Tuesday, August 28, 2012
If liberals are so opposed to junk science, then why do they appeal to it themselves?
Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, and Alfred Kinsey, the scientific father of the sexual revolution, are patron saints of liberalism, and still provide its advocates with inspiration and comfort.
That is one of the reasons why their reaction to the controversial remarks of Republican U. S. Senate candidate Todd Akin on rape is important: It gives us some hope that liberals themselves may some day be ready to abandon their own penchant for promoting junk science.
In fact, the next time your favorite liberal Democrat tells you how indignant he is about Todd Akin's remarks on rape, just ask him how he feels about the Kinsey Reports. When he starts mumbling and shuffling his feet, just shake your head, pat him on the shoulder, and walk away.
Akin, the Republican nominee for the U. S. Senate from Kansas, had told a radio interviewer that victims of "legitimate rape" rarely get pregnant, a position he had apparently derived from bogus scientific research. The result was a firestorm of protest from liberals and calls from members of his own party to step down from his position of standard-bearer for his part in the Kansas senate race.
The cries and lamentations from liberals and Democrats were deafening, a stark contrast to the tranquil confidence with which, for decades, they have parroted their own questionable research.
What Alfred Kinsey claimed to have found
In fact, unlike Akin, who has disavowed his remarks, liberals have yet to repudiate Alfred Kinsey, whose two reports, "Sexual Behavior in the Human Male" and "Sexual Behavior in the Human Female" together constitute the central scientific document of the sexual revolution. Not only that, but they still quote these documents, which contain a slough of suspect assertions, grounded in research methodology that have been repeatedly called into question by critics as being not only unreliable, but unethical.
The Kinsey Reports, released in 1948 an 1953, were the documents upon which the American advocates of sexual liberation based their entire social project. Kinsey, the author of the reports, was a zoologist at Indiana University, where the Kinsey Institute is still housed.
Kinsey claimed to have found that, rather than traditional divisions between heterosexual and homosexual, there was a much larger continuum across which people could be categorized and that homosexuality was much more common than most people thought. The report became the basis for the claim that homosexuals constituted 10 percent of the population.
Kinsey also claimed to have found that 50 percent of men and over 26 percent of women had had extra-marital sex; that 12 percent of females and 22 percent of males were attracted by sado-masochistic images; that between 67 and 98 percent of males and 50 percent of females had had premarital sex; and that 69 percent of white males had had at least one encounter with a prostitute.
And this was in the 1940s and 50s.
The apparent intention of the Kinsey Reports, an intention which played out in American society in the 60's and 70's and which still plagues us today, was the breakdown of traditional sexual restraints and the normalization of what had always been considered deviant sexual behavior. The reports and their popular treatment in the liberal media had a sort of bandwagon effect:: Everybody was doing these things, therefore, they must be normal.
The Kinsey Reports continue to be a touchstone for liberal beliefs on sexuality and are still appealed to in arguments for sex education in schools (an important rite in the liberal theology). In fact, a hagiographical movie about Kinsey, release in 2004, was the recipient of numerous awards conferred by Kinsey's Hollywood admirers.
What was wrong with Kinsey's research
As it turned out, Kinsey's claims were based on a sample that included a high percentage of prisoners and prostitutes. Other aspects of the sampling have been questioned, such as the categorization of married couples, which included, strangely, prostitutes who lived with their pimps. The methodology Kinsey used in one of the reports was condemned by the American Statistical Association the year it came out. Statistician John Tukay remarked, "A random selection of three people would have been better than a group of 300 chosen by Mr. Kinsey." It was also criticized at the time by the likes of Abraham Maslow. But that didn't stop the liberal establishment from uncritically parroting the report's prognostications for decades.
Kinsey tried to minimize the seriousness of child molestation and--what is interesting given the liberal reaction to Akin--rape. But even worse, Kinsey apparently collaborated with child molesters and possibly encouraged sexual molestation himself in gaining data on the sexual inclinations of children. There have even been charges that Kinsey paid people to molest children. All of which was apparently considered acceptable, since these "researchers" had note pads and stopwatches.
Calls for investigations into how Kinsey got his data have been stonewalled by the Kinsey Institute. "Stonewalled." Get it?
So the next time you hear a liberal uttering maledictions about Akin--or casting aspersions against Mark Regnerus for his unflattering findings on gay parenting--ask him why he has been singing hosannas to Kinsey. Prepare to be underwhelmed.