We all do it. We “do the do,” as professor Marlon Bailey says. But we are so shy to talk about anything involving sex. Why? Without sex, none of us would even exist. Yes I know, you just got the gross visual of your parents doing it. You’ll survive! Human sexual behavior and it’s implications within society was never fully explored until scientist Alfred Kinsey decided to bring thousands of peoples sexual secrets to the surface in order to evaluate commonalities between human sexual behavior.

Kinsey’s was a hardcore essentialist, and he used this for explaining sexuality in women. His essentialist point of view on human sexual behavior was both liberating and problematic for those who were affected by his research. In Janice M. Irvine’s Disorders of Desire, Irvine digs deep into Kinsey’s history and praises his research in saying, “…Kinsey’s empiricism and sexual enthusiasm were generalized to his research on women in a fashion that was truly supportive of female sexuality” (Irvine 40). To Kinsey, sexual behavior was a natural phenomena, and “natural” to him was anything that occurred. This embracement of female sexuality opened up doors to the understanding of female desires within the vast variations of human sexual behavior. Our culture was not as quick to explore female sexuality like Kinsey was. In fact, Irvine says, “It seems likely that the lack of public attention to his findings about female sexuality had more to do with sociopolitical variable than with Kinsey’s personal research interests” (Irvine 41). This lack of public attention stemmed from the uncomfortability of exploration of human sexual behavior within our culture. Socially and politically, Kinsey crossed lines. And if he didn’t do so, our culture could be even more quiet about sex than we already are.

-Sophie Reynolds

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