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Jennifer Bass
Kinsey Institute

Last modified: Tuesday, January 14, 2003

Kinsey Institute marks 50 years of research on women's sexuality

In l953, the publication of Alfred Kinsey's Sexual Behavior in the Human Female changed forever the way the world viewed women's sexuality.

In 2003, the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction at Indiana University Bloomington will mark the 50th anniversary of this event with a series of programs and presentations titled "Women's Sexualities: Portrayals and Perspectives."

Sponsored by several IU departments and community organizations, the events will reflect the impact of sexuality on art, film, literature, theater, health, education, law, philosophy and science. A complete list of events is available at

The opening event, "Oh! Dr. Kinsey!: Media Reaction to the Kinsey Report on Women," features magazine covers and articles about the 1953 release of the book by Kinsey, an IU biology professor who became the world's leading expert on sexuality. The exhibition will be Feb. 1-April 30 at the Monroe County Historical Society Museum in Bloomington.

"The 50th anniversary of Kinsey's book is an opportunity to look back on the contributions made in 1953 to the public's understanding of sexuality," said John Bancroft, director of the Kinsey Institute. "This is also an opportunity to evaluate our current understanding of female sexuality. We are in the middle of a debate, fueled by pharmaceutical companies, about the nature of female sexuality. Our goal and responsibility as a research institute is to help clarify the issues. What are the ways that women experience difficulties in their sexual lives, how do they define their own sexuality, and what makes for a healthy sexual life?"

Series highlights will include:

* A keynote address by noted feminist Gloria Steinem, Feb. 6.

* An art exhibit, "Feminine Persuasion," Feb. 14-March 14.

* A panel discussion on "Current Research on Women's Sexuality," March 6.

* A women's history luncheon address by author Wendy Sanford on "Our Bodies, Ourselves," March 12.

* A conference on "Women's Sexualities: Historical, Interdisciplinary and International Perspectives," Nov. 14-15.

For more information on the 50th anniversary events, phone 812-855-7686 or visit the Kinsey Web site at