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Kinsey: Sex the Measure of All Things Paperback – October 1, 2004
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..." 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...."
.."." 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.
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›