Kinsey | 2004
The life story of Alfred Kinsey, a man driven to uncover the most private secrets of the nation, and journey into the mystery of human behavior. In 1948, Kinsey irrevocably changed American culture and created a media sensation with his book "Sexual Behavior in the Human Male." Using the technique of his own famous sex interviews, the story recounts the scientist's extraordinary journey from obscurity to global fame. Rebelling against the rigid piety of his home life, and drawn to the world of the senses, Kinsey becomes a Harvard-educated zoologist specializing in the study of gall wasps. After being hired to teach biology at Indiana University, Kinsey meets and marries a witty, free-thinking female student, Clara McMillen. In the course of his teaching, he discovers an astonishing dearth of scientific data on sexual behavior. When students seek him out for advice about sexual concerns and problems, he realizes that no one has done the clinical research that would yield reliable answers to their questions. Inspired to explore the emotionally charged subject of sex from a strictly scientific point of view, Kinsey recruits a team of researchers, including Clyde Martin, Wardell Pomeroy and Paul Gebhard. Over time they refine an interviewing technique which helps people to break through shame, fear, and guilt and speak freely about their sexual histories. When Kinsey publishes his Male study in 1948, the press compares the impact to that of the atom bomb. But as the country enters the more paranoid Cold War era of the 1950s, Kinsey's follow-up study on women is seen as an attack on basic American values. The ensuing outrage and scorn causes Kinsey's benefactors to abandon him, just as his health begins to deteriorate. At the same time, the jealousies and acrimony caused by Kinsey's attempt to create a private sexual utopia threaten to tear apart the research team and expose them to unwelcome scrutiny.