Monday, September 30, 2002

I'm feeling very reflective at the moment. I had my Postmodernism and the Sexual Revolution class today. Once again, we ended up discussing the findings in the Kinsey Report. Alfred C. Kinsey, the zoologist turned famous sexologist and precursor to Masters and Johnson, after conducting 18, 000 interviews (8, 000 done by Kinsey himself, the rest done by his team) for Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, concluded that only 4% of those surveyed were "exclusively homosexual throughout their lives."

Basically, to oversimplify, Kinsey believed that while there are instances of sole heterosexuality and sole homosexuality, this binarization is not the norm. He writes, "The world is not to be divided into sheep and goats.... Only the human mind invents categories and tries to force facts into separated pigeon-holes." There is, as my professor (Dr James Miller) puts it, a "universal bisexuality," as Kinsey observes that, "a considerable portion of the population whose members have combined, within their individual histories, both homosexual and heterosexual experience and/or psychic responses [the font style chage here is mine, not Kinsey's]."

Interestingly, Gore Vidal, whose novel Myra Breckinridge is on my course syllabus, agrees. In an excerpt from the chapter "Today My Nerves Are Shattered. But I am Indomitable!" of his memoir Palimpsest (destributed by Professor Miller in class today), Vidal agrees:
even then, I did not believe in fixed sexual categories; and finally, Kinsey appears not to have believed
in them either. But one's primary attraction (for the other half?) is innate and hardly a "choice," as the
ignorant pretend. Of course, secondary attractions are possible; hence the tradition, in patriarchal
societies, of a conventional marriage for Jonathan as well as one for David, though their love for each
other is the primary facet of their lives."

In the excerpts I've perused thus far for class, neither Vidal nor Kinsey defines what constitutes a "secondary attraction" or homosexual "psychic response." Is it thinking someone of your own sex pretty/handsome/attractive? Or is it something more? Though this is usually NellieQ's domain, I wanna know what everyone else thinks: what is this attraction/response? Do you even agree with Kinsey and Vidal? Or is it all bullocks?

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