The Kinsey Institute, for research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction
About the Institute Services and Events Library and Special Collections Research Program Graduate Education Publications Related Resources

[click to enlarge]

[Title bar for Research program]
Participate in a Research Study
Find out about currently available research study opportunities »
The Kinsey Reports, 1948 and 1953
Selected data and original interview kits from these two major studies by Alfred Kinsey are available online.

Meet the Researchers
Kinsey faculty research interests, Kinsey Institute Research Fellows and affiliated faculty, and interviews with sex researchers about their work
Published Studies
Findings from completed and ongoing studies on our Publications page »

When Dr. Alfred Kinsey and his team conducted interviews in the 1940s and 1950s, they were recording a taxonomy of human sexuality - documenting the range and variability of human sexual behavior in the U.S.

Today's research at The Kinsey Institute seeks to find underlying answers to help understand why people engage in sex, the challenges of reproduction, the range of problems people experience, and how to offer effective interventions.

Our research questions are informed by developments in psychology, neuroscience, biology, gender studies, sociology and other fields, and reflect a new emphasis on the complexities of sexual interest, behavior and sexual health.

NOTE: Please be aware of fake studies advertised in online forums or chatrooms as Kinsey Institute studies. If you ever have a question about any study posting, before you participate or share personal information please contact us at or 812-855-7686.

International Studies of Environmental Factors
Photo by 3rdparty! at

A ground-breaking study into the variability in women's reproductive functioning in rural Bolivia examines the changes in hormones and health indicators that can affect women as they undergo the transition to menopause, called peri-menopause.

A joint team of researchers from The Kinsey Institute, Montana State University, and the University of Greenland have begun a 3-year study of challenges facing Greenlanders including reproductive choices and health in the face of climage changes.

Sexual Behavior and the Immune System
Photo by Mattosaurus.

Does the presence or absence of sexual activity influence our immune response? How does the immune system interact with reproductive activities? Do sex hormones play a role in activating or alleviating conditions like depression?

Research is underway examining sexual activity and immune response in pre-menopausal women across the menstrual cycle.

Intimate Relationships and Couples
Photo by Sean McGrath

Intimate relationships and couples present complex and multifaceted questions to researchers, from sexual satisfaction in newlywed couples to the differing motivations for infidelity between men and women.

Researchers want to know how factors like cultural differences  and political views can impact attitudes and behaviors in dating and long term relationships, and to see how relationship and sexual satisfaction can change as couples age.

Researchers also investigate changes in relationship patterns like the emergence of hook-up culture in young adults, and attitudes towards dating in America.

Sexual Decision-Making

Working from an understanding of the Dual Control Model of Sexual Response, developed at The Kinsey Institute, researchers continue to investigate what factors influence how and when we become sexually excited, and why individuals make the sexual choices they do.

Recent studies have examined the influence of alcohol, emotional states, and sexual compulsivity on sexual risk-taking behaviors. Studies have also explored the differing motives between men and women when committing infidelity and patterns of sexual arousal*, as well as the sexual decision-making process in young, heterosexual men. Some researchers are also working with brain imaging technology to understand better what areas of the brain are involved in sexual attraction.
Definitions of Sex

Several studies have explored which sexual activities people include in their definition of "sex," looking for possible differences across culture, gender, and age group.

The findings from these studies have implications for sexual research, and sexual health organizations, as well as for medical practitioners, clinicians and other health care providers for whom it is important to understand exactly what people mean as they talk about “having sex.”


Condom Use Errors and Problems
Photo by Wordisberry.

Studies have demonstrated that many individuals use condoms both inconsistently and incorrectly, putting these “condom users” at the same risk for STIs and unintended pregnancy as non-users. Men have been found to start intercourse before putting on a condom, or to remove the condom during sex and then resume. Some men reporting erectile difficulties have been found to forgo condom use altogether, fearful that they would be unable to have intercourse.

Researchers continually conduct studies to determine the reasons behind these errors in condom usage, the barriers preventing correct condom usage, and the behaviors leading individuals to habitually forgo condoms. Studies such as these lend important insight to the development of instructional interventions to improve correct condom use. By helping people to use condoms consistently and correctly, such studies could have enormous impact on HIV and STI prevention efforts.

Women's Sexuality & Wellbeing
From the Kinsey Institute Collection

Sex researchers are continually gaining greater understanding as to how the body and the mind work together, both to the detriment and to the healing of sexual function. Kinsey researchers investigating female sexuality target special problems, such as women who have had a hysterectomy, cancer survivors, and the effects of sexual violence on women and girls .

This research is also meant to reach and aid women and men of various ages and ethnicities, who are struggling with physical and emotional barriers that affect their sexual lives and relationships.

Research examining chronic conditions resulting from unregulated uterine and vaginal neurophysiology and sexual consequences and side effects of long-term oral contraceptive use is also being undertaken.

Postpartum Depression
Photo by Meagan

Postpartum depression may affect 20% of new mothers, though the stigma is heavy and many women suffer without any help, understanding or intervention.

Kinsey researchers are investigating the hormone oxytocin’s protective quality against postpartum depression, and a possible way to intervene with hormonal applications.


Past Research
KI Home

The Kinsey Institute is now on Facebook  Get KI News to your favorite news reader  Follow The Kinsey Institute on Twitter!  Watch Kinsey Institute videos on YouTube   Circle us on Google Plus for the latest news
KI News Library Catalog Support the KI Site Index Search
© 1996- , The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction, Inc.®