of the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction
Kinsey... and The Kinsey Institute
Gail Mutrux, Laura Linney, Bill Condon, Dr. Julia Heiman
Saturday, November 13, 2004, The Kinsey Institute hosted a benefit
reception and screening of Fox Searchlight Pictures' film Kinsey
at the Indiana University Auditorium. Among the 1700 guests in
attendance were actress Laura Linney, producer Gail Mutrux, and
director Bill Condon.
Kenneth Gros Louis recognized long-time IU president, Herman B
Wells, a strong Kinsey supporter and champion of academic freedom.
"Wells believed the university's essential mission was to
study topics, issues, and challenges that simply could not be
discussed openly elsewhere."
Louis reflected on the nearly 60 year history of sex research
at IU. "While Kinsey opened up the study of human sexuality,
the Institute now provides leadership, research, and resources
for the interdisciplinary study of that subject through history,
the arts, literature, culture, medicine and societal trends."
Laura Linney, Bill Condon, and
Assistant Director of I.U. Media Relations, Susan Williams
Laura Linney, who received multiple accolades for her role as
Clara Kinsey, flew to the event from work on location for a new
she and director Bill Condon talked about what the project meant
to them personally. They noted the significance of being able
to screen the film before an audience that included The Kinsey
Institute staff and board of trustees, and members of Alfred Kinsey's
most thrilling and anxiety-producing screening of the film was
the premiere at Indiana University,"Bill Condon confessed
later in a documentary about the making of the film, available
on an expanded features DVD of Kinsey."This was probably
the smartest audience we ever had."
has received numerous awards, including most recently the International
Award from the Director's Guild of Great Britain. At the premiere,
Bill Condon presented The Kinsey Institute with a check from the
Arthur P. Sloan Foundation, granted to him for the best depiction
of a scientist in a film.
was not a given that the people associated with this project would
become our supporters," says Nancy Lethem, director of development.
Condon's gift to The Kinsey Institute is a remarkable sign of
his commitment to the ongoing work of the Institute. We're lucky
to have him as a friend."
screening of Kinsey at IU was a collaborative effort,
involving the IU Office of the Vice President for Research and
the IU Alumni Foundation. Local providers, including Bloomingfoods
and One World Enterprises, donated food service for the reception.
"The enthusiasm of everyone involved reflects the pride
in our community about The Kinsey Institute,"
Linney and Bill Condon
Photos by Chris Meyer/IU Homepages
to Table of Contents
Special Edition DVD
Includes Features on The Kinsey Institute
Edition version of the Kinsey DVD includes an interactive
questionnaire developed by Kinsey Institute research scientist
Erick Janssen, and a tour of the Sex Ed exhibit in the
Institute gallery with curator Catherine Johnson-Roehr.
documentary about the making of the film includes interviews with
current staff, clips of the cast, crew, and director regarding
the production process, and scenes from the Indiana University
is no mention at the end of the Kinsey film about the continued
legacy of Alfred Kinsey," notes Jennifer Bass, head of information
services. "With the special features on the DVD, viewers
are introduced to our vibrant and productive Institute today."
Column - By
Dr. Julia R. Heiman
The Kinsey Institute mission and future, are you. How strong and
vital we are is a reflection of you as citizens, academics, researchers,
scholars, leaders and, though we are not a political action entity,
questions over the past months have been: how do we navigate this
tremendous public exposure--Fox Searchlight film, 2 documentaries,
9,092,647 hits to our website in November 2004 (compared to 3,324,360
in November 2003)? And, after that stardust has settled and we
are back to the daily business, how can we best contribute to
the breadth of scholarship needed in the field?
the first issue was solved or at least addressed by responding
to problems, taking the opportunities presented and using several
paddles to steer our way down a river, with a few rapids along
the way. We have a wonderfully skilled and devoted staff, and
a proactive university administration that was there when we needed
their knowledge and support . We went to major cities (New York,
Washington DC, Chicago, and San Francisco) using the film as a
springboard to talk about sex research today, in spite of the
pressure to discuss Kinsey's personality and personal life.
ask me if the film and media exposure has helped or hurt the institute,
or sex research in general. Certainly, old critics resurfaced
with wild and repetitive accusations intending to discredit sex
research and The Kinsey Institute. On balance, I think it's been
more positive than negative so far, bringing in new friends and
sparking useful conversations. But it may be too early to judge
the full impact.
we heard that the Indiana State legislature was proposing a bill
to remove all state funding from this year's budget. The direct
amount was significant enough but the more serious threat was
to our affiliation with Indiana University -- the building, space
materials and staff support, critical to our functioning as a
research institute. As you can see from the specifics elsewhere
in this newsletter, the visit of legislators to the Kinsey Institute
and my discussions with them at a separate meeting at the statehouse
ensued. No bill made it to the floor and we are safe for the moment.
But we will not be surprised if it happens again. Of note for
ourselves and the supporters of sex research, the institute, with
university help, has a solid history of surviving these political
I think this was important for me, rather fresh from an urban
coastal city and still adjusting to a different culture here in
the Midwest. The major lessons for me that I hope will resonate
with you in your own setting are that: 1. finding common ground
is a good and preferred strategy (even if some will not want to
try); 2. conservatives and liberals, even self-identified, do
not all think the same, and thus should not be treated the same,
3. issues of public health and academic freedom can lift sex research
beyond cultural and political divides.
As we move
ahead, political issues will be part of the picture as they always
have been, but in the more pronounced way we have come to expect
in the last few years. There are still serious issues of threats
to peer review, sexual health, the values of scientific thinking,
the importance of research in general, ethics, and the respect
of individual values and differences. We will be working on the
research agenda and growing our faculty and collections with these
values in mind. We hope you will as well.
Meanwhile it is just barely spring in the heartland and it is
full of promise, inspiration and plenty of work. Come visit us
with yourselves and your ideas!
Julia R. Heiman
to Table of Contents
Salazar Joins the Institute
Kinsey Institute is pleased to welcome Johanna Salazar to the
staff. Before joining as administrator in January 2005, Salazar
worked at the IU School of Medicine in the Departments of Psychiatry
and Medicine for 18 years. She has a BFA in painting from the
Herron School of Art, and is shown here in front of one of her
keeps a broad perspective while helping with the administrative
and leadership transitions at the Institute.
of the things that makes The Kinsey Institute unique is
that you are aware of history all the time - everything
we do is part of our own institutional history," observes
Salazar. "It's an honor to join the staff of such a
respected organization, at another important moment in its
Sexual Science Into News: Development of a Training Approach
one thing the drama of the past year has demonstrated, it's
that sexual science is a hot topic. Media coverage about The
Kinsey Institute has appeared around the globe, begging the
question: how do journalists learn to cover sex research, translating
the insights of scientific writing to the general public? Do
they have a responsibility to consider the impact of their work
on policy makers and politicians?
pose a challenge for sex researchers, too. How might they provide
wider access to their methods in a way that honors the protocols
of scientific process?
Heiman and Trevor Brown
Should they court the media or ignore it, in an effort to protect
the integrity of their findings?
Kinsey Institute, with funding from the Ford Foundation, will
partner with the Indiana University School of Journalism to systematically
examine and answer some of these questions. Funds from this grant
will enable journalists and sex researchers to develop an initial
training program mentoring post-graduate fellows in journalism
on the topic of turning sexual science into news.
will collect data from journalists and sex researchers about their
experiences dealing with sex news in the media. A second phase
of the project will be to analyze and monitor the coverage of
project will culminate in a solution-focused national symposium
bringing together sex researchers, newspaper and newsmagazine
editors, TV news directors, and journalists.
expect this initial effort to reveal a great deal about what more
is needed to impact or at least sensitize the tone of public conversations
about sexuality," notes Julia Heiman. She and Trevor Brown,
Dean of the Indiana University School of Journalism, are principal
will be looking at how this project might lead to broader collaborative
efforts to understand the ways in which the media, public opinion,
and public policy interact
on the topic of human sexuality."
to Table of Contents
columns are everywhere these days, many of them just for entertainment,
or characterized by terse or flippant solutions to complex problems.
An exception is "Kinsey Confidential," a sex information
column appearing weekly in the Indiana Daily Student.
Confidential" carries on a practice of Alfred Kinsey, who
was known for writing personal answers to public inquiries. Committed
to dispelling ignorance and alleviating the suffering caused by
a lack of accurate information about human sexuality, Kinsey made
a point of responding to the concerns of college students (and
others) with compassionate advice.
questions cover a wide range of topics. Debby Herbenick,
a doctoral candidate in the IU Department of Applied Health
Science, has been involved in writing the column since
its inception in 2001.
I first saw the movie Kinsey, I was struck by how
many of the questions in the film are the same ones people
ask today," observes Herbenick. Concerns include
relationship issues, common sexual problems, contraception,
sexually transmitted infections, and inquiries about gender
so far there have been no formal efforts to syndicate the column,
Herbenick was pleased when approached by Louisiana State University
about using "Kinsey Confidential" in its student newspaper.
"We are excited about the opportunity to share the column
with college students at another campus," she explains.
column helps meet the goals of Healthy People 2010, a national
effort to increase the proportion of college and university students
who receive information from their institution about behaviors
that may cause unintended pregnancies or sexually transmitted
infections. And it's a way The Kinsey Institute can contribute
to quality of student life at Indiana University.
overall goal of the column is to help young people figure out
what will contribute to their happiness and sexual health,"
Herbenick says. "As researchers, we don't advance a specific
viewpoint about whether young adults should or shouldn't engage
in specific behaviors. Instead, we give them accurate information
and encourage them to think about the factors that shape their
decision-making about sexuality."
Confidential" is a service of The Kinsey Institute Sexuality
Information Service for Students (KISISS, found awww.indiana.edu/~kisiss).
Gordon Collection Helps Document History of Sex Education
Gordon with Kinsey Institute
librarian Liana Zhou
Library of The Kinsey Institute houses scientific and scholarly
materials from many disciplines, as well as erotica and popular
culture materials. Included in the archive is a collection donated
by Dr. Sol Gordon, a clinical psychologist and sex educator who
began contributing materials in 1988.
author of many books, including Raising Children Responsibly
in a Sexually Permissive World, Gordon made a visit to The
Kinsey Institute in February 2005. He spoke on the topic of youth
and sex education at the Monroe County Public Library, and addressed
an audience at Indiana University with answers to the question
"How Can You Tell if You Are Really in Love?"
is professor emeritus at Syracuse University, where he was founding
director of the Institute for Family Research and Education from
Gordon encourages honest, open communication on topics such as
sexuality and suicide prevention. "If there is one message
to spread far and wide, " he insists, "it's that knowledge
is not harmful."
Sol Gordon Collection includes children's books (with his late
wife Judith Gordon), professional publications, photographs, audio
tapes, 35 mm films, correspondence, lectures, and sex education
Gordon's sex ed comic books, created in the 70s, appealed to young
people because of their format," explains Liana Zhou, head
of library. "At the time, they were both popular and controversial,
and we appreciate having a set in the archive."
are particularly interested in the history of sex education, both
in this country and abroad," explains Zhou. "The Sol
Gordon Collection includes many documents that are important to
an understanding of this subject."
the KI library archives at http://www.kinseyinstitute.org/library/abstract.html.
to Table of Contents
Funding Crisis Averted
January 2005 State Representative Cindy Noe filed a bill in
the Indiana General Assembly that would have denied state appropriations
for the administration, operation, or programs of The Kinsey
bill, co-authored by Rep. Woody Burton and Rep. Marlin Stutzman,
was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.
University Government Relations worked closely with The Kinsey
Institute to provide information to the bill's authors. In February,
members of the legislature toured the Institute and discussed
current and past research. Dr. Julia Heiman also met privately
with several legislators at the Statehouse. The bill eventually
died in committee without receiving a hearing.
"The staffs of the Kinsey Institute and the IU Office of
Government Relations were able to establish a good working dialogue
with a number of legislators," says IU Vice President Tom
Healy. "Finding effective methods to deal with problems of
sexual behavior is surely a cause that most Americans find worthy.
We are proud that Indiana University and The Kinsey Institute
are playing a leading role in this effort."
to Alfred Kinsey always seems to ignite controversy," notes
Jennifer Bass, head of information services. "It's reassuring
to have the expertise and leadership at IU to help us respond
to misconceptions about our research and our mission."
on display at The Kinsey Institute Gallery is a mixed
media exhibition titled Identity - Sexuality - Gender:
Contemporary Art from the Collection of Thomas Robertello.
exhibit opened on Friday, April 15th, with a reception
sponsored by the Friends of the Kinsey Institute. The
show features recent work by an international group of
artists, including Amy Cutler, John Delk, Peregrine Honig,
Robert Horvath, Nikki S. Lee, Conor McGrady, Kim Murak,
Sergei Pachomow, Ed Paschke, Missionary Mary Proctor,
Michel Tsouris, and Anne Wilson.
show is somewhat unusual for us," explains Catherine
Johnson-Roehr, KI Curator, "because the works of
art are on loan from a local collector. Thanks to Thomas
Robertello, we have an exciting opportunity to show how
artists today are dealing with issues of identity, sexuality,
and gender in their work."
Robertello, a member of the faculty of the IU School of
Music, is an internationally acclaimed flutist. He enjoys
collecting art as "a nesting instinct, a way to document
my own evolution of thinking, an investment, an inspiration
while I practice my flute, and ultimately a gift to a
exhibit continues through August 5, 2005. For tours of
the gallery, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone 812-855-7686
Art of Sex
mark the release of the Kinsey Special Edition
DVD, an exhibition entitled The Art of Sex: Selections
from The Kinsey Institute, will be on display in Los
Angeles for one week, starting May 17th at The Gallery
at 8920 Melrose Ave.
to Table of Contents
Order the Kinsey
Special Edition DVD