About Ignatius Insight
  Who We Are
  Ignatius Press
  Ignatius Press catalogs
  Catholic World Report
  Homiletic & Pastoral Review
  IP Novels site
  IP Religious Ed blog
  IP Critical Editions

The major motion picture "Kinsey", starring Liam Neesen and Chris O'Donnell, opened on November 12th. It purports to be an accurate portrayal of the life and work of Dr. Alfred Kinsey (1894-1956), the famed sex researcher whose work has had an incredible influence on attitudes toward sexual mores and behavior.

IgnatiusInsight.com spoke about Kinsey, his work, and his influence with Dr. Benjamin D. Wiker prior to the opening of the movie. Dr. Wiker is co-author, with Dr. Donald De Marco, of Architects of the Culture of Death (Ignatius Press, 2004) and a Lecturer in Science and Theology at Franciscan University. He is also the author of Moral Darwinism (InterVarsity).

WARNING: Some of the material discussed in this interview is not suitable for younger readers.

IgnatiusInsight.com: Who was Alfred Kinsey and what is he known for? 

Benjamin Wiker: Well, interestingly enough, who Alfred Kinsey was and what he was known for are two very different things. Let’s begin with the latter. Kinsey was known as the great scientist of sex, the man who fearlessly and dispassionately sorted out the true nature of our sexuality from the false, unscientific beliefs that have for so long hidden the truth from us. The standard picture of Kinsey depicted during his lifetime was the dour scientist dressed in a lab coat, patiently sorting through reams of data with his equally reputable and objective coworkers.

That picture of Kinsey does not reveal who Kinsey really was, however. In fact, such pictures were carefully staged by Kinsey and his "research" team as part of their ongoing propaganda campaign. Behind the scenes, we find the real Kinsey: a homosexual and a sado-masochist, bent on using the trappings of science to force his perversions upon society.

IgnatiusInsight.com: Why do you think a movie would be made of his life? Do you think there is a particular message or agenda held by the makers of the film?

Wiker: We have just seen in the presidential election that the culture is seriously divided. Part of the culture has been pushing pro-homosexual, sexual freedom agenda. No one doubts where Hollywood lines up on these issues. They have been using their immense resources for some time, along with the other liberal-dominated media, to compel Americans to accept every sexual deviation as natural and good. Of course, in doing so, they were only following Kinsey’s lead, and so we should not be surprised that they would make a movie lionizing Kinsey as their prophet and martyr.

We can expect the message of the movie to be something like this: Kinsey the persecuted homosexual fights fearlessly to throw off the chains of sexual repression, but dies a kind of martyr who selflessly sacrificed himself for those who would come after.

IgnatiusInsight.com: What was the relationship between Kinsey's private life and his influential studies?

Wiker: The sole purpose of Kinsey’s various studies was to legitimate any and every kind of sexual activity, from adultery and homosexuality, to pedophilia and bestiality. Kinsey himself was, from his very early youth, a sado-masochistic homosexual. His father, Alfred Sr., was a staunch, no-nonsense Protestant who ran the household with an iron fist. Of course, young Alfred hid his sexual perversions from his father, and the contradiction between his outward moral uprightness and his inward, hidden sexual distortions caused him great anxiety. But by the time he went to graduate school, Kinsey was determined to use science to eliminate this anxiety. How? By eliminating the distinction between natural and unnatural in regard to sexuality. He wanted to use science to "prove" that every sexual desire, no matter how bizarre, is natural.

IgnatiusInsight.com: What have been some of the more serious charges brought against Kinsey's research, methodologies, and goals?

Wiker: To take up on the last point, Kinsey began with the belief that every sexual desire is natural, and that it is only society that labels things like adultery, homosexuality, pedophilia, and bestiality as unnatural. Therefore, he would gather "sexual data" precisely from those people who engaged in such practices. For example, rather than gather data from the population at large, Kinsey preferred to interview prison sex offenders. This method would be akin to interviewing convicted thieves on what they think of private property, or serial killers about the sanctity of life.

IgnatiusInsight.com: In the trailer for "Kinsey" the researcher is shown saying to an unseen research subject: "I've learned that the gap between what we assume people do sexually and what they actually do is enormous." Does this reflect the findings of objective research or Kinsey's personal bias?

Wiker: First and foremost, Kinsey’s personal bias. As biographer James Jones points out, Kinsey long believed that human beings were naturally "pansexual," that is, they had no natural goal–such as heterosexuality–but if left to themselves in a kind of state of nature would satisfy their sexual desires in whatever way happened to strike their fancies. Society restricts this natural pansexuality, causing individuals all kinds of anxiety. Kinsey therefore believed that while we assume that people follow society’s sexual rules, they secretly want to act upon their natural pansexuality, and very often do. This deviation from social sexual rules–be it in adultery or homosexuality–is really not a deviation at all, but our natural, pansexuality reasserting itself.

Kinsey’s mode of argument was then quite simple, and the logic of it went something like this: we assume that X is abnormal; but we have found out that X occurs all the time; what occurs all the time cannot be abnormal, therefore it must really be normal; what is normal is also natural, and what is natural cannot be wrong.

IgnatiusInsight.com: In another scene in the trailer, a character (apparently sympathetic to Kinsey's work) exclaims, "The enforcers of chastity are massing once again." How might the movie try to make connections between the 1940s/50s and modern day conflicts over sexual mores?

Wiker: We’ve all seen the recent surge to sanction gay marriage. Kinsey is an especially useful figure to support this effort. He has the status of a venerable scientist; he can be promoted as a martyr. And the lesson Hollywood wants us to draw is quite simple: the "enforcers of chastity" belong to the forces of darkness. How long, O how long, must they rule over us (sympathetic violins playing in the background).

IgnatiusInsight.com: A preview review of the movie on the MSNBC site states: "For a movie so frank and explicit, 'Kinsey' has a soft spirit. Violins swell. The warmth of the Kinsey's unconventional marriage shines through. It's easy to imagine an edgier movie, but 'Kinsey' is a celebration of diversity; it's about the solace knowledge can bring." How does that compare with the reality of Kinsey's life and work?

Wiker: Ah yes, the violins. Well, Kinsey’s marriage will surely not be portrayed as it was, and therefore we can forget about getting any "solace knowledge can bring." Will they show Kinsey talking his wife into having sex with his homosexual bedmates? And then there’s the little matter of the pornographic films. Kinsey’s Institute spent much of its time filming its staff of "scientists," including Kinsey, having homosexual sex with each other, masturbating, and engaging in sado-masochistic acts. Kinsey’s wife Clara was pushed–for the sake of science, of course–into "acting" in these sexually sordid films. Will they show his wife having to engage in every manner of sexual perversion, both alone and with others, in front of Kinsey’s camera? I doubt they will.

IgnatiusInsight.com: The MSNBC review claims: "It was his own sexual problems with his new wife, Clara , that first got [Kinsey] thinking [about sexual behaviors]." Is that accurate? Why or why not?

Wiker: No, not at all. Kinsey engaged in horribly distorted homosexual sado-masochism from the time he was a youth. After he graduated from Harvard, he landed a job at Indiana University. At the time, he was a bachelor, but being a bachelor for too long would bring suspicion upon Kinsey. Kinsey needed a wife. He soon met and married Clara Bracken McMillen, an intelligent, boyish-looking chemistry student. Of course, he did not reveal his homosexuality until much after the wedding. Clara did have a physical defect that affected her sexuality, but that was taken care of by surgery. The real problem with the marriage lay in getting Clara to accept his homosexuality. Apparently she did so dutifully.

IgnatiusInsight.com: The Kinsey Institute web site poses the question, "How has the data held up, over 50 years later?" and responds, in part, by saying that a 1979 study validated Kinsey's original research: "Interestingly, most statistics, such as homosexual behavior, did not change significantly from the original reports." Are there any problems with this statement in light of more recent studies that indicate homosexuals make up 1-3% of the population, as opposed to Kinsey's famous claim of 10%?

Wiker: As is now clear, Kinsey inflated the data, and he did so precisely because he didn’t care about scientific truth first and foremost, but only about his sexual agenda. For Kinsey, science must be bent to serve that agenda, and data inflation was the best way to do it. As was said above, Kinsey interviewed sex offenders to find out what was normal in regard to sexuality. Even worse, Kinsey flooded the interview pool not only with convicted sex offenders but also several hundred male prostitutes. Hardly "objective" research.

In another respect, however, Kinsey’s data have held up–not because the data represent the truth, but because they his "results" have largely remained unchallenged.

IgnatiusInsight.com: What about Kinsey’s association with pedophilia?

Wiker: In the Kinsey report (consisting of two books, the Male and Female reports), Kinsey argued at length for the legitimization of pedophilia. Like bestiality and homosexuality, pedophilia was, according to Kinsey, natural. The only problem with pedophilia is caused by the hysterical reactions of those who think it is unnatural. "It is difficult to understand why a child, except for its cultural conditioning, should be disturbed at having its genitalia touched, or disturbed at seeing the genitalia of other persons, or disturbed at even more specific sexual contacts," states Kinsey in the Female report. In sum, Kinsey actively promoted pedophilia as natural.

In his reports, Kinsey offered quite explicit data on pedophilia, including the effect of sexual acts performed on children ranging all the way down to six months old. Where did he get this data? In part, from a man of epic sexual perversions, who had had sex with over 800 preadolescents, as well as with 33 of his relatives (including his grandmother and father) and animals of many different species. We also suspect that Kinsey did his own "studies" at his Institute at Indiana University, but we will not know until the archives (including all his films) are opened to the public. One wonders how much of this will make it into the film?

IgnatiusInsight.com: What do you think is Kinsey's true legacy?

Wiker: He is one of the great architects of the culture of death, a man who saw his liberation in the destruction of every sexual restriction, and who methodically misused science to achieve his goal. Sadly, too many people didn’t see through his ruse, or worse, were happy to join his revolution, and his studies have, almost single-handedly, formed the foundation for contemporary sex education. Is it any wonder that we are now experiencing the darkness of sexual chaos in our society?

Related article: "Deadly Architects", a two-part interview with Wiker and Dr. Donald De Marco.

Benjamin Wiker, Ph.D., is a Lecturer in Science and Theology at Franciscan University and a Senior Fellow with Discovery Institute, focusing on Intelligent Design.

He has contributed to various Catholic publications and writes regularly for Crisis magazine, and is the author of Moral Darwinism (InterVarsity).

Visit him online at www.benjaminwiker.com.

Architects of the Culture of Death

Authors: Donald, Benjamin / DeMarco, Wiker
Length: 410 pages
Edition: Paperback
Your Price: $16.95

The “Culture of Death” has become a popular phrase, and is much bandied about in academic circles. Yet, for most people, its meaning remains vague and remote. DeMarco and Wiker have given the Culture of Death high definition and frightening immediacy. They have exposed its roots by introducing its “architects.” In a scholarly, yet reader-friendly delineation of the mindsets of twenty-three influential thinkers, such as Ayn Rand, Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, Jean-Paul Sartre, Alfred Kinsey, Margaret Sanger, Jack Kevorkian, and Peter Singer, they make clear the aberrant thought and malevolent intentions that have shaped the Culture of Death.

Still, this is not a book without hope. If the Culture of Death rests on a fragmented view of the person and an eclipse of God, hope for the “Culture of Life” rests on an understanding and restoration of the human being as a person, and the rediscovery of a benevolent God. The “Personalism” of John Paul II is an illuminating thread that runs through Architects, serving as a hopeful antidote.
“An action-packed, riveting and educational exposé that reveals little-known facts that are shocking and incredible. You will not want to put this book down...”

—Judie Brown, President, American Life League

If you'd like to receive the FREE IgnatiusInsight.com e-letter (about every 2 to 3 weeks), which includes regular updates about IgnatiusInsight.com articles, reviews, excerpts, and author appearances, please click here to sign-up today!


World Wide Web


Place your order toll-free at 1-800-651-1531

Ignatius Press | San Francisco
Web design under direction of Ignatius Press.
Send your comments or web problems to:

Copyright 2018 by Ignatius Press

IgnatiusInsight.com catholic blog books insight scoop weblog ignatius