‘Kinsey’ Stirs Up Press Comment Beyond Movie Pages

By: E&P Staff

?Let?s talk about sex,? reads the main promo line for the new biopic ?Kinsey,? and newspapers have been more than willing to respond. Or, at least, they are talking about the film?s sex. ?Kinsey? is one of those rare movies that doesn?t just inspire reviews and star profiles in newspaper entertainment sections but spills over into the opinion and news pages.

A Washington Post story by Alan Cooperman noted, ?Conservative Christian groups nationwide are protesting a film about sex researcher Alfred Kinsey, calling it a Hollywood whitewash of the man they hold largely responsible for the sexual revolution and a panoply of related ills, from high divorce rates to AIDS and child abuse. …

?Concerned Women for America, the nation’s largest women’s group, has encouraged its members to distribute leaflets at theaters that accuse Kinsey, who died in 1956, of committing child sexual abuse as well as scientific fraud.?

The Post quoted author Judith Reisman calling Kinsey a “massive criminal” who, she said, cooked his statistical data and based many of his purported findings on interviews with convicted sex offenders.

In much the same vein, writing in The Seattle Times, Robert Knight, director of the Culture & Family Institute (an affiliate of Concerned Women for America), called the film, ?first-rate propaganda, well-acted and well-written. It almost makes you long to be a pervert just to fit in.?

He denounced ?the Kinsey sex cult that to this day promotes ?free sex,? regardless of the human costs: broken marriages, fatherless children, millions of cases of sex diseases, more than 40 million unborn children aborted and a homosexual agenda that promotes sodomy in films, TV and public schools. … Like most false religions, the Kinsey sex cult has a demigod as founder. … Kinsey gave the scientific excuse for people to do wrong and feel good about it.?

The Los Angeles Times opinion section got comments from six “admirers” and “detractors,” split down the middle. Here’s what author Joseph Epstein had to say: “Alfred Kinsey was a moral revolutionary in scientist’s clothing. The science was bad, even bogus; the man himself may now be forgotten, but the revolution came to stay, with a vengeance. Kinsey’s message, fornicate early, fornicate often, fornicate in every possible way, became the mantra of a sex-ridden age, our age, now desperate for a reformation of its own.”

But Julia Heiman, director of the Kinsey Institute, told the Times there was no evidence that Kinsey’s work led to the “permissive” society.

In the Arizona Republic, Mary-Lou Galician, head of Media Analysis and Criticism at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communication at Arizona State University, said the film could do good by promoting frank talk about sex.

?Regardless of how we might feel about the controversial pioneer and his even more controversial research that launched a veritable revolution in studying and thinking and actually talking about human sexual behavior,? she wrote, ?it’s important to carry on, in both our public and private lives, the conversation that Kinsey initiated.?

Then there was Louise Roug in the Los Angeles Times, who used the film to point to a new Hollywood trend of ?bisexuality? on the screen, such as Colin Farrell?s Alexander the Great.

?Kinsey,? she wrote, is ?just one of several recent movies in which the man-on-man action is not awkward or played for laughs but meant to electrify audiences like classic Bogart-Bacall close-ups.?

She quotes the director of ?Kinsey,? Bill Condon, saying, ?So many young actors seem so open to it. It feels like, culturally, they are willing to be the object of both men and women’s desire.”

Also writing in the L.A. Times, James Jones, author of a Kinsey biography, offers a balanced look at the man, noting that his personal sexual experimentation was well-rooted in the culture and calling his research findings flawed (he sample too many prison inmates and not enough churchgoers) but valuable.

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