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Alfred Kinsey's Biography

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Alfred Charles Kinsey was born in Hoboken, New Jersey on 23 June 1894.

Kinsey studied at Bowdoin College and Harvard and in 1920 became Professor of Zoology at Indiana University. Kinsey was an entomologist and became the world's leading expert on the gall wasp.

In the 1930s there was a growing incidence of VD and students increasingly wanted courses on sex, that dealt with subjects like disease and contraception.

Kinsey started a course, originally reserved for those who were married or engaged, which included lectures on the physiology of sexual behaviour.

The course was incredibly open for the relatively prudish times and many students started to approach Kinsey personally to help with their sexual issues.

These were the acorns out of which Kinsey's studies grew. In 1942 Alfred Kinsey became the founder director of the Institute of Sex Research at Indiana and in 1948 he published Sexual Behavior in the Human Male (the Kinsey Report). 18500 interviews were conducted which appeared to show a wider variety of sexual behaviour than had been expected. Although criticisms were made of the interviewing technique and the subject matter, The Kinsey Report became a best-seller and in 1953 Kinsey published Sexual Behavior in the Human Female.

The Reports were highly influential and were an important factor in developing the sexual freedom of the sixties.

Amongst those affected was Hugh Hefner, who regards Kinsey's work as a key influence on him launching Playboy.

Privately, Alfred Kinsey staged heterosexual and homosexual sex which he filmed.

According to Liam Neeson who plays Kinsey in the biopic: "He was most certainly a gifted and objective scientist, but behind it all there was a social reformer there too. And, like any man or woman of achievement, he became obsessed with his subject matter."

Alfred Kinsey, nicknamed Dr Sex, died on 26 August 1956.

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