Commentary Magazine


Kinsey

To the Editor:

Joseph Epstein’s “The Secret Life of Alfred Kinsey” [January] was masterful. Mr. Epstein has demonstrated that Kinsey was not an objective scientist, but rather a zealot who set out to prove his preconceived notions about sex. This fraudulent technique is much more common in social science than in pure science. Thus the conclusions obtained in social-science studies need to be examined with much greater scrutiny.

Results obtained in the area of pure science must always be corroborated by a second investigator before they are accepted. Why should social scientists not be held to the same requirement?

Elliot Schubert
San Diego, California

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To the Editor:

Joseph Epstein may be correct in his assessment of the personality and work of Alfred Kinsey, but surely he is wrong in denying Kinsey a lasting claim to fame. In his list of tributes garnered by Kinsey during his lifetime—“the cover of Time, profiled in Life, the subject of New Yorker cartoons”—Mr. Epstein fails to include what is arguably the most prestigious and most enduring of all Kinsey’s claims to renown: being mentioned in a memorable song by a great American songwriter. I refer, of course, to Cole Porter’s “Too Darn Hot,” from Kiss Me Kate (1948). The original lyrics go:

According to the Kinsey
     Report
Ev’ry average man you
     know
Much prefers to play his
     favorite sport
When the temperature is
     low.

Earl L. Dachslager
The Woodlands, Texas

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