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13. RELIGIOUS BACKGROUND AND SEXUAL OUTLET

Alfred C. Kinsey Indiana University Press ePub

In the broadest sense, the mores may become systems of morals and systems of morals are formalizations of the mores. It is no accident that the two words, mores and morals, stem from the same Latin root. Throughout history all peoples have defended their mores as stoutly as they have defended their religions, and their moral systems have determined the custom of the land. Sexual mores and systems of sexual morality are no exceptions to this general rule.

This means that there is nothing in the English-American social structure which has had more influence upon present-day patterns of sexual behavior than the religious backgrounds of that culture. It would require long research and a complete volume to work out the origins of the present-day religious codes which apply to sex, of the present-day sex mores, of the coded sex laws, and to trace the subtle ways in which these have influenced the behavior of individuals (Northcote 1916, Angus 1925, May 1931). Our particular systems certainly go back to the Old Testament philosophy on which the Talmud is based, and which was the philosophy of those Jews who first followed the Christian faith. In many details, the proscriptions of the Talmud are nearly identical with those of our present-day legal codes governing sexual behavior. Baek of the Jewish formulations were the older codes of such peoples as the Hittites (Barton 1925), Babylonians (Harper 1904), Assyrians (Barton 1925), and Egyptians (Budge 1895), all of whom probably had a part in shaping the sexual systems of the early Jews. Several Roman ascetic cults had a considerable influence on the asceticism of the early Christian church, and Greek philosophy in a more general way contributed to Christian ethics, both in the early days of the church and in the middle ages.

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9. MARITAL COITUS

Alfred C. Kinsey Indiana University Press ePub

For most females and males, coitus in marriage provides, in the course of their lives, a larger proportion of their total sexual outlet than any other single type of activity (Tables 170, 171). Moreover, marital coitus is socially the most important of all sexual activities, because of its significance in the origin and maintenance of the home.

Throughout most human groups, everywhere in the world, the home has been recognized as the basic unit of the social organization. In only a few instances have there been serious attempts to abandon the family organization, and to substitute some state-centered institution which would abolish the long-time associations of adults and their offspring. Such an abandonment of the family was attempted in ancient Sparta, and in the communal groups such as the Brook Farm Colony, the New Harmony Colony, the Oneida Colony, and the various other experimental societies which developed in the United States a century or more ago. Something of the sort has been attempted more recently in Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, and Communist China. None of these’ schemes, however, has provided satisfactory substitutes for the home, and most of them have been short-lived. History confirms the importance of the family, even though it does not justify some of the other customs which are a part of our culture.

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7. AGE AND SEXUAL OUTLET

Alfred C. Kinsey Indiana University Press ePub

In physiology, endocrinology, genetics, and still other fields, biologists often go to considerable pains to restrict their experimental material to animals of particular species, to particular age groups, and to individuals that are reared on a uniform diet and kept under strictly controlled laboratory conditions. Different hereditary strains of a single species may give different results in a physiologic experiment; and, in many laboratories, stocks are restricted to the progeny of particular pairs of pedigreed ancestors. In studies of human behavior, there is even more reason for confining generalizations to homogeneous populations, for the factors that affect behavior are more abundant than those that affect simpler biologic characters, and there are, in consequence, more kinds of populations to be reckoned with. Nevertheless, restrictions of psychologic and sociologic studies to clearly defined groups have rarely been observed (McNemar 1940), perhaps because we have not, heretofore, known what things effect variability in a human population and how important they are in determining what people do.

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3. SOURCES OF DATA

Alfred C. Kinsey Indiana University Press ePub

The specific sources of the reported, recorded, and observed data utilized in making this volume are described in the present chapter. The use that we have made of the previously published studies on human sexual behavior is also described. Since the data reported in our series of case histories constitute an important part of this volume, the nature of those data is described in some detail in this chapter, and critical tests of the reliability and validity of the case history data are also presented here.

All of the case histories in this study have been obtained through personal interviews conducted by our staff and chiefly by four of us during the period covered by this project. We have elected to use personal interviews rather than questionnaires because we believe that face-to-face interviews are better adapted for obtaining such personal and confidential material as may appear in a sex history.1

Establishing Rapport. We believe that much of the quality of the data presented in the present volume is a product of the rapport which we have been able to establish in these personal interviews. Most of the subjects of this study—whatever their original intentions in regard to distorting or withholding information, and whatever their original embarrassment at the idea of contributing a history—have helped make the interviews fact-finding sessions in which the interviewer and the subject have found equal satisfaction in exploring the accumulated record as far as memory would allow. Persons with many different sorts of backgrounds have cooperated in this fashion. Females have agreed to serve as subjects and, on the whole, have contributed as readily and as honestly (p. 73, Tables 3–8) as the males who were the subjects of our previous volume. Apart from rephrasing a few questions to allow for the anatomic and physiologic differences between the sexes, we have covered the same subject matter and utilized essentially the same methodology in interviewing females and males.2

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5. EARLY SEXUAL GROWTH AND ACTIVITY

Alfred C. Kinsey Indiana University Press ePub

The present volume is concerned, for the most part, with the record of the frequency and sources of sexual outlet in the biologically mature male, i.e., in the adolescent and older male. This chapter, however, will discuss the nature of sexual response, and will show something of the origins of adult behavior in the activities of the younger, pre-adolescent boy.

The sexual activity of an individual may involve a variety of experiences, a portion of which may culminate in the event which is known as orgasm or sexual climax. There are six chief sources of sexual climax. There is self stimulation (masturbation), nocturnal dreaming to the point of climax, heterosexual petting to climax (without intercourse), true heterosexual intercourse, homosexual intercourse, and contact with animals of other species. There are still other possible sources of orgasm, but they are rare and never constitute a significant fraction of the outlet for any large segment of the population.

Sexual contacts in the adolescent or adult male almost always involve physiologic disturbance which is recognizable as “erotic arousal.” This is also true of much pre-adolescent activity, although some of the sex play of younger children seems to be devoid of erotic content. Pre-adolescent sexual stimulation is much more common among younger boys than it is among younger girls. Many younger females and, for that matter, a certain portion of the older and married female population, may engage in such specifically sexual activities as petting and even intercourse without discernible erotic reaction.

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