John Leo

Outraged critics of Kinsey often focus on Table 34 of the male book. It lists the sexual responses of children acquired from one of Kinsey?s sources, a pedophile who kept detailed records of his child rapes, including those of a baby of 5 months and a 4-year-old he sexually manipulated for 24 hours. As a nonjudgmental person, Kinsey of course did not bother turning the pedophile over to the law. His critics accuse Kinsey of ?Mengele medicine,? meaning that he presided over Nazi-like experiments. Not so. We have no evidence that Kinsey and his team conducted or approved of any child rapes. He just used the records of pedophiles, coldly described in the first Kinsey report as males who ?with their adult backgrounds are able to recognize and interpret the boys? experiences.? Table 34 was a moral horror, and neither Kinsey nor his patron, the Rockefeller Foundation, seemed to think that anything was amiss.

Table 34 set the stage for what has become dogma in the sex world: All humans are sexual from birth, and since children are sexual, they should be expected to behave sexually. Does this mean that children should be able to have sex with adults? Kinsey didn?t say, but he wrote that the psychic damage to children who have sex with adults comes from the horrified reaction of adults, not from the sex itself. That opinion, a very large bone tossed to advocates of adult-child sex, has become a mantra in the sex world. Some who promote the mantra are sincere?a show of horror by parents of an abused child may indeed make matters worse. But many are advocates of adult-child sex hiding behind a pro-child argument. In my Time days, the air was so thick with sex-world arguments in favor of incest and adult-child sex that I threw a lot of them together in a one-page report. The list included a defense of incest by Wardell Pomeroy, a coauthor of the Kinsey reports. Now that people are once again chattering about Kinsey?s legacy, I hope across-the-board nonjudgmentalism and adult-child sex come up for discussion.

John Leo

John Leo is editor of and a former contributing editor at U.S. News and World Report.

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