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Director's Column

Spring 1997

By John Bancroft, M.D.

[Photo of John Bancroft]

This is an exciting time for the Kinsey Institute. We are in the midst of the first of two consecutive 50th anniversary years: this year, the founding of the Institute; next year, the publication of Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, Alfred Kinsey's first groundbreaking volume. We intend to celebrate these occasions in a variety of ways, starting with a public exhibition and lecture series, which you can read about in this newsletter.

After a period in which the Kinsey Institute has spent too much time defending itself against outside attack, we are ready to show the world our pride in the Institute and its mission, which is to promote interdisciplinary research and scholarship in the fields of human sexuality, gender, and reproduction. Our mission, and the work we do in support of it, is more important today than at any time in the past, and with the developments and projects now underway, our leadership in this area will be even stronger as we enter the next century.

But we do need help. Indiana University is supporting us wholeheartedly, but at the present time, financing academic enterprises such as ours is becoming increasingly difficult. We must find additional sources of funding, and we are working hard on that right now.

We also need the support of people who recognize the Kinsey Institute's importance in this sexually troubled time, and who care about advancing knowledge of human sexuality. There are some people in the United States who object to research into sexuality and who attack our efforts and those of other serious sex researchers.

We need a constituency of friends who can keep us informed of what is happening in their parts of the world and of how the work of the Kinsey Institute is being received in their communities. We need friends to help us with the many tasks that face us and to participate in various ways with our fundraising efforts. We have, therefore, decided to form a Friends of the Kinsey Institute group, which we will formally launch at the opening of our fiftieth anniversary exhibition October 24.

Please let us know if you are interested in joining our Friends group (email:, and we will send you further details explaining how being a Friend will benefit you as well as us. We hope that many of our new Friends will join us for the opening of our exhibition, and we look forward to a long and mutually rewarding relationship with them, wherever they may be.

Photo courtesy of I.U. Photographic Services. Christopher Lake, photographer.

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