Kinsey Institute




The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction was founded as a not-for-profit corporation in 1947 by pioneering sex researcher Alfred C. Kinsey. The Kinsey Institute is a research institute affiliated with Indiana University. The Kinsey Institute’s mission is to promote interdisciplinary research and scholarship in the fields of human sexuality, gender, and reproduction. The institute has research, archival, and educational components. Kinsey’s landmark studies, published as Sexual Behavior in the Human Male (1948) and Sexual Behavior in the Human Female (1953), created the foundation for the institute and for modern sex research. The two books, known collectively as “The Kinsey Reports,” included data from more than 11,000 interviews.

Integral to the mission is a research program that fosters diverse, creative approaches to significant questions in the field of sex research. The Kinsey Institute conducts research in various aspects of sexuality. Current topics include the study of high-risk sexual behavior, the effect of mood on sexual arousal and decision making, sexual well-being and distress in  women,  hormonal  effects  on  sexuality,  sex  and the Internet, the psychophysiology of sexual arousal, condom use errors, and sexual compulsivity.

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The Kinsey Institute initiates, cosponsors, and contributes to special events, exhibitions, lectures, and workshops and symposia that promote the interdisciplinary research and study of sexuality, gender, and reproduction at Indiana University and internationally. Workshops encourage useful discourse between researchers from different epistemological backgrounds and facilitate future interdisciplinary research on topics of pressing interest, such as methodology and theory in sex research. Visiting scholars add to the interdisciplinary dialogue.

The institute’s extensive collections provide a resource for scholars in many different disciplines, including the arts, humanities, social sciences, natural sciences,  medicine,  education,  and  law. The  library houses more than 100,000 books, journals, scientific and scholarly texts, erotica, popular culture materials, and archival documents that span 2,000 years of human history. The collection includes monographs, journals, unpublished papers, reports, manuscripts, reprints, vertical file materials, sexual ephemera, erotic literature, microforms, audiotapes, phonograph records, CDROMs, and sex-related books, magazines, newspapers, and pulp fiction. The film collection includes historical “stag” and sex education films as well as contemporary videos and DVD collections. The library catalog, KICAT, can be accessed through the institute’s Web site.

Historical and contemporary art and photography collections of the Kinsey Institute include more than 8,000 items from the United States, Europe, South America, Africa, and Asia and more than 75,000 photographs. The gallery displays selections from the collections. These diverse collections provide data for scholars studying sexuality across a wide range of academic areas of inquiry.

Through Indiana University, the Kinsey Institute codirects a graduate minor in human sexuality and a summer research institute, and it operates a sexual health clinic for people with problems in their sexual lives.

The institute’s information services direct students, scholars, media, government officials, and the public to research-based information on a wide range of topics related to sexuality. The Web site provides information about current research and research publications, direct access to the library catalogue, information about events and services, and links to related resources on sexuality and research.

The Friends of the Kinsey Institute is an international organization created in 1997 to support the goals and mission of the institute. Monthly tours are offered of the institute collections. For more information, contact kinsey@indiana.edu.

References:

  1. Gathorne-Hardy,  (1998).  Sex  the  measure  of  all  things.Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
  2. Kinsey, C., Pomeroy, W. B., & Martin, C. E. (1948). Sexual behavior in the human male. Philadelphia: WB Saunders. (1998 reprint edition, Indiana University Press)
  3. Kinsey, A. , Pomeroy, W. B., Martin, C. E., & Gebhard, P. H. (1953). Sexual behavior in the human female. Philadelphia: WB Saunders. (1998 reprint edition, Indiana University Press)
  4. The Kinsey Institute, http://www.kinse.org