Article Title:Rogue monkeys and mad bisexual scientists - Part 2 of an investigation!
Category:Features
Author or Credit:Chris Banks
Published on:30th November 2005 - 12:00 pm
Published by:GayNZ.com
Story ID:1023
Text:ROGUE MONKEYS AND MAD BISEXUAL SCIENTISTS – AN INVESTIGATION! PART 2: A READING FROM THE BOOK OF CAPILL All good things come to those who wait (including this article – apologies for the delay, the NZAF Board's issues severely distracted us for a few weeks!). Cynics amongst us might say that all bad things come to those who wait as well, and for famed sexuality researcher Alfred Kinsey, it only took thirty years for the religious right to search for a sound, reasoned, and evidence-based way to deconstruct his work. They couldn't find one, so decided to call him a paedophile instead. Although Kinsey's landmark works Sexual Behaviour In The Human Male and Sexual Behaviour In The Human Female were published over fifty years ago, it took until the early 1980s for allegations that his work included sexual experiments conducted on children to surface. Why? Much of the Kinsey controversy in the 1950s centred around his revolutionary findings regarding homosexuality, during the height of the paranoid McCarthy era in the United States. Gay men were in those days seen as immoral, mentally ill, dangerous, and a threat to children: "All too often we lose sight of the fact that the homosexual is an inveterate seducer of the young of both sexes, and is ever seeking for younger victims." The content of the above quote may seem familiar to us now, as it doesn't differ a great deal from the bile poured out by some of our local fundies. But in 1949, these words gave from the mouth of the special assistant attorney general of California, in the United States. Thankfully, in this day and age, most people have abandoned stereotyping gay men as paedophiles, thanks to decades of objective scientific research on sexuality that stretches back to Kinsey. For this reason, the religious right have settled on him as their public enemy number two (Charles Darwin is number one, for daring to prove humans weren't created in their present form with a magic wand). Kinsey is viewed by his religious conservative detractors as the man who used so-called false science to push his secret homosexual agenda. But the origin of the modern-day allegations regarding Kinsey and paedophilia, and the odious attempts to connect this back to homosexuality, were not sourced from any investigations or research they conducted themselves. Just like the discredited Maxim Institute, Kinsey's main nemesis merely sought to put her own spin on material which existed already. In this case, the data that would launch a thousand lies was contained within a single chapter in Kinsey's 804-page behemoth Sexual Behaviour In The Human Male. It was entitled Early Sexual Growth And Activity. "There was never anything made about that particular part of the book until the 1980s," says Jennifer Bass, Head of Information Services at the Kinsey Institute, Indiana University. "Sex is a very difficult subject to do research on. It's very inflammatory for some people. Although it's a very private act, we feel very strongly that we need to understand it. But for some people, research is not appropriate, and so they'll do everything they can to discredit it. That's a risk you take when you're a researcher. Your questions might be very small, and then they're taken out of context as if they reflect everything that's going on in the world. But in fact, it's much more specific than that." Painting Kinsey as a paedophile has spawned an entire career for one woman, Judith Reisman, who has made discrediting the scientist and his work her life's occupation – one she took up after a kid's TV show she worked for, Captain Kangaroo, was cancelled. But don't be fooled by her nurturing former occupation. In her spare time she's also a Holocaust denier, at least as far as gays are concerned. According to the New Yorker, Reisman endorses the notorious book The Pink Swastika, which blames gays for the murder of six million Jews in World War II. Reisman believes that the Nazi Party and the Holocaust itself was largely the creation of the German homosexual movement. The American homosexual movement is poised to repeat those crimes, thanks to Alfred Kinsey, she warned, comparing modern day gay youth groups to the Hitler Youth. Reisman's 'research' uses all the favoured techniques of the religious right: taking things out of context, excessive insertion of brackets into quotes to clarify [change] their meaning, multiple ellipses...in quotes from people...publications...to cut out the bits that don't fit her agenda (to the extent where her writings look more like a kid's "join the dots" book), and drawing wild conclusions based on the "data" collected by using the above techniques. But what happens when a second fundamentalist author writes an article on the same subject, but instead of going to the source, uses Reisman? It's a recipe for Chinese Whispers on a grand scale, and one which our good friend and all-round bundle of loveliness Ian Wishart has used with glee in Darwin's Rogue Monkey, a recent article in his toast-of-the-supermarket Investigate magazine. In Part 1 of this Investigation! we looked at Wishart's creative use of statistics and the flaky arguments he used in this article to try and prove gays aren't normal because we are a minority. Unfortunately, his reliance on the numbers argument meant he was unable to do this without also proving that his readership was equally abnormal – seeing as they exist in far smaller numbers. He also seemed to have trouble with quoting research or publications directly from the source, a common fundamentalist problem, and one which reaches gargantuan proportions in Part 2 of this Investigation! BLAME IT ON THE DEAD GUY Alfred Kinsey has been dead for nearly fifty years, and much to the frustration of Reisman and her cohorts, his work is still held in very high regard by scientists. Subsequent examinations of the work have found the results of the study pertaining to heterosexual and homosexual behaviour among men were not as tainted by sample bias as Kinsey's detractors would have you believe. "Kinsey cruised gay bars, prisons, brothels and other less salubrious locations to find suitable interviewees for his sexual behaviour study, because most eligible American men were overseas fighting in World War 2," claims Wishart. The express purpose of this, Wishart believes, was to use "false data to assert that homosexuality was entirely normal in the human species". Whilst it is true that Kinsey did collect sexual histories from these places, he did not collect from these locations alone. Kinsey was well aware that America's young men were being spirited away to fight in World War II. According to Kinsey biographer James H. Jones, who spent twenty-five years researching his 1997 book Alfred C Kinsey: A Public/Private Life, Kinsey had difficulty keeping hold of research staff because of the draft. But in one case, the cloud had a silver lining. When Glenn Ramsey, an educational psychologist on Kinsey's staff, was sent away to war he "sent back a stream of letters describing life in the military, including the intimate exploits (both homosexual and heterosexual) of his comrades in arms," writes Jones. "While he lost an interrogator, Kinsey gained a wonderful observer." But sexual histories from servicemen did not just come second-hand. Jones continues: "Throughout the war, tens of thousands of servicemen on leave poured into cities like Washington, Philadelphia, and New York...jammed cities offered Kinsey thousands of histories for the taking, many from unattached people who were sexually on the make." Kinsey and his associates travelled all over America to collect their histories, to "every state in the Union", as shown in a map on page 5 of Sexual Behaviour in the Human Male. In a chapter on statistical problems, Kinsey notes on page 93 that one of the difficulties in collecting histories was in letting subjects know that they were not just interested in the unorthodox, "that the forty-minute history of an inexperienced teenager is as important as the two or three-hour history of an older person who has been involved in every conceivable sort of sexual activity". With open discussion of sex still taboo in the 1940s, getting people to talk in the first place was a major obstacle. Gaining the trust of communities and getting them to open up was often done through establishing relationships with community leaders, sometimes religious, as in the predominantly black town of Nicodemus. "Kinsey was struck by the wholesome portrait of the black family that emerged," writes Jones, who goes on to quote from one of Kinsey's private letters: "The totals and averages on all of our data are distinctly different from those of our Eastern City [N]egros, and this makes it especially valuable in our study," Kinsey wrote. According to Kinsey associate Paul Gebhard, Kinsey's collection of gay histories did not bias the overall sample. "Now he did collect a lot of homosexual histories, but that's because he was planning to do a book on homosexuality. But, that large quantity of homosexual case histories came pretty much after the 'Male' volume, which had already been analyzed," he said in an interview in 1992. “So those additional homosexual histories didn't bias the 'Male' volume. It couldn't have biased without our knowing, because after all, [we] were the ones who were punching up the data, handling the case histories, drawing the graphs and all the rest." This is not to say that Kinsey's study did not have sampling difficulties. Gebhard admits this, and even Kinsey himself did so during his lifetime. But to suggest that he got it so wrong that it made his work meaningless is simply ludicrous. To suggest, as Wishart does in his article, that Kinsey's work "set the agenda" for future studies because it made everyone want to deny their true natures, and rush out to experiment sexually for the next four decades, is off the planet. Kinsey definitely wanted to break the shackles of Victorian morality. But do these examples above sound like the words and actions of a man so hell-bent on "proving" the diversity of human sexuality that, like fundamentalist 'researchers', he ignored the bits that didn't fit his theory? Incidentally, Wishart refers to the Jones biography in his article but doesn't quote from it. The only quotes he uses from Sexual Behaviour in the Human Male itself are not even complete sentences, and are regurgitated second-hand from the writings of Reisman. Has Wishart read either book, or is he relying entirely on the testimony of the former Captain Kangaroo stalwart for his ‘research'? EXPERIMENTS ON CHILDREN? If Kinsey's work couldn't be destroyed professionally, then the religious right would simply move on to attempting to destroy him personally. Thus, most of the recent attacks on Kinsey's work, including Wishart's, centre on attempting to prove he was a pervert in his private life. The Kinsey Institute have weathered these attacks for years, and have published extensive rebuttals to the claims about Kinsey and paedophilia. But it seems that as each Reisman claim is refuted, another one appears. "There's lots of glimmers of truth that get spun into strange stories by this person," says Bass of the Kinsey Institute. "The best thing we can do is say, Kinsey died in 1956. There's nobody here to defend him. You can say all that you want about him. Everybody who worked with him said there was never any impropriety." So what impropriety has been alleged? Wishart has it in spades, all courtesy of Reisman. Some of it even extends to allegations that one of Kinsey's contributors was a Nazi who was encouraged by Kinsey to sexually experiment on children, culminating in the sex-murder of a little girl in 1956. The Kinsey Institute replied to this allegation on their website: "In Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, Kinsey invited people to write to him about their sex lives. In 1955, a German wrote to him and told him about his sexual experiences with children. Kinsey, in his reply, was non-judgmental, as usual. He did however point out how strongly society condemned such behavior. Kinsey never made use of the information from this man. He also had no idea that this man had been a Nazi ten years earlier." But it doesn't end there. Back to Wishart's article: "Kinsey had 317 to 2,024 children timed with stop-watches by his hired and volunteer child rapists who sodomized and digitally and genitally assaulted the children for 24 hours around the clock to get what the rapists' called infant 'orgasms'," says Reisman," writes Wishart. Then he quotes her again, in a statement Reisman released to attack the Bill Condon Kinsey biopic: "Kinsey's data are based on reports from co-workers who sexually abused more than 300 minors to prove that children 'enjoy' sex with pedophiles." A horror to end all horrors, this would be, if it were true. Sexual Behaviour in The Human Male does include data on childhood sexual behaviour. But as with all other data in the book, it was obtained entirely from interviews. "Information on childhood sexuality came mostly from interviews of adults recalling their early life, some teachers and parents who had noticed sexual development in children, and directly from a few hundred children who were given a greatly shortened interview with their parents present," Bass confirmed. The rest of the data came from interviewing a handful of paedophiles. Most of that data specifically came from one of them, as noted by John Bancroft, director of the Kinsey Institute in 1995, in an essay addressing the Reisman allegations: "I decided to check on the sources of this information and found that, without any doubt, all of the information reported in Tables 31-34 [of the Male book] came from the carefully documented records of one man. From 1917 until the time that Kinsey interviewed him in the mid-1940s, this man had kept notes on a vast array of sexual experiences, involving not only children but adults of both sexes." The Jones biography goes into greater detail about this man, named Mr "X". Kinsey met and interviewed him when he was 63 years old. Mr "X" was plainly an incredibly disturbed individual: "The product of a home poisoned by cross-generational incest, he had sex with his grandmother when he was still a young child, as well as with his father. In the years that followed, the boy had sexual relations with seventeen of the thirty-three relatives with whom he had contact," writes Jones. From Wardell Pomeroy, another associate of Kinsey: "This man had had homosexual relations with 600 preadolescent males, 200 preadolescent females, intercourse with countless adults of both sexes, with animals of many species, and besides had employed elaborate techniques of masturbation." Ironically, this subject was referred to Kinsey by Robert Latou Dickinson – a retired New York gynaecologist, pioneering sex researcher, and devout Christian. Jones describes him as "a habitual do-gooder who sprinkled his conversations with the acclamation 'Glory to God'" and a marriage counselor who "was completely devoted to the preservation and promotion of marriage in a changing world." Back to Wishart/Reisman: "Kinsey's study claimed young boys could orgasm, and in his book cited the children's ‘screams', their ‘convulsions', their 'hysterical weeping', 'fighting', and 'striking the partner (adult)' which are judged by Kinsey as reflecting 'definite pleasure from the situation',' writes Reisman," writes Wishart. Getting lost in the hall of mirrors just yet? Kinsey actually spends one and a half pages in the Male volume (pp 160-161) describing six different types of orgasms in the human male. Wishart/Reisman's extremely selective quotes above are actually snipped from an extensive passage in Kinsey's book which is largely discussing adult males. The small portions within this text which specifically refer to the reactions of youngsters are indeed disturbing – but surely the conclusion to be drawn from these descriptions is that adult/child sexual relations are damaging and violating. How could one, from such descriptions, possibly conclude otherwise? If Reisman is so concerned about child sexual abuse, why is she so concerned with shooting the messenger, rather than using the message to stop paedophilia? Wishart says there would be no "paedophilia rights movement" were it not for Kinsey, raising the spectre of groups like NAMBLA. Well, if NAMBLA or their ilk wish to use data that describes children being violated to further their cause, then it would only serve to highlight their pathology. It can't be blamed on Kinsey, any more than rock star Marilyn Manson can be blamed for the Columbine High School killings, because the boys who embarked on their murderous rampage listened to his music. But Wishart doesn't stop at NAMBLA in blaming Kinsey for the reactions of other groups to the data. He seems incensed that the Auckland-based sexual abuse HELP Foundation is using "poisonous Kinseyisms" to assert that two to five-year-olds masturbate. "The HELP Foundation apparently doesn't make a distinction between twiddling with your bits or vaguely exploring while you are bored as a child, and full blown sexual masturbation," he splutters. Perhaps HELP don't, but Kinsey does, at least twice in the Male volume: "Much of this earliest sex play appears to be purely exploratory, animated by curiosity, and as devoid of erotic content as boxing, or wrestling, or other non-sexual physical contacts among older persons." (pp 163-164). And: "Rubbing or scratching one's body, even one's genitalia, is not masturbation when it serves some other function than that of effecting erotic arousal. Throughout this volume the word has not been applied to anything except deliberate self stimulation." (p498) For further evidence of "paedophilic experiments" by Kinsey, Wishart again goes second-hand shopping, quoting commentator Michael Craven, who quotes an essay in Ethical Issues In Sex Therapy Volume II (1980), which in turn quotes Kinsey: "One important essay by Albert Jonsen and J Mann, states that Kinsey "included observational reports on the speed of reaching orgasm in 1,888 boys, ages 5 months to adolescence, who were timed with a stop watch," and "147 pre-adolescent girls, for a total of 2,035 children. The authors cite their "personal communication" with Kinsey and co-author Wardell Pomeroy, who validated the 1,888 boys in the Kinsey reports." Personal communication in 1980 with Kinsey, when he died in 1956? These people must have some pretty nifty technology. Suspecting that somewhere in this chicken noodle soup of second and third-hand quoting that something must have been cocked up, I managed to track down a copy of the book referred to, which is actually entitled Ethical Issues In Sex Therapy And Research Volume II. It makes very interesting reading, not the least of which because Wishart has presented it as his trump card in "proving" Kinsey was a paedophile. He himself on his weblog describes two of the book's editors, William H Masters and Virginia E Johnson, as "industry heavyweights", before going on to say that describing Kinsey's work as "pioneering" is akin to being a closet supporter of paedophilia. The essay in question is a 48-page chapter in the book, entitled Ethics of Sex Research Involving Children And The Mentally Retarded. Not only do the authors Jonsen and Mann describe Kinsey's methods as "pioneering" (pg 68) they go on to detail an extensive history of studies into the sexual behaviour of children dating as far back as 1918. Surely not? Wishart has already told us "that the only 'scientific' study in the world" on this subject is the Kinsey study. Sexual Behaviour In The Human Male was so extensive that it reported on the complete range of sexual behaviour in human beings, legal and illegal, from wet dreams to sex with animals. Some of the data on the latter perhaps begins to explain the religious right's modern obsession with bestiality: "There are histories of extremely religious males who, even in their twenties and in later years, continue to derive practically the whole of their outlet from animals because of their conviction that heterosexual coitus with a human female is morally unacceptable." (pg 676) However, according to Jonsen and Mann, Kinsey's study is not the only study which included sexual behaviour data on children. In fact, some of the others they cite, unlike Kinsey, specifically focussed on children. Furthermore, also unlike the Kinsey study, some of these studies contained data based on actual observation of children's sexual behaviour first-hand by the researchers: "Investigators have made unobtrusive, naturalistic observations of the spontaneous sexual behaviour of small children." (pg 68). Dr J A Kleeman, in particular, has done several studies of this nature, collecting information on children's masturbatory activity over a 25-year period – including his own children. When it comes to the figures quoted from the Kinsey study by Jonsen and Mann, these can be found on page 71, and there has been an intriguing omission by Wishart's source. The "1,888 boys" figure is not derived from Kinsey's work alone, we find, but incorporates data from an earlier study, which also used interviews with children as its method. This study, by G V Ramsey, is also referred to in Sexual Behaviour In The Human Male. Why haven't Wishart and Reisman been tracking down these other researchers? Was avoiding the topic of adult homosexuality the one thing that saved them from being taken to task? I asked Jennifer Bass of the Kinsey Institute about the use of stopwatches, and "validation". The stopwatches trace back to the meticulous creepy record-keeping of Mr "X", and not to personal observation by Kinsey and his researchers. "Whatever "validation" is refers to the fact that, indeed, these data were kept by a pedophile (sometimes referred to as an 'omniphile,' and he did reveal these data to Kinsey," she says. And as for that "personal communication"? This is to be found buried in the footnotes of Jonsen and Mann's essay on page 108. I was disappointed to discover that no seance or ouija board session had been conducted to contact Kinsey as had been suggested by Wishart's source. The authors had only communicated with his co-author, Wardell Pomeroy. SHE WHO SHOUTS LOUDEST According to the New Yorker, none of Kinsey's four biographers have ever turned up evidence that he was a paedophile. But just like the Energizer bunny, Reisman – who once received close to a million dollars from the Reagan administration to study porn – keeps on going. Her rantings fill the internet like an echo chamber, creating the impression that her work is somehow truthful, definitive, and influential. Nothing could be further from the truth. Her attempts to derail the Kinsey biopic were laughable. She wrote to actor Liam Neeson's mother to get her to talk her son out of playing Kinsey in the film. She attempted to place ads in industry newspaper Variety claiming that Kinsey was a paedophile, ads which the paper refused to run. This only wound Reisman up further, proving in her mind this was all part of some vast conspiracy to silence her. She made so much noise that Kinsey movie director Bill Condon thought his film would be shut down before it even entered production. When he heard of a planned protest during one of the film's location shoots, he expected numbers so great that they'd be crippled, losing an entire day's work on the low-budget film. The cast and crew turned up early that day, only to find the protest numbered less than a dozen people. "We actually went over and talked to them and gave them coffee and donuts," he recounts in the DVD director's commentary. "It was all very friendly in its own way." Perhaps the definitive last word on the Reisman allegations comes from the Jones biography on Kinsey, whom Wishart refers to as a "Kinsey Institute biographer". This is not true either. Jones is an independent historian who, unlike Wishart, quotes from the source. He's also highly critical of Kinsey, particularly his moral blind spot concerning Mr "X", his interest in homosexuality, and his views on childhood sexuality. But nevertheless, on Reisman's allegations, Jones concludes: "Unless new evidence to the contrary becomes available, these charges must be considered groundless. No evidence has come to light to suggest that Kinsey or any member of his staff ever committed child abuse or observed child sex abuse in person. All that can be safely said is that Kinsey and the members of his inner circle knew pedophiles, interviewed them, and accepted data from them." (pp 851-852) Which brings us to an interesting point. If Kinsey is a paedophile because he knew some and interviewed them, what does that make the friends and associates of convicted child rapist and former Christian Heritage leader Graham Capill? These people not only knew a paedophile (although apparently unaware of his tendencies), but worked alongside him in a political movement, which at one time advocated as one of its policies for less interference in the lives of families where molestation of children had been alleged. Some of Capill's associates have even tried, subsequently, to explain away his behaviour as Biblically justified. And what of Wishart himself? How many criminals has he interviewed during his career as a journalist, and what conclusions are we to draw about his behaviour from this? What conclusions can we draw about Wishart's feelings on the morality of child murder, based on his answer to a reader's question about the sixth commandment "Thou shalt not kill" in the April 2004 issue of Investigate? In his Tough Questions column, Wishart attempts to explain why killing is okay if it is sanctioned by God, but not if it is sanctioned by man, although how we are supposed to tell the difference is unclear (is name-dropping the big G to your people, a la George W. Bush, enough?) Wishart also has a message for those people who have "difficulties with Christianity" because they disapprove of the smiting, violent God of the Old Testament, who appears to be constantly sending his people to war. We shouldn't be so quick to judge, Wishart thinks. In his own words: "But it isn't until you read those Old Testament stories line by line that you see the real reasons for bloodshed. On some occasions, the wars were a direct order from God, and the reason was because the opposing side was inevitably horribly morally corrupt - even indulging in human sacrifice. On such occasions the Israelis were usually ordered to wipe out all trace of their enemies, although occasionally women and female children were absorbed into the Jewish community. When God ordered Israel to go to war, the Jews always won. When the Jews started wars of their own they always lost – God's punishment on them for exceeding their authority," Wishart writes. He goes on to condemn abortion as murder, "the penalty for which in God's eyes remains death. The only out clause if you like is the repentance and forgiveness of Christ preached in the Gospels, and millions of women worldwide, including the original 'Roe' in Roe vs Wade, have sought and gained God's forgiveness by becoming Christians." Should we automatically conclude from this that Wishart is advocating for the murder of non-Christian women who have terminations, or the murder of children when the society they're born into is “horribly morally corrupt”? Could Kinsey's Mr "X" have been absolved of his multiple child molestations if he'd, on the orders of God, murdered his victims afterwards? All interesting questions, but to assume Wishart's moral dubiousness outright without sitting down over a nice cup of tea and asking him to explain would be jumping to conclusions. And when one jumps to conclusions, one inevitably ends up falling flat on one's naturally selected arse. Chris Banks - 30th November 2005    
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