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External Articles | Posted: August 14, 2005

Sordid Science: The Sex Research of Alfred C. Kinsey (The Catholic Standard & Times - Part 4 of 7)


Exclusive Series: Alfred C. Kinsey and American Sex Ed
Part 4 of 7
by Susan Brinkmann
CS&T Correspondent
September 4, 2003

Between the years of 1948 and 1952, two critical events were taking place in the United States - the introduction of Alfred C. Kinsey's erroneous research into American society, and the development of the Model Penal Code (MPC).

How uncanny that the document containing the nation's sex crime statutes should be in the process of development at the same time that a sex researcher from Indiana is declaring that 95 percent of the American male population participates in deviant sexual activity on a regular basis.

What affect did Kinsey's data actually have on the new Model Penal Code? "The Model Penal Code of 1955 is virtually a Kinsey document," said Kinsey biographer, Jonathan Gathorne-Hardy. "At one point, Kinsey is cited six times in twelve pages."

The story goes downhill from here.

In "A History of American Law," Lawrence Friedman writes that the MPC was originally intended "for the persuasion of judges rather than enactment into law," but eventually, the United States Supreme Court justices and every law school accepted the new Code as authoritative.

In her book, "Kinsey: Crimes and Consequences," Dr. Judith Reisman writes: "At the very time the American Law Institute's Model Penal Code was being developed, there was a growing public outcry for tightening, not loosening, what we called 'sexual psychopath' laws. But respected magistrate Morris Ploscowe, one of the MPC's principal authors argued, based on Kinsey's findings, that 'when a total clean-up of sex offenders is demanded, it is in effect a proposal to put 95 percent of the male population in jail . . .'"

Reisman lists some of Kinsey's misleading data that appeared in Ploscowe's work calling for a change in U.S. law regarding sex: "'These pre-marital, extra-marital, homosexual and animal contacts, we are told, are eventually indulged in by 95 percent of the population in violation of statutory prohibitions. If these conclusions are correct, then it is obvious that our sex crime legislation is completely out of touch with the realities of individual living. . . .'"

In "Sexual Patterns and the Law," Ploscowe writes: "One of the conclusions of the Kinsey report is that the sex-offender is not a monster . . . but an individual who is not very different from others in his social group, and that his behavior is similar to theirs. The only difference is that others in the offender's social group have not been apprehended. This recognition that there is nothing very shocking or abnormal in the sex offender's behavior should lead to other changes in sex legislation . . . . In the first place, it should lead to a downward revision of the penalties presently imposed on sex offenders."

Ploscowe published his own tome in 1951, based on Kinsey's statistics, which has been used for decades in criminal and civil cases relating to human sexual behavior. His publication was one of four major works published by the academic and legal community supporting Kinsey and calling for a change in the law based on his studies.

In "About the Kinsey Report," published in May 1948, eleven renowned intellectuals representing major Ivy League universities supported Kinsey's science as a collection of factual, objective data. These academics were completely sold on the Kinsey myth and considered him to be "a conservative and impartial American academic whose only interest was to set the record straight."

Probably the most influential supporter of changing the sex laws according to Kinsey's statistics, was attorney Morris L. Ernst, a founding member of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). He served as a personal representative for President Roosevelt during WWII, was the attorney for Alfred Kinsey, Margaret Sanger (the founder of Planned Parenthood), the Kinsey Institute, the Sex Information and Education Council of the U.S. (SEICUS) and Planned Parenthood of America. Ernst had close ties to influential and progressive Supreme Court Justices Brandeis, Brennan, Frankfurther and Judge Learned Hand, among others.

Reisman writes that Ernst "advocated the legalization of adultery, obscenity and abortion throughout his career, as well as Kinsey's full panoply of sex law changes." According to Ernst, Kinsey's false data first entered into the stream of law through the MPC tentative draft number four, dealing with sex offenses, on April 25, 1955.

Reisman writes: "Standing on the notion of the alleged right of privacy, the Kinsey legal cadre judged the 52 protective sex crime laws as largely illegitimate. By accepting Kinsey's data, almost all sex acts would be restated as private and not subject to social control."

This resulted in radical changes in American sex law. Reisman writes. "Kinsey would indeed impact the American justice system at large by being cited as the 'scientific expert' . . . who supposedly proved that sex offenders were 95 percent of America's fathers and beloved male family members. The MPC authors demanded and facilitated a downward revision of sex offender penalties because Kinsey said reality was out of step with the law. This was all based on Kinsey's aberrant groups of criminals, homosexuals, pedophiles, and the like . . . . The revision lead to the weakening and destruction of 52 sex offender laws targeted for change, and would undermine marriage as the single legitimate source of all coitus.

"These distinguished authors hailed from august institutions and were leaders in their professions. They are culpable. They knew, or should have known, that Kinsey was a fraud. (The Rockefeller Foundation knew that his data was totally unreliable.)

"After Kinsey's bogus data entered the stream of law through the MPC draft on sex offenses in 1955, the Kinsey sexuality model became codified as normal in mainstream America. It was taught by many unsuspecting law professors in America's most prestigious law schools."

Reisman evidences this statement by showing over 650 citations to Kinsey in Law Review articles published between 1982-2000.

But how could Kinsey get away with all this? There are several reasons, one of which was Kinsey's obsession with concealing his own sexual activities, particularly those concerning sex with children.

Reisman writes: "How sympathetic would legislators have been to Kinsey's pleas (for reduced sex crime penalties) had they known that he concealed the fact that roughly one year earlier his team denied assistance to police regarding a Kinsey aide who was a child sex-murder suspect?"

The public's exaggerated regard for science at the time was another facilitating factor. Reisman writes: "Ironically, after 50 years of saturating America with Kinsey's science and the sexual revolution it incited, the 1999 "Intercollegiate Review" ranked Kinsey's book as the 'third worst book of the century.' It stated: "So mesmerized were Americans by the authority of Science, with a capital S, that it took 40 years for anyone to wonder how data is gathered on the sexual responses of children as young as five.'" Added the review, this was "a pervert's attempt to demonstrate that perversion is statistically 'normal.'"

This series is based on the book by Dr. Judith Reisman, "Kinsey: Crimes and Consequences," available through her web site