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Alfred Kinsey Fbi File Analysis

2347 words - 9 pages

Alfred Kinsey was an American Professor of biology and zoology at Indiana University. During his career he decided to shift his focus from studying gull wasps to that of human subjects. He embarked on a study of human sexual behavior by doing a series of interviews consisting of 18,000 people. The first installment of nine books was “Sexual Behavior in the Human Male.” This 30 year project was anything but non-controversial especially with in the realm of the FBI and the United States government. As any breakthrough research goes through, there were positive and negative critiques of his study.
Within the FBI files themselves there are various negative critiques of his work stating that he himself was not suited for this type of research and that his research methods were “nothing new and radical regarding interviews by looking the subject ‘straight in the eye; to prevent the subject from lying.” The same reviewer, M.A. Jones, states that his analysis of homosexuality among young boys to be a flaw in his research as he did not actually interview any boys, but just uses accounts of adult men from their child hood and calls his scientific approach “prejudicious.” He also calls the value of the study to be limited and that in the wrong hands it could be harmful. This fits the purpose of this file because in order to prove that Kinsey and the Institute were ineligible to obtain obscene material for his research, they had to prove that he was not using them for academic purpose and that his book itself was “appropriate” for the audiences it would reach.
Kinsey’s book, also known as the Kinsey Report, was reviewed as well by Reverend John B. Sheerin and he called the work “insignificant.” Circulating were all these negative comments on his work, but that wasn’t all that was being critiqued. One such critique in the FBI files regards him talking at a probation and parole conference where he told them that “present day law manufactures a large portion of the persons brought into court as sex offenders.” Many of the findings of Kinsey’s study were against the mainstream cultural and social understandings of sexuality; therefore, people regarded his work as abnormal in certain respects and wouldn’t necessarily consider it reason for mass change in policy and law enforcement. The FBI documents contain more than just critiques of the Kinsey Report; it contains information regarding his colleagues after Kinsey’s passing in 1956.
In part one of the Alfred Kinsey file there are a series of correspondences between the director of the FBI and special agents in Indianapolis regarding the obscene material that the Institute of Sex Research at Indiana University had in their possession and how they obtained these materials. There were strict codes on the shipment of material from foreign countries that were of the obscene nature. During one of the sessions in congress Senator Smoot states that “any material that corrupted ‘the moral sense of the average...

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