On April 8, 1947, Dr. Alfred Kinsey and his research team incorporated as the Institute for Sex Research. ISR had two primary goals: to continue the team's research on human sexual behavior; and to administer research resources, including research materials, a library, case histories, and other related materials.
In 1981, 25 years after Dr. Kinsey's death, the Institute for Sex Research was renamed The Kinsey Institute for Sex Research.
Dr. Alfred Charles Kinsey was an American biologist, professor of entomology and zoology, and sexologist. Known as the father of the sexual revolution, Dr. Kinsey's work has influenced social and cultural values in the United States and around the world.Read more
Dr. Kinsey was at the helm of the Institute for Sex Research from its incorporation on April 8, 1947 until his death on August 25, 1956. In that time: the Kinsey Reports entered the public consciousness (1948 and 1953); ISR moved from Swain Hall East to Wylie Hall and then Jordan Hall; and Dr. Kinsey took 7,985 of the approximately 18,000 sex histories gathered by the research team.
After Kinsey's death in 1956, direction of the institute was split between Dr. Paul Gebhard as executive director and Dr. Wardell Pomeroy as director of field research.
Since 1957, the Kinsey Institute has had six directors—each bringing new focus and vision to the study of sexuality, relationships, gender, reproduction, and love.
Dr. Paul Gebhard, a Harvard trained anthropologist who joined the team in 1947, took over as executive director after Kinsey's untimely death. The ISR faced several difficulties at the time, including a protracted and expensive legal battle with U.S. Customs, the need to find new sources of funding, and several incomplete projects. Over the next 25 years, Gebhard succeeded in opening the institute's doors to scholars around the world, making it a leading resource center for those interested in all facets of human sexuality.
See Staff Publications for the list of articles, books, and book chapters published during the Gebhard era.
Dr. June Reinisch, a psychologist from Columbia University, was appointed director after Gebhard’s retirement. Under her directorship, the institute—which was renamed Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction—expanded its vision and broadened its public impact. It also found its fourth home at Morrison Hall on the IU Bloomington campus. By 1990, the Kinsey Institute had grown enough to launch the first full cataloguing and exhibition of art collections.
See Staff Publications for the list of articles, books, and book chapters published during the Reinisch era.
Dr. Stephanie Sanders, who joined the institute as a researcher in 1982, served as interim director for two years. Visit Dr. Sanders' profile to learn more about her research at the Kinsey Institute and beyond.
See Staff Publications for the list of articles, books, and book chapters published during the first Sanders era.
Dr. John Bancroft is the first and only medical doctor to serve as executive director. During his tenure, the Kinsey Institute stepped into clinical research, as well as the digital age. Bancroft also drove the institute to reflect on its mission and its original publications with celebrations of the 50th anniversaries of Sexual Behavior in the Human Male and Sexual Behavior in the Human Female. Institute staff also expanded their impact during this period by hosting symposiums, numerous art exhibits, and public facility tours.
See Staff Publications for the list of articles, books, and book chapters published during the Bancroft era.
Dr. Julia Heiman’s tenure saw significant growth in research and the collections. Under her guidance, institute researchers produced findings on a number of topics, including: arousal response in bisexual men; sexual satisfaction & relationship happiness in midlife couples; infidelity in heterosexual couples; the effects of hormonal contraceptives on women's sexual experience, and effective condom fit. The institute also hosted a number of art exhibitions and established the Kinsey Institute Juried Art Show.
See Staff Publications for the list of articles, books, and book chapters published during the Heiman era.
Dr. Sanders acted as interim director until the appointment of Dr. Sue Carter in fall 2014.
See Staff Publications for the list of articles, books, and book chapters published during the second Sanders era.
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