Frank Rich writes about Bill Condon’s film, Kinsey, about the pioneer of human sexuality studies, Alfred Kinsey:
When I first saw the movie last spring prior to its release, it struck me as an intelligent account of a half-forgotten and somewhat quaint chapter in American social history. It was in the distant year of 1948 that Alfred Kinsey, a Harvard-trained zoologist, published “Sexual Behavior in the Human Male,” a dense, clinical 804-page accounting of the findings of his obsessive mission to record the sexual histories of as many Americans as time and willing volunteers (speaking in confidentiality) would allow. The book stormed the culture with such force that Kinsey was featured in almost every major national magazine; a Time cover story likened his book’s success to “Gone With the Wind.” Even pop music paid homage, with the rubber-faced comic Martha Raye selling a half-million copies of “Ooh, Dr. Kinsey!” and Cole Porter immortalizing the Kinsey report’s sizzling impact in a classic stanza in “Too Darn Hot.”
Though a Gallup poll at the time found that three-quarters of the public approved of Kinsey’s work, not everyone welcomed the idea that candor might supplant ignorance and shame in the national conversation about sex…
Such history, which seemed ancient only months ago, has gained in urgency since Election Day.
More here in the New York Times.