives of the WWII generation …. [R]esponsibility, duty, honor, and faith was the ethos of their family and community. (37)
[When] the war broke out [these were the morals of] the parents of my friends, my teachers, my coaches, my ministers…. local businessmen… reminded me…that’s not how you were raised.[8] (55)

When the Male (1948) and Female (1953) books were released, men and women who had been disciplined by their military training and sacrifices, married in record numbers. They finished school on the GI Bill and had babies—the “Baby Boomers”—to reaffirm survival, to celebrate life.

Like a bulldozer razing a historic building, Kinsey’s Rockefeller Foundation-financed books burst onto the scene in 1948 and 1953, purporting to be providing the “scientific truth” about the sexual morality of the “greatest generation.” He claimed to have “proven” that the “greatest generation” hypocritically portrayed themselves as sexually moral while, truth be told, they were actually amoral, libidinous men and women. Kinsey’s “scientific statistics” not only libeled adult fathers and mothers, husbands and wives, but also claimed that children were sexual from birth, capable of what he called “orgasm” and unharmed by sexual contact with adults. “Orgasms” were catalogued as infants and children who were “fainting” had “convulsions,” weeping “hysterically” and “fighting” to escape their adult rapists. These men he called the children’s “partners.” Kinsey viewed screaming, weeping children as having “definite enjoyment” from the sexual experiences.[9] 

His claims were seen in tables of data detailing the sexual abuse of infants as young as two months and boys up to age 14, one of which is shown below. All “data” were catalogued by pederasts. The acts were also filmed. Kinsey recorded the serial sexual abuse of children and he describes the children involved in his “research” as his “team” who provided the tables and films. However, upon reading Kinsey’s descriptions of the children’s harrowing reactions to their sexual abuse, one can deduce that the reporter (Kinsey) was himself a sadomasochistic pederast. Co-author Wardell Pomeroy confirmed Kinsey was collecting “early adolescent sperm” to study motility, and “had at least ten motility studies going.”[10]


Kinsey’s work was accepted by the public in large part because he and his colleagues were portrayed as conservative family men and learned scientists. In fact, it was revealed after Kinsey’s death in 1956 that he was a closeted bi/homosexual (and, as noted, a sadomasochist), who, along with colleagues and co-authors, filmed and performed in sadomasochistic pornography in the attic of his home and in soundproofed rooms at the Kinsey Institute.[11] Below are some reported statistics from Kinsey’s 1948 Male volume:

  • 95% of men are sex offenders
  • 50% are adulterers
  • 85% are fornicators
  • 69% use prostitutes
  • 10% to 37% men are bi-homosexual at some point in their lives
  • 100% of children are sexual from birth
  • 100% of children could climax with adult “help” 
  • 50% of women fornicate
  • 26% of wives are unfaithful
  • 25% of wives abort
  • 85% single pregnant women abort

We cannot overstate the fact that the mass success of Kinsey’s claims rested on his data, which “proved” adults were sexually misbehaving by WWII standards, without bad consequences! Hence, any repressive sexual laws and rules—“shaming”—were groundless.

In his 1953 Female volume, Kinsey claimed that out of 4,441 women “subjects” none were really harmed by rape, childhood sexual abuse, incest, illegitimacy or an STD. With no evidence of harm, the sexually restrictive common law was based on religious ignorance. All sex is “normal” said Kinsey, so all sexual acts and “orientations” should be legal. Soliciting masturbation was criminal, but he showed masturbation could never be addictive or harmful.[12] However, the data upon which all of these claims were based were found to be scientifically and statistically flawed. For example:

  • 75% of the data were excluded from his reports without explanation
  • 80% of the men interviewed were disqualified from military service
  • 86‒87% of his study “population” were aberrant—homosexuals, prisoners, sex offenders, molested boys, pimps, prostitutes, etc.
  • In his methodology chapters, Kinsey claimed the right to “force” the “right” answers to his research questions
  • He defined “wives” as any woman who lived with a man for more than a year, therefore including prostitutes living with their pimps

When “the greatest generation’s” moral standards were replaced by the Kinsey generation’s moral standards, the postmodern view of all sexual deviants as normal would increasingly become the American legal model. It is no coincidence that the rise of their children’s generation, the baby boomers born between 1946 and 1964, saw rapid increases in the rates of sexual misconduct and deviance of all types.  From 1960‒1990 rates of forcible rape, statutory rape, and aggravated sexual assault increased at least fourfold,[13] with similar increases in sodomy, prostitution, pedophilia, and births out of wedlock, while simultaneously being redefined toward normalcy.[14] 

III. 1953: Hefner/Playboy and sexual “rights” breed sex traffickers

In 1948, as a 22 year-old college virgin, Hugh Hefner read Kinsey’s Male volume and two years later wrote a college paper championing an end to female favoritism in the law. He argued against alimony and in favor of “no-fault divorce, legalizing prostitution, lighter or no sex crime penalties, etc.” Hefner said, “Kinsey was the researcher and I am his pamphleteer… Playboy …. changed some laws and helped launch a revolution or two.” Hefner’s first Playboy in 1953 guided young men in how to “collect” various co-eds’ virginity while avoiding marriage.

Playboy championed and paid lawyers to lobby for the legalization of marijuana, cocaine, contraception, pornography, abortion, sodomy, prostitution, school sex education, and the decriminalization or reduced punishment for sex crimes using phony “victimless crime” data. In the 1960s‒1970s, millions of Playboy consumers were sexually conditioned, aroused by cartoons featuring children seeking sex, prostitution and incest “jokes” juxtaposed with congratulatory letters to Playboy from celebrities, judges, prosecutors, politicians, sex experts and writers. Penthouse appeared in 1968, Hustler in 1975 and thereafter followed the porn deluge.[16] This is the scaffolding being erected over several generations.

I (Dr. Reisman) served as Principal Investigator for the Department of Justice, Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (Grant No. 84-JN-AX-K007) study of Children, Crime and Violence in Playboy, Penthouse and Hustler (1953‒1984). The $800,000 study found Playboy exploiting 4,656 children in cartoons and visuals between 1953 and 1984. Children were actors in or watching sex an average of 8.2 times per issue, with over 30% of images depicting a child and adult in a sex scene. Most cartoon children were aged 3 to 11. Children were drawn laughing at their gang rapes by adults. In one cartoon, a girl of about 6 years old is depicted in her middle-class bed, charging “$50” to a man taking off his pants in preparation for sex. Playboy’s sexualized children were systemic, statistically significant marketing decisions. Playboy Press published photos of 10-year-old Brooke Shields nude, oiled. Jodie Foster, age 14, was also displayed fully naked and described as “mature beyond her yrs.”

Playboy published the most child images, 187 (or 16 per issue) in 1971. A November 1971 image showed a naked model, posed to appear as a pigtailed-young girl, complete with Disney-themed bedsheets, and text encouraging “Big Daddy” to come on strong because she likes “forceful father figures.” In October 1976, Playboy included a textbox entitled “Kid Stuff” with the following quote: “...the big news is that there is a lot more direct eroticism flowing through a small child’s body than most adults are willing to acknowledge.”

Although Playboy quietly stopped including child images after the release of Reisman’s OJJDP report in 1985, magazines featuring the images are still available in Playboy’s early editions and Playboy Press productions. When I (Dr. Reisman) said, and showed, that Playboy featured child pornography on a television show in the Netherlands, Playboy sued for libel in 1994. Pictures from my OJJDP report convinced the judge that my claims were true. I won against Playboy.

IV. Kinseyan Sexuality Enters the Mainstream

Kinsey’s human sexuality model was also incorporated into academia, first in universities which developed a new “scientific” discipline of “sexology,” and then to elementary and secondary schools as those trained in sexology became sex educators, as illustrated below. These sexuality grads create sexuality societies, commissions and journals.  Such “sexperts” are now teachers K-12-PhD, teaching teachers, who teach our children, judges, legislators, doctors, mental health professionals, etc. “facts” about the variations of human sexuality as all “normal” and equal, based on Kinsey. No other sexuality canon is accredited. LGBTQ activists and pornography trafficking activists draw support and credibility from the agents and institutions shown in the chart.


The Playboy-financed Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS) and Planned Parenthood (also grant recipients of Rockefeller monies) bring pornography masked as “sex education” into classrooms, grooming children for sex trafficking, prostitution and gender dysfunctions. 

Such advocates create the legal fiction that “educative” sex stimuli are non-prurient. This eventually allows use of sexually explicit pictures, including “obscenity,” legally grooming children in schoolrooms under the guise of “sex education.” Pornography was/is used in “sex therapy” and in “sex surrogate [prostitution] therapy” to unleash sexual inhibitions and teach new sex acts. So too showing children such materials grooms them to accept sex acts from adults and other children and to allegedly “voluntarily” participate in sex trafficking. 

Sex therapist Dr. Maurice Yaffe reported that Kinsey proposed using pornography in unmonitored “research” on schoolchildren.[21]  Thirty years later IASHS launched Sexual Attitude Restructuring (weekends to months of pornography viewing). This was purported to develop “healthy sexual attitudes and behaviors” in IASHS students. These students became the nation’s sex education curriculum developers, sex educators, sexual forensic expert witnesses, researchers, etc., fulfilling Kinsey’s dream of bringing pornography into classrooms.

These “accredited sexuality” experts are a “pansexual cult” masked as a scientific field. Available from the Reisman archive are photographs from an IASHS coffee table picture book, Meditations on the Gift of Sexuality (1977). This book puts Biblical prayers alongside pictures of nude IASHS faculty, staff, students and friends in a sex orgy of groups, singles, couples of all kinds in every sex act.  Pornographic photos of the IASHS staff secretary’s small children were sold by the IASHS to Hustler magazine to illustrate a pro-incest article demanding an end to age of consent, authored by a senior IASHS teacher, Dr. Erwin Haeberle. 

V. Conclusion

As John Paul II pointed out, “What is at issue [in pornography] is … an extremely important and fundamental sphere of values to which man cannot remain indifferent because of the dignity of humanity, because of the personal character and eloquence of the human body” (emphasis in original). The culturally debilitating effect of Kinsey’s work illustrates by negation the deep truth of these words.  In debasing sexual expression under color of science, Kinsey established an essential foundation for the full-scale denial of the dignity of the human person expressed in male and female sexual difference. Understanding clearly the falsehood and deception of his work is an important step toward recovering these “extremely important and fundamental” values in our day.


Judith A. Reisman, Ph.D. is Founder and President of The Reisman Institute and is a Research Professor at Liberty University. She has an M.A. and Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University and is the author of five books and hundreds of articles related to the fraudulent pseudoscience of Alfred Kinsey and its effects on human sexuality, law and policy. Her latest book is Stolen Honor, Stolen Innocence (New Revolution Press, 2013). 

Mary E. McAlister, Esq. is Senior Litigation Counsel at Liberty Counsel. She has a B.S. summa cum laude from California Polytechnic State University and a J.D. from the University of California Berkeley School of Law. She has co-written numerous law review and peer reviewed articles with Dr. Reisman as well as representing clients on issues related to religious liberty, sanctity of human life and the family at all levels of state and federal courts.


[1] Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 2019.

[2] Alfred Kinsey et al., Sexual Behavior in the Human Male (1948), Sexual Behavior in the Human Female (1953). See Judith Reisman, Kinsey, Crimes & Consequences (2010), Dr. Judith Reisman, Stolen Honor, Stolen Innocence (2013) (henceforth cited as SHSI) and other resources available at drjudithreisman.com.

[3]  See Reisman, SHSI, 276.

[4] “Kinsey received nudist magazines at the family home—certainly an interest in conflict with his public ‘conservative’ persona” (SHSI, 7). See Reisman’s books documenting Kinsey’s obsessive pornography use as well.

[5] Pornography is based on masturbation—viewers and performers—at most commerce in mutual masturbation.

[6] Michael Kirby, “Sexuality and Global Forces: Dr. Alfred Kinsey and the Supreme Court of the United States (Branigin Lecture)” Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies 14.2 (Summer 2007): 485‒508.

[7] AIDS, Sexual Behavior and Intravenous Drug Use (1989); “pre & post-Kinsey eras” at 79.

[8] Tom Brokaw, The Greatest Generation (New York: Random House, 1998).

[9] At 160 and 161, Kinsey’s Male volume.

[10] See SHSI, 138.

[11] See the books and Youtube broadcasts listed in http://www.drjudithreisman.com/broadcast.html.

[12] Of Kinsey’s untimely death: “A physician…labeled Kinsey’s illness orchitis, pinpointing the testicles as the site of the infection.” Orchitis is “marked by pain, swelling… usually due to gonorrhea, syphilis… [is] orchitis following trauma.” “Trauma” defines Kinsey’s violent masturbation habits. See Reisman, SHSI , 286.

[13] Federal Bureau of Investigation, Uniform Crime Reports, “Crime in the United States 2017,” with tables from the UCR Data Tool at https://www.ucrdatatool.gov/.

[14] Daniel Patrick Moynihan, “Defining Deviancy Down,” American Scholar 62, no. 1 (Winter 1993): 17.

[15] Christopher Lasch, Haven in a Heartless World: The Family Besieged (New York: Basic Books, 1979), 135. (Emphasis added)

[16] Few child advocates understand how mainstream pornography legitimized and trafficked child pornography. This author’s DoJ OJJDP study established that link and won a lawsuit brought by Playboy.

[17] North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA), 1981.

[18] See the discussion of the Kinsey cover-up in my books.

[19] 1950, Post-Kinsey, begins the shift to “science-based” law.

[20] 1950: Pre-Kinsey America followed the common law ideal.

[21] “Kinsey suggested using sexually explicit films for sex education 30 years before a group of Methodist ministers in San Francisco [The Institute for The Advanced Study of Human Sexuality (IASHS)] started Sex Attitude Re-structuring (SAR) in 1978”  (M. Yaffe  “Therapeutic Uses of Sexually Explicit Material,” in M. Yaffe and E. C. Nelson, eds. The Influence of Pornography on Behavior [London: Academic Press, 1982], 119‒50).


Keep reading! Click here to read our next article, The Second Year of Human Pregnancy: In the Womb of the Family.