Just wow …
Human sexuality is as old as, well, humans. Our existence wouldn’t even be a thing right now if not for all those horny amoebas splitting off into exact duplicates, eventually evolving into things that enjoy one another’s genitals. It’s why we’re here. It’s the only reason why we’re here.
But while sexual social conventions have been all over the place in history — from the free-balling, bath-having Romans to the butt-puckered Puritans — some scientists have spent their entire life’s work trying to figure out what it all means. Some of the best we’ve got so far, two books often credited for sparking the sexual revolution of the 1960s, are now over 60 years old. And damn it if they don’t still hold water to the flame.
Alfred Kinsey and his peers never took off on their endeavor with an idea to change the world. In fact, there was no agenda going into the studies other than to collect data for understanding humans and their sexuality. Yet, even though they gave us incredible insight to something as prevalent as sex, The Kinsey Reports have spent the better part of a century under scrutiny for what they found.
When they were released, the two books that make up the reports tackled and highlighted taboo subjects that no one else would. With chapter headings including Masturbation, Nocturnal Sex Dreams, Extra-Marital Coitus and Animal Contacts — for the 1950s, these books were Satan’s dessert through the eyes of earlier American traditions.
Through all the dramatics that attempted to sideline any conclusions made, however, the books and their findings from near 6,000 individual interviews are still praised — even though some of the research is proven to be flawed and advancements have disproven some of the statistics.
Nonetheless, their work opened up discussions about some of the darker, or previously secretive, areas of human sexuality, and has allowed for others to follow on the path to comprehension of what goes on in all of our romantic pants.
And have you ever read old-school scientists trying to describe sex? Awkward …
On the “Sexual Problems of Unmarried Youth”:
“… but neither the law nor the custom can change the age of onset of adolescence, nor the development of the sexual capacities of teen-age youths. Consequently they continue to be aroused sexually, and to respond to the point of orgasm. There is no evidence that it is possible for any male who is adolescent, and not physically incapacitated, to get along without some kind of regular outlet until old age finally reduces his responsiveness and his capacity to function sexually.”
“While there are many females who appear to get along without such an outlet during their teens, the chances that a female can adjust sexually after marriage seem to be materially improved if she has experienced orgasm at an earlier age.”
“The attempt to ignore and suppress the physiologic needs of the sexually most capable segment of the population has led to more complications than most persons are willing to recognize. This is why so many of our American youth, both females and males, depend upon masturbation instead of coitus as a pre-marital outlet.”
“Restraints on pre-marital heterosexual contacts appear to be primary factors in the development of homosexual activities among both females and males.”
“Among all types of sexual activity, masturbation is 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, 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.”
“The anthropologic record indicates that masturbation is widely known among the females of many human groups. It did not originate in our European culture.”
“Some females had masturbated for some years before they learned that the activity in which they had been engaged had any sexual connotation and constituted what is known as masturbation.”
"That there are individuals who react psychologically to both females and males, and who have overt sexual relation with both females and males in the course of their lives, or in any single period of their lives, is a fact of which many persons are unaware; and many of those who are academically aware of it still fail to comprehend the realities of the situation.”
“Sexual behavior if either normal or abnormal, socially acceptable or unacceptable, heterosexual or homosexual; and many persons do not want to believe that there are gradations in these matters from one to the other extreme.”
On that whole animal stuff:
“There are obvious anatomic problems which prevent the indiscriminate, inter-specific mating of some forms, but no known anatomic or psychologic factors which would prevent most of the more closely related species from trying to make inter-specific matings.”
Actually, that’s enough of that chapter …
Luckily, we’re far and away from certain bias that’s plagued sexuality for thousands of years. Even though we still have those people in our general vicinity who have this misguided idea of what people actually are, we’ve seen leaps over the course of 60 years by way of fundamentally understanding our carnal desires. We certainly don’t have a lack of information out there.
Some of us just lack the ability to care.