A Reinterpretation of Alfred Kinsey and the Homosexual Individual
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The paper discusses Alfred Kinsey's critique of the standard perspective of homosexuality and heterosexuality and explains how it challenged societal understanding of homosexuality. The paper emphasizes that while today, Kinsey's viewpoints and findings are unsurprising, in the historical context of the Cold War era's hysteria against homosexuals, Kinsey's message was undoubtedly ground-breaking.
From the Paper:"In 1948, entomologist-turned-sexologist Alfred Kinsey published his seminal study in Sexual Behavior in the Human Male. After 5,300 interviews, he reported that, among other shocking statistics, more than one-third of men had homosexual contact to the point of orgasm (Sexual Behavior in the Human Male 266). He also claimed that both "scientists" and "laymen" assume that there is a distinct dichotomy between homosexuality and heterosexuality, with little room for any intermediate position, and that this dichotomy is correlated with the whole personality ("Seven Point Scale" 345). However, a more thorough investigation reveals that although most sexologists up to 1948 did indeed fit into the binary Kinsey describes, the general public's views were more nuanced. Nonetheless, his critique of this perspective was important because it challenged societal understanding of homosexuality and undermined the very basis of Cold War treatment and perception of homosexuals.
"Many academics in the 19th and early 20th century neatly fit Kinsey's description of "psychologists... [who] believe that preferences for sexual partners are secondary manifestations of...the totality of that intangible which they call the personality" ("Seven Point Scale" 345). The study of sexology developed in the latter half of the 18th century as a reaction to fears of degeneration, marking the start of categorizations of sexuality that would later manifest itself in the heterosexual-homosexual dichotomy."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Beachy, Robert. "The German Invention of Homosexuality." The Journal of Modern History. Vol 82 (2010): 801-838. Print.
- Chauncey, George. Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World, 1890-1940. New York: Basic Books, 1995.
- D'Emilio, John. "The Homosexual Menace: Politics of Sexuality in Cold War America." Passion and Power: Sexuality in History. Ed. By Kathy Peiss. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1989.
- Escoffier, Jeffery. Sexual Revolution. New York: Thunder's Mouth Press, 2003.
- Kinsey, Alfred. "Kinsey's Seven-Point Scale of Sexual Identity." Sexuality. Ed. By Robert Nye. London: Oxford University Press, 1999.
Cite this Analytical Essay:
A Reinterpretation of Alfred Kinsey and the Homosexual Individual (2013, December 25) Retrieved April 22, 2021, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/a-reinterpretation-of-alfred-kinsey-and-the-homosexual-individual-153778/
"A Reinterpretation of Alfred Kinsey and the Homosexual Individual" 25 December 2013. Web. 22 April. 2021. <https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/a-reinterpretation-of-alfred-kinsey-and-the-homosexual-individual-153778/>