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4. PRE-ADOLESCENT SEXUAL DEVELOPMENT

Alfred C. Kinsey Indiana University Press ePub

What an individual does sexually will depend on the nature of the stimulus with which he or she comes into contact, on the physical and physiologic capacities of the individual to respond to that stimulus, and on the nature and extent of the individual’s previous experience with similar stimuli.

The child is born with a physical equipment and physiologic capacity which allows it to respond to various sorts of stimuli. As a newborn infant and even before birth it may react to touch, to pressure, to light, to warmth, and to still other types of physical stimulation. Some of its reactions may be of the sort which we call sexual. What distinguishes a sexual response from any other type of response is a matter which we shall not attempt to define until we can examine the nature of those responses in the pages which follow (especially in Chapters 14 and 15). Suffice it for the moment to point out that a sexual response in any mammal involves a considerable series of changes in the normal physiology of the body. In the course of those changes, there is a build-up of neuromuscular tensions which may culminate at a peak-from which there may be a sudden discharge of tensions, followed by a return to a normal physiologic state. This sudden release of neuromuscular tensions constitutes the phenomenon which we know as sexual climax or orgasm. Orgasm is distinct from any other phenomenon that occurs in the life of an animal, and its appearance can ordinarily if not invariably be taken as evidence of the sexual nature of an individual’s response (Chapter 15).

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22. ANIMAL CONTACTS

Alfred C. Kinsey Indiana University Press ePub

To many persons it will seem almost axiomatic that two mating animals should be individuals of the same species. This is so often true, from one end of the animal kingdom to the other, that exceptions to the rule seem especially worthy of note. To those who believe, as children do, that conformance should be universal, any departure from the rule becomes an immorality. The immorality seems particularly gross to an individual who is unaware of the frequency with which exceptions to the supposed rule actually occur.

No biologist exactly understands why males of a species are attracted primarily, even if not exclusively, to females of the same species. What is there to prevent insects of one species from mating with insects of many other species? What is there to prevent a frog from mating with frogs of other species? Why should mammals mate only with mammals of their own kind? In the animal kingdom as a whole, is it to be believed that the sources of sexual attraction are of such a nature that they provide stimuli only for other individuals of the same species? For the scientist it does not suffice to be told that nature allows nothing else but intraspecific mating because she considers reproduction to be the objective of all sexual activities, and because the production of offspring is supposed to be impossible as a product of an interspecific cross. It does not suffice to think of inner forces which draw individuals together in their sexual relations. Such concepts concern intangibles with which science can have no dealing and, in the last analysis, the biologist and psychologist must look for material stimuli which, originating in one individual, may so affect other individuals that mating is the inevitable consequence.

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5. MASTURBATION

Alfred C. Kinsey Indiana University Press ePub

Of the six possible types of sexual activity, heterosexual petting is the one in which the largest number of females engage before marriage, and marital coitus is the one in which the largest number of females engage after marriage. Masturbation is the one in which the second largest number of females engage both before and after marriage.

Among all types of sexual activity, masturbation is, however, the one in which the female most frequently reaches orgasm. Even in her marital coitus the average female fails to achieve orgasm in a fair proportion of her contacts (Tables 102 ff.), and this is true in most of the petting which she does prior to marriage; but in 95 per cent or more of all her masturbation, she does reach orgasm.1

This is due to the fact that the techniques of masturbation are especially effective in producing orgasm. Socio-sexual relationships usually demand some adjustment of the interests, the desires, the physical capacities, and the physiologic reactions of the partner in the activity. In coitus, a female who is not strongly aroused by the psychologic aspects of the relationship may find that some of the adjustments which she has to make interrupt the steady How of her response, and she is, in consequence, delayed or completely prevented from reaching orgasm (pp. 385, 668). She may prefer the socio-sexual relationship because of its psychologic and social significance, and the delay in reaching orgasm may in actuality increase her pleasure, but the fact remains that the techniques of masturbation usually offer the female the most specific and quickest means for achieving orgasm. For this reason masturbation has provided the most clearly interpretable data which we have on the anatomy and the physiology of the female’s sexual responses and orgasm (Chapters 14, 15).

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1. HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION

Alfred C. Kinsey Indiana University Press ePub

The present volume is a progress report from a case history study on human sex behavior. The study has been underway during the past nine years. Throughout these years, it has had the sponsorship and support of Indiana University, and during the past six years the support of the National Research Council’s Committee for Research on Problems of Sex, with funds granted by the Medical Division of The Rockefeller Foundation. It is a fact-finding survey in which an attempt is being made to discover what people do sexually, and what factors account for differences in sexual behavior among individuals, and among various segments of the population.

For some time now there has been an increasing awareness among many people of the desirability of obtaining data about sex which would represent an accumulation of scientific fact completely divorced from questions of moral value and social custom. Practicing physicians find thousands of their patients in need of such objective data. Psychiatrists and analysts find that a majority of their patients need help in resolving sexual conflicts that have arisen in their lives. An increasing number of persons would like to bring an educated intelligence into the consideration of such matters as sexual adjustments in marriage, the sexual guidance of children, the pre-marital sexual adjustments of youth, sex education, sexual activities which are in conflict with the mores, and problems confronting persons who are interested in the social control of behavior through religion, custom, and the forces of the law. Before it is possible to think scientifically on any of these matters, more needs to be known about the actual behavior of people, and about the inter-relationships of that behavior with the biologic and social aspects of their histories.

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6. TOTAL SEXUAL OUTLET

Alfred C. Kinsey Indiana University Press ePub

As previously noted, the six chief sources of orgasm for the human male are masturbation, nocturnal emissions, heterosexual petting, heterosexual intercourse, homosexual relations, and intercourse with animals of other species. The sum of the orgasms derived from these several sources constitutes the individual’s total sexual outlet.

Since practically all of the sexual contacts of the mature male involve emotional changes, all of which represent expenditures of energy, all adult contacts might be considered means of outlet, even though they do not lead to orgasm. These emotional situations are, however, of such variable intensity that they are difficult to assess and compare; and, for the sake of achieving some precision in analysis, the present discussion of outlets is confined to those instances of sexual activity which culminate in orgasm.

There are some individuals who derive 100 per cent of their outlet from a single kind of sexual activity. Most persons regularly depend upon two or more sources of outlet; and there are some who may include all six of them in some short period of time. The mean number of outlets utilized by our more than 5000 males is between 2 and 3 (means of 2.5 or 2.2) (Table 39). This number varies considerably with different age groups and with different social levels (Figure 35; Chapters 7, 10).

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