Thursday, November 16, 2023
It's Thursday, November 16, 2023.
I'm Albert Mohler, and this is The Briefing, a daily analysis of news and events from a Christian worldview.
The Dark Doctor of the Sexual Revolution: Alfred Kinsey and The Horrifying History of the Kinsey Institute
In order to have a sexual revolution, you have to have sexual revolutionaries. In order to press for a revolution in morality, you also have to have moral revolutionaries. And in the 20th century, there was no revolutionary on the issues of sexuality and morality pushing for revolution, no more significant and influential figure than Alfred Kinsey. Right now at Indiana University there is a major research center in existence for decades known as the Kinsey Institute.
More on that in just a moment, but what we need to recognize is that to say Alfred Kinsey is to invoke one of the prophets, one of the four horsemen you might say, of the sexual and moral revolution. You probably would've had the revolution without him, but it would not have come as quickly and it would not have come on the progressive terms, indeed, the radical terms of Alfred Kinsey, unless he had a platform and he had an audience, and Indiana University gave him the platform through this institute that now bears his name. And what we need to recognize is that this represents a horror, a moral horror in our age that isn't least analogous to some of the most grotesque scientific demonstrations of disaster and immorality of our lifetimes--or going back throughout the 20th century.
We are talking about an incredibly dark chapter. We're talking about it right now because just in the course of this present year, the Indiana legislature has approved a measure to defund or to deny funding, state funds, going to the Kinsey Institute and Indiana University is having to make the decision as to whether it will separate itself from the Kinsey Institute. The big story is that the board that governs Indiana University days ago could not come to a conclusion even though the state legislature passed the bill and governor Eric Holcomb signed it into law.
You have enormous resistance in the name of so-called science and academic freedom coming from students, faculty members, and others associated with Indiana University. We are talking about a big 10 university. We're talking about one of the biggest and best known of the state universities in the Midwest. We're also talking about Alfred Kinsey and we're talking about many things that quite frankly are going to be difficult to talk about.
We need to recognize that for those pressing for this revolution in sexual morality, and we notice how far they've come, how successful they've been. Institutions such as what's now called the Kinsey Institute have had a major role to play in this, and a part of the influence of that institute is its relationship with Indiana University. In order to understand this problem, we need to take a look at the story.
The Ideology of the Moral Revolution Was Established on a Lie and on the Sexual Abuse of Children: An Honest Look at Indiana University’s Kinsey Institute
The story has to begin with Alfred Kinsey himself, born in 1894. Let's just say the 1894 puts Alfred Kinsey's birth right in the Victorian era as it has been known, right in a period of very traditional sexual morality, very established understandings of marriage, of the roles of men and of women. But we need to recognize that even as a teenager, Alfred Kinsey came to the conclusion that that sexual morality was hopelessly repressive. He had the goal of liberating himself and others from a Christian sexual morality, and of course, that's how you'd have to describe the sexual morality of the West and in particular of the English-speaking world. Even the language concerning marriage was basically drawn from scripture and the Church of England's Book of Common Prayer. Understandings of sexuality were essentially grounded in the moral teachings of Christianity that were channeled through the medieval era into the modern age. It was those very teachings and that very moral authority that Alfred Kinsey wanted to overthrow.
But first, he was educated at Boden College. Then he went to Harvard University where he did a doctorate in biology. He was hired to teach at Indiana University, hired to teach biology, and he became a specialist in research into an insect known as the gall wasp. But if Alfred Kinsey had spent his lifetime studying insects including the gall wasp, frankly we wouldn't be talking about him and no one would probably remember his name. But we do remember his name and his name is on this institute, which is now an official part of Indiana University, not because of insects, but because of human sexuality.
One of the things we need to recognize is that those who were seeking to overthrow a traditional understanding of sexual morality, they had to come up with a new authority because there was an entire civilizational system of authority behind that traditional morality that said no sex outside of marriage, that said that sexual expression is to be limited to a man and a woman united in marriage in an entire structure, honoring marriage, protecting the family.
If you saw that as the problem, you were going to have to overcome enormous civilizational authorities. How would you do that? Well, one of the ways the revolutionaries sought to do it was with the aura of science. And so Alfred Kinsey, whose interest obsessively was far more related to sex than to insects, he basically turned his research into human sexuality, and that was turned into the institute at Indiana University that would eventually bear his name.
More than anything else, two books would cement Alfred Kinsey's legacy. They would be the book entitled Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, published in 1948, and then the companion volume on Sexual Behavior in the Human Female published in 1953. Of the two, the first was far more important. As a matter of fact, if you're looking say to identify the 10 most significant books that have driven the progressivist revolution in morality, the revolution that has truly reached epic status when it comes to subverting a traditional morality and understanding of marriage and sexuality, you would have to put Sexual Behavior in the Human Male very near the top of that list.
The book was published in 1948, and the background was this. Alfred Kinsey established this institute and he set it up with Herman Wells, who was an iconic president at Indiana University, and Wells himself seems to have been pretty much a proponent of what Alfred Kinsey was seeking to do. And as we shall see, he ran cover for the Institute, basically giving it political and institutional cover. But Alfred Kinsey wasn't just interested in the normal range of human sexual behaviors. And when it comes to sexual behavior in the human male, the normal range of male sexual behaviors. As a matter of fact, Alfred Kinsey was a revolutionary. He wanted to deny, to destroy the very idea of normal human sexual behavior. He denied the distinction between normal and abnormal. Now, Kinsey conducted what was purported to be scientific research, but even as he did field studies, he sent out interviewers to interview people.
One of the things we now know is that he used a sample that was hardly representative for one thing when it comes to the male sexuality. A rather significant number of those men who were interviewed were either already involved in what would even be the language at the time deviant sexuality, or they were prisoners. Needless to say, it's not exactly a representative sample population.
The book was published, and by the way, you see how authorities, cultural authorities come together in this, including the Rockefeller Foundation, including a major medical publishing house. The book was published as if it were a medical book, and by the way, Dr. Alfred Kinsey whose doctorate was in biology at Harvard University, he was presented as Dr. Kinsey as if he were a medical doctor. And most Americans almost assuredly thought of him in the medical field rather than in biology or zoology.
The point is that when Dr. Kinsey appeared in the media in a white coat that indicated scientific respectability and introduced as Dr. Kinsey, you can understand that in the early decades and into the middle decades of the 20th century, that came with enormous intellectual credibility. And let's face it, that's exactly what they were counting on.
But as the book Sexual Behavior in the Human Male came out in 1948, it did land as a bombshell. Now again, I've already stated that Kinsey was in his self-consciousness and frankly open among his colleagues, he was seeking to overthrow an entire system of sexual morality. He was seeking actually to displace or distr a notion of normal sexual behavior. He was himself given to what can only be described in the language of that time as sexual deviancy. And I could go into detail here, I will not. I simply say it is far outside the range of what anyone then, now, or at the time of his birth would've considered a normal range of human sexual behavior.
But that was the point. And Alfred Kinsey's ambition was to displace what he saw as a repressive sexual morality with something else. But Alfred Kinsey was absolutely convinced that sexual problems come very early in life, and he was particularly interested in children and in teenagers. In Sexual Behavior of the Human Male, some of the most shocking material has to do with his advocacy for very early and very diverse sexual experimentation. The other thing has to do with research that can be summarized in scientific tables as they were presented, tables 31 through 34 in the book. And the most chilling recognition is that this has to do with what Kinsey would declare to be sexual behavior in infants and in children as well as teenagers and adults. Looking at it now, it is clear that this research, if indeed it can be called research at all, this horrifying abuse of children could only come by some kind of sexual predator, but Kinsey presented the information just as if it were like the research that might be undertaken with interviews on such subjects with adults.
And there's more to this story. The story is just dark and it gets only darker. As you look at the research and you look at the tables, it becomes very clear that this so-called data could only come by the systematized sexual abuse of infants and of young children, even of very young infants. Now, this evidence has always been there open for all to see. In Kinsey's book, again, published in 1948, this research about the sexual response and capacity for response is measured in young boys and infants. Let's just face it, this can only come by some kind of dark resource, indeed the darkest of our imagination. And that's exactly what we are looking at here, because we now know what Kinsey knew, and that is the one man who was the source for much of the data and tables 31 through 34.
One of Kinsey's associates and colleagues in this sexual revolution was a man by the name of Wardell Pomeroy, and Pomeroy wrote his own book and shared his own reflections on what had taken place. Speaking of the individual from whom this data had come, Wardell Pomeroy himself, who again had worked with the Kinsey Institute, he said that this data on children and infants came from a man who had had, "Homosexual relations with 600 pre-adolescent males." So just understand this, it's even hard to speak, much less to hear. With 600 pre-adolescent males. Alfred Kinsey knew exactly who he was dealing with, and as a matter of fact, as you let all of this sink in, understand that this man for whom this institute is named and who had led and founded this institute at Indiana University, he wrote the man who had undertaken this ritualized sexual abuse of infants and young boys.
He said, "If expense is any factor in limiting your trip east, we can cover a good bit of that for you elsewhere." In a letter, he said, "We really ought to have two or three days and preferably more in which to discuss our material and to work out further plans for cooperating with you. So wherever we meet, I hope it will allow us enough time," time enough, he said, to "really cover the ground." Need money? Well, Kinsey assured he would send it. He wanted to discuss or remember what he described as our material, and he announced, "further plans to cooperate with you." Elsewhere in a letter to the same man, Kinsey said, "I congratulate you on the research spirit, which has led you to conduct data over these many years." Now, I just interject now, do the people living in the state of Indiana, do citizens of Indiana know what has been right there under their noses in plain sight at Indiana University for all these decades?
Do Americans understand that you have a major American public research university, Indiana University, which in 2016 actually brought the institute into a closer relationship with the university? That's what led to the legislature's action and to the governor signing the bill just earlier this year. But Indiana University's board is still not sure what to do about this. There's far more. By the end of his career, Kinsey was conducting in the name of research, wild recordings, even filmings of sexual behavior in his own home, sometimes with himself, sometimes with students, sometimes with people no one knows who they are, sometimes with his wife, sometimes not. We really are talking about something here that is so dark we really can't go into any further detail, even when it comes to Kinsey's reflections on his own experience. Trust me, this is as far as we are going. James H. Jones, who was one of Kinsey's two authoritative biographers, said that Kinsey, "approached his work with missionary fervor." And then you ask the question, well, to what end that missionary fervor? "Kinsey loathed Victorian morality as only a person who had been injured by sexual repression could despise it. He was determined to use science to strip human sexuality of its guilt and repression. He wanted to undermine traditional morality, to soften rules of restraint, and to help people develop positive attitudes toward their sexual needs and desires."
Let's just be clear, this is not about a true scientist pressing for data. This was a moral revolutionary, an ideologue, a sexual deviant by the language of his own time, and frankly, any sane society. This was a man who knew exactly what he was doing, and as I have said, so did Indiana University. The Kinsey Institute was established more than 75 years ago, they're allied with IU as the Institute for Sex Research. After Kinsey's death, it became known as the Kinsey Institute for Research and Sex, Gender and Reproduction. It is known, and it claims in its own website, one of the largest libraries and collections of material related to human sexuality.
Much of it, of course, most of it is off limits to public view. There is not even a full accounting of what is in that supposedly scientific material, but we already know that at least a lot of it is published. Even in the book, Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, it came from the sexual abuse of children. What else, we have to ask, is being housed and hidden there under the auspices of this institute at Indiana University?
During Kinsey's lifetime, the goings-on at the institute and at the Kinsey House were hardly secret. In order to understand how this happened, you have to go back to Herman Wells, who was the president at Indiana University for so long. Wells understood politically that there needed to be some distance between Kinsey's work at the institute and the University. So he insisted that there be some kind of separate legal entity that would be created.
Amazingly, as I said in 2016, Indiana University reversed that logic and made the Kinsey Institute a formal part of the university. Well, it's good that Indiana's legislatures finally acted. It's good that governor Eric Holcomb signed the bill, but we do have to ask, why so late? Why did it take so long? Why is it still there? Why is it housed at Indiana University? Why is Indiana University seemingly not only protective but proud of it in the name of academic freedom?
Parents, Keep Your Children Far, Far Away: The Attempted Defense of the Kinsey Institute Sends Clear Message
The evidence, as I say, has always been there for all to see. And in this case, it's very important to say that all the research and the information I'm sharing here has come from authoritative sources. Much of it from Kinsey, much of it from Kinsey's book, much of it from Kinsey's colleagues, much of it from inside the Kinsey Institute. One of the ways that the Institute has protected itself and defended itself and Indiana University has given cover for the Kinsey Institute is by claiming that there's nothing but a bunch of right-wing charges that are baseless against the Kinsey Institute.
Well, let's look at a statement made by the institute itself trying to deflect the criticism. Now, keep in mind, much of the research could only have come from massive sexual abuse, and in this case, the sexual abuse of children, but the Institute on its own website, the website, by the way, that devotes a good number of pages to defending itself from this kind of data. The Institute says, "Kinsey did not carry out any experiments on children. He did not falsify research findings, and he in no way condoned sexual abuse." I want to be really clear about this. The first claim may be true. The second claim is patently false. The third claim is not only false, it is reprehensible. Kinsey did falsify research findings. He insinuated that the data on the boys came from nine men, but it was later discovered that it was one man who provided all the data.
John Bancroft, now, I cite him because he's not an outside conservative critic. He's a former director of the Kinsey Institute. He stated this, "But why Kinsey did not reveal that there was only the single source for the four tables we do not know. Perhaps because he did not want to draw attention to this one man, or alternatively because he was particularly interested in this evidence and did not want to diminish its scientific credibility by revealing its single source."
So he did lie about the data, and it's an institute director, now former director who has affirmed and in his own way, defended, although acknowledging this manipulation of the data. But pause here for a moment and understand in worldview perspective how all this comes about. So it turns out that you had this one man who was a sexual revolutionary with an institute at Indiana University who actually took data from one man who it is now estimated had abused more than 600 pre-adolescent males, and it's presented as normative for Sexual Behavior in The Human Male.
And thus, you understand that the moral revolution was founded not only on an ideology, not only on a lie, it was established on the sexual abuse of children. And remember, the Kinsey Institute says that Kinsey, "in no way condoned sexual abuse." Well, we already know that that's a lie because we have seen the evidence of the letter that Kinsey wrote to the abuser, but then consider this Bancroft, the former director also said of Alfred Kinsey, "He, therefore, was particularly interested in the observations of adults who had been sexually involved with children." Read that again: "Particularly interested in the observations of adults who had been sexually involved with children." How do those words sink in on you? Remember Kinsey's letter to the man in which he offered to pay for him to come and visit, wanted to talk about their common project, and who celebrated this man's scientific research.
This isn't just condoning the sexual abuse of children. This is effectively celebrating it and even wanting to spend time with the abuser. I go back to these words, "I congratulate you on the research spirit, which has led you to collect data over these many years." That letter's in the archives and all of this material is available for any honest person to find. I have spent a great deal of time and invested a great deal of effort to find out the truth in this situation. Kinsey put the data in the book, he congratulated himself on his achievement, but the Kinsey Institute continues to lie. The administration of Indiana University continues to hide behind the lies. Indiana representative Matt Pierce, a Democrat who represents the Bloomington area in the Indiana legislature, has stalwartly defended the Kinsey Institute against criticisms. He said, "These same unproven allegations about Kinsey were circulating about 20 years ago. Really crazy stuff about Kinsey experimenting with children and babies that were circulating in these conservative culture war stories."
Nice try. Mr. Pierce. No source I have cited comes from anything conservative. Every source is directly tied to documents easily available to you right there in Bloomington. Some of it is published by the university's own press. The most damning evidence is in Kinsey's own book and letters. You either don't care or you don't tell the truth. For decades, Indiana University has been proudly related to the Kinsey Institute. From the inception, much has been hidden from the public, now we know why. The university's president defends the institute in the name of academic freedom, and the board could not even summon the courage to break from the institute. After the legislature's bill was enacted, faculty and students have demanded that the institute must continue as part of the institution.
Let's be clear, the scandal of the Kinsey Institute is not just its name, the scandal is its existence. And not just now, but from the start. Out of moral necessity, I've left a lot of the evidence unstated. A mountain of perverse evidence lies behind what is revealed and discussed here today. Just consider what all this says about American higher education. Reflect on what this means for our society and for its future. Take stock of what is at stake and understand this. Understand how the sexual revolution grew and advanced by leaps and bounds through what we now know was not only scientific malpractice, but far worse. As Christians trying to understand how so much change has been brought in our society and demands for further sexual liberation continue unabated and frankly unbounded. If you want to understand how all this happened, you can't do so without talking about Alfred Kinsey, and that means you can't do it without talking about the university where the institute was established.
So Christians, Christian parents, understand what we face here, understand what is at stake. Hug your children and keep them far, far away from Indiana University.
I published a document form of this research as an article entitled Polymorphous Perversity in the Heartland: The Scandal of the Kinsey Institute and Indiana University, published yesterday at World Opinions.
Thanks for listening to The Briefing. For more information, go to my website at albertmohler.com. You can follow me on Twitter by going to twitter.com/albertmohler.
For information on the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, go to sbts.edu. For information on Boyce College, just go to boycecollege.com.
I'm speaking to you from San Antonio, Texas, and I'll meet you again tomorrow for The Briefing.