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Kinsey: Sex the Measure of All Things Paperback – October 1, 2004

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press; First Paperback Edition, 2004 edition (October 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0253217261
  • ISBN-13: 978-0253217264
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #434,536 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


..". revises [the] revisionism and presents Kinsey in an altogether more favorable light ... a human and indefatigable sex educator, as well as an unfairly maligned martyr of American priggishness...."

About the Author

Jonathan Gathorne-Hardy served as a consultant during the filming of the motion picture Kinsey. He is author of The Rise and Fall of the British Nanny and lives in England.

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By po1058 on July 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
I chose to read this book because I wanted a balanced account of Kinsey's life and science, unfortunately, this book does not satisfy the requirement. Where the Jones book turns Kinsey into a demon, Gathorne-Hardy seems to want to turn him into a god. Gathorne-Hardy has a well researched account of Kinsey's life and activities, however he constantly tries to justify Kinsey's methods and continually comments on how no one has been able to do better sex research since, a patently untrue and scientifically unsupported statement. It would be difficult to cover both the biographical research on Kinsey and do an indepth study of current sex research, and I don't believe that Gathorne-Hardy even tried to do much research into current sex literature, that is why it is irritating when he tries to justify most of Kinsey's ideas. Overall, if you want a book that details the activities of Kinsey's life, this is an acceptable book, but if you are interested in his science, it is woefully lacking.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Blaine E. Crowther on August 30, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Where are you on the Kinsey scale? As a young woman, on a sleepover, did you ever give your girlfriend eyelash kisses all over her body? As a young boy, did you ever have a Platonic crush on a male friend? If you did, you might rate a 1 on the Kinsey scale which goes from 0 (exclusively heterosexual) to 6 (exclusively homosexual). Being a 0 or a 6 makes you somewhat abnormal or as Kinsey would say rare. You see, terms like normal and abnormal are moral terms and not scientific ones. Average and rare are the terms Kinsey would use.

This is a very sympathetic, balanced and humane biography of a man who had a huge effect on our understanding of human sexuality. I enjoyed reading this excellent book not only because it deals with my favorite subject, but also because it is well written.

It seems most of the reactions to Kinsey break out along ideological lines - the negative responses are mainly from conservative monotheists and surprisingly Freudian psychoanalysts because Kinsey thoroughly trashed the evidential basis of much of Freud's understanding of human sexuality.

The author begins where Kinsey's life begins and explores his early childhood and rearing as a conservative bible-believing Methodist up through his death as a 59 year old atheist bisexual researcher of human sexuality who had become the most notorious man in America and probably the world.

Although Kinsey engaged in homosexual sex later in life, the author points out that his one early love 'affair' as a young man was most likely purely Platonic. He pursues his development and mainly focuses on his research for his two main books on male and female sexuality.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
the research is well established in all of Reisman's books on Kinsey. Get KInsey's own book "Sexual Behavior in the Human Male" for yourselves and read chapter five, that's all you need. Read pages 160 and 161 to see Kinsey's experience, as a sado masochist, of orgasms. He says he observed 196 little boys all under age 12 as screaming, convulsing, fainting, and trying to get away from "their partner" (that is the man or men who are raping them). As the trusted "observer" he claims the children, he divides into six groups, "got definite pleasure from the situation" and "returned" for the experience. Then look at his own Tables 30, 31, 32, 33, and 34 and ask who on his "team" was sexually violating a "2 month old" infant for Kinsey, or was he doing this himself? Look at Table 34 and ask how he knew a 4 year old had 26 "orgasms" in 24 hours, (a round the clock experiment) to conclude that "scientists" like him and his team should develop and control sex education, sex ed curricula, for all children. This pederastic sexual psychopath has, as the Kinsey Institute claims, "changed the world." Child porn, child sex trafficking, pandemic child sex abuse and sex "researchers" insisting oh, its all getting better. Right. go to Reisman's website, drjudithreisman.com and buy her books and work to tell the truth to others!
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful By William H. DuBay on August 7, 2012
Format: Paperback
I can't say enough about this book. It has been 40 years since I read Kinsey's two books on sex and Pomeroy's adulatory biography.

The other reviewers here misread the impact of Kinsey's work. For over a thousand years, Christianity kept a whole continent on the verge of psychosis by demonizing not only sex but also the human body, children and women. It not forbade not only most varieties of sexual expression but also any discussion of them. Sex was the Great Secret, unspeakable, dark, problematic, and dangerous.

Kinsey's purpose was to use science to overturn the ancient Leviathan of sexual repression. "We should see what an animal does," Kinsey said, "before we make any judgments about its morality." His project took enormous strength, commitment, organizational talent, and courage. Sexual dissidents before Kinsey were beat up, locked up. burned at the stake, or driven into exile, madness or suicide.

Kinsey presented massive evidence that the variations in sexual practices so long condemned by the monotheistic religions were abundant throughout human and animal societies. In no sense could they be categorized as abnormal. He wrote in the Male volume that the sexual data on single males "is evidence of the ineffectiveness of social restrictions and of the imperativeness of the biological demands. For those who like the term, it is clear that there is a sexual drive which cannot be set aside for any large portion of the population, by any sort of social convention." The evidence showed that the only sexual abnormalities are celibacy, abstinence, and delayed marriage.

For that reason, the publication of his reports was one of the defining moments of the 20th century. It was the cause of celebration world-wide, like the end of a war. It changed everything.
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