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(1950). Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic. XIII, 1949: Sex and Science: The Kinsey Report. Lionel Trilling. Pp. 109–118.. Psychoanal Q., 19:136-137.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic. XIII, 1949: Sex and Science: The Kinsey Report. Lionel Trilling. Pp. 109–118.

(1950). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 19:136-137

Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic. XIII, 1949: Sex and Science: The Kinsey Report. Lionel Trilling. Pp. 109–118.

The Kinsey report is an event of great importance because on the one hand it is therapeutic in its over-all permissive effect and on the other it is symptomatic of the need in our culture for absolute standards of normalcy. Unfortunately this work has been presented to the public despite the fact that it is a technical project full of assumptions and positive statements on highly debatable matters. However, the Report also gives back to the people the moral right to discuss and question sexual activity openly and honestly.

It is unfortunate that the Report deals with sexual experience only in terms of the physical act and that the evaluation of evidence is entirely quantitative. Emotions are dealt with very much as if they were merely a superstructure. Although Kinsey et al. lament the fact that the concept of 'normal' has obstructed scientific knowledge of sex, throughout their book the idea of the 'natural' quietly assumes this identical position. The fact that rats indulge in homosexual behavior or that the chimpanzee ejaculates immediately upon intromission does not make this conduct in humans either normal or abnormal. Quickness of response is considered a superior trait in the Report and there is a total disregard of the important role sex plays as an intimate personal relationship. The attitudes of the male toward women, their body, and sex organs are hardly mentioned in this book. There is almost no reference to the male's reaction to pregnancy and menstruation.

The Report combats the psychoanalytic concept of pregenitality by stressing the fact that even infants are capable of orgasm. It opposes the psychoanalytic conception of homosexuality and perversion because it purports to find that many 'successful' scientists, educators, physicians, etc. indulge in this kind of sexual behavior. This oversimplification of what is considered natural and normal and what criteria determine mental health may be less damaging in

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zoology than it is in psychology. The numerical strength of these recorded facts has had the unfortunate effect of establishing an ineffectual standard of sexual behavior.

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Article Citation

(1950). Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic. XIII, 1949. Psychoanal. Q., 19:136-137

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