In Sexual Behavior in the Human Male (1948) and the following book on female sexuality in 1953 Kinsey and his colleagues, based on the interviews they had conducted, drew many general conclusions about the sexual experiences of the average American in that era: so many per cent had engaged in pedophilia, so many per cent in zoophilia, coprophilia, etc, besides more normal sexual practices such as heterosexual, homosexual sex.
But how sound are Kinsey’s conclusions about the sexuality of the average American of that time? It strikes me that the people who took part in Kinsey’s study and answered the searching and frank questions about their sexuality would not be your average John Q or Joan Q Public. It was a repressed era and I’m willing to bet most Americans would not have volunteered information to Kinsey about such intensely private matters and that those who would consent to take part in the study would be people more likely to have engaged in diverse sexual behavior and more comfortable answering frank questions about it.
In other words what Kinsey produced was not Sexual Behavior in the Human Male but Sexual Behavior in Those Human Males Willing to Discuss The Most Private Areas of Their Sex Lives, a very different book, and one from which it would be very difficult if not impossible to draw any sound conclusion on the sexuality of the average American.
Were these concerns raised at the time and if so how did Kinsey address them?