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Barbara Kay: To understand Bill Cosby, start with Alfred C. Kinsey

Bill Cosby gestures during an interview at the Smithsonian's National Museum of African Art in Washington Nov. 6, 2014. Lawyers for Bill Cosby argue in a new court filing his admission he used quaaludes in the 1970s doesn't mean he drugged and sexually assaulted women.

In a letter to the editor in the July 25 National Post regarding Bill Cosby’s alleged sex crimes, Jerry Pryde, of Stoney Creek, Ont., wrote: “It should be noted one of Cosby’s accusers claims the deed occurred at the Playboy mansion when she was 15. This raises the question: who allowed a 15-year old girl inside what amounts to little more than a high-end brothel?”

The answer to “who” let the girl into the “high-end brothel” called the Playboy mansion is, figuratively speaking, Hugh Hefner, chief missionary of Playboy magazine. But Mr. Pryde’s question is a good one, because it opens the door to speculation on the influences that produced what cultural critic Mary Eberstadt termed “pedophilia chic” — the idea that sex between adults and underage teenagers, or even children, is a victimless crime.

Playboy was launched in 1953, when Bill Cosby was an impressionable teenager. Perhaps Cosby read and internalized lessons from the Playboy Advisor’s “seduction manual,” which in Playboy’s first year of publication took up the question of how college men could overcome virgins’ resistance to casual sex. Suggested methods included the “persistent approach” (now understood as harassment) and the “alcoholic approach” (now understood as non-consensual sex). 

But the most sophisticated strategy was the “Kinsey approach.” Hefner was a huge fan of Alfred C. Kinsey, an Indiana University zoologist, whose 1948 report, Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, was the Sexual Revolution’s Ur-text (a “Human Female” volume came out in 1953). Hefner boasted of being “Kinsey’s pamphleteer,” proud to bruit the often-cited Kinsey mantra: “fornicate early, fornicate often, fornicate in every possible way” (including bestiality, which Kinsey described in more tender language than he applied to human sex).

The Playboy Advisor’s “Kinsey approach” urges college men to lean on Kinsey’s work, because “You can prove almost anything with [it] … The idea is to bowl her over with the sheer mass of your statistics — all proving that simply everybody is enjoying sex this season. Losing her virginity will seem very unimportant compared to the fear of being different.”

Kinsey’s “research” claimed such suspiciously high ratios of extramarital sex, abortions, homosexuality, bisexuality, bestiality and incest in the general population as to suggest that the only abnormal or deviant sexual condition was abstinence.

Young Lotharios may have gotten lucky with this ploy, but they were pushing what later researchers proved was bad science. Kinsey’s  “research” claimed such suspiciously high ratios of extramarital sex, abortions, homosexuality, bisexuality, bestiality and incest in the general population as to suggest that the only abnormal or deviant sexual condition was abstinence. According to W. Allen Wallis, past president of the American Statistical Association: “They were touting [Kinsey’s book] everywhere even though the statistics were appalling.”

Kinsey’s team, some of whom later lent their names to pedophilia advocacy, claimed that sexuality begins at birth, concluding it was normal for children to engage in peer and inter-generational sex. In the history of social science, no other academic researcher of early child development (Piaget, Maslow et. al) has publicly asserted that sexual intercourse, including incest, has no harmful effect on children. How did Kinsey arrive at this erroneous conclusion? Unethically.

For example (see Tables 30-33 of his Male volume), Kinsey reports that in sex-play experiments of male children from infancy to mid-teens, most arrived at orgasm, the youngest boy observed to climax being “two months.” A four-year old was reported to have had 26 climaxes in 24 hours. How did this non-consensual experimentation take place at all? This is not science. This is child abuse.

Kinsey’s claims were also based on feedback he solicited from convicted pedophiles. Rapists told Kinsey that their child victims enjoyed the sex (a common delusion amongst pedophiles), which he reported as fact. He protected one rapist actively being sought by the police, and accorded legitimacy to the views of another, on record for raping 800 children, the youngest two months of age. Not exactly a “community” sampling.


Kinsey’s “findings” give comfort to pedophile rights activists everywhere. NAMBLA — the North American Man/Boy Association, which seeks to radically reduce the age of consent — has fulsomely praised Kinsey to its members, and so have other pedophile support groups.

This is all public record information, but Indiana University continues to confer respectability to its “Kinsey Institute,” which is still funded by foundations and government grants. Consequently, the theories of arguably the most deviant social philosopher in history, Alfred C. Kinsey — well-documented sado-masochist, voyeur, sexual exhibitionist, pornographer, racist, anti-Semite and eugenicist — form the basis of the alleged discipline of “sexology” and sex education curricula in schools everywhere.

Kinsey’s biographer James H. Jones said, “The beauty of sex research [was] that it allowed Kinsey to transform his voyeurism into science.” Kinsey begat Playboy, and Playboy begat porn culture. Which begat encouragement for a dirty old man to “seduce” a 15-year old girl at the Playboy mansion, a brothel, as Mr. Pryde notes, although I would disagree with his modifier of “high end.”