CBS News June 23, 2019, 9:20 AM Almanac: Sex researcher Alfred Kinsey

Almanac: Sex researcher Alfred Kinsey

On June 23. 1894, sex researcher Alfred Charles Kinsey was born in Hoboken, New Jersey.

Sex researcher Alfred Kinsey. CBS News

A trained biologist, Kinsey achieved fame, even notoriety, in the 1940s and '50s with a pair of best-selling books about male and female sexual behavior … controversial research he defended on scientific grounds.

"I discovered that there was practically nothing known about human sexual behavior in comparison with what we knew about the sexual behavior of other animals," he said.

Kinsey based his eye-opening findings on thousands of personal interviews, training his researchers to first put their subjects at ease, as portrayed in the 2004 film "Kinsey" starring Liam Neeson:

"See how much more relaxed she is? If you ease in with innocuous questions, people forget they're giving sex histories."

Many of Kinsey's findings and techniques remain controversial, including his occasional reliance on the accounts of admitted child abusers. Still, he's widely hailed as a trailblazer in a previously taboo field.

Alfred Kinsey died in 1956 at the age of 62.

Today, the research he pioneered continues at the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University in Bloomington.

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Story produced by Charis Satchell.