New Head of Kinsey Institute: "I think human sexuality must be viewed in the context of relationships."

Comments

2
Fer crissakes! Now we have to go invading the privacy of prairie voles!!!!

Is nothing sacred anymore?

Is Dano Savage too wrapped up in Obama's Surveillance State mentality?
3
One of the best ways to protest this is delightfully obvious.
4
@2 Haters who aren't getting laid gonna hate.
5
Why not both? Sex as sex and sex as bonding. If she skips the former and jumps only into the latter, we have a problem.

Regardless, I think the hiding of the homunculus is a good tell that she's going to leap into one.
6
Carter's work with voles has taught us a lot about the neurobiology of attachment. Prairie voles are one of the few mammals that are (mostly) sexually monogamous. Meadow voles, like most rodents, are polygynous, with no parental investment on the part of males. Research by Carter and Zuoxin Wang showed that these behaviors were dependent on the activation of vasopressin receptors in the certain brain regions during sex. By manipulating the expression of these receptors, researchers can allow meadow voles to form pair bonds (and prevent prairie voles from pair bonding). Here's a paper that provides a nice summary: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles…

I don't know anything about Sue Carter's political leanings, but the animal models she and others have used have taught us a lot about how attachment is neurally represented in humans. The fact that sex participates in inducing such bonding in adults seems to make the relationship between sex and relationships worthy of a sex research institute's attention. No research program is going to be entirely comprehensive, and as the article mentions, this is just the direction that the institute intends to pursue under Carter's tenure.
7
Also, I'm sure Bill or anyone who has ever held office hours can tell you about the hassles you save by keeping your limestone dicks facing away from visitors.
9
I like comments 1 and 8.
10
I think you're taking a rather narrow view of what "relationship" means here. I'm in a relationship with my partner, but I'm also in a relationship with my landlord, my parents, my friends and their children...but I only have sex with one of those people. Weird! What does that mean about how sex works to define my relationships?

Sex within the context of relationships and how certain uses of the body fundamentally alter the sex as well as the nature of how I relate to the other person (in a reflexive way, in that one changes the other) is absolutely worth studying at a research institution dedicated to studying sexual behaviour in humans. Sex does not occur in a vacuum, even if it's in space. Even masterbation doesn't occur as a fucking solitary isolated pure theoretical human touching themselves in an orgy of apperception. It occurs in a cultural context, and that context is made up of relationships.

Ugh. Let's put down the pitchforks and act like we're all at least kinda on the same page as the last 60 years of sociological, anthropological and philosophical cultural studies.
11
Why would anyone visiting a facility focused on sexual behavior research be offended by genitalia? Should museums turn all their nudes into walls and Firenze put pants on David to not offend these fragile lilies too?

Maybe she just hates the sculpture and couldn't get rid of it, otherwise why display a piece of art that you can't look at properly?

12
Why does the word "relationship" imply monogamy? One thing that I've learned from you, Dan, is that relationships are only defined by the people involved. It seems acceptable and timely for the Kinsey institute to delve into relationship-sex dynamics further - as long as the focus isn't solely on monogamy, but the multitude of relationships out there (be it one-time, sex-only, companionate-only, poly... whatever.)

I'm more concerned by the fact that she hides the statue. That certainly doesn't imply sex positivity.
13
So the Kinsey Lab isn't prioritizing research on Grindr? And it's being headed up by a director with roots in (gasp!) animal behavior? OMG THE SKY IS FALLING, RUN TELL TWITTER!!

@8 has it - this is ignorant, anti-science nonsense of the sort we usually get from the right wing.
14
Classic internet outrage.... Has she resigned yet?
15
Yeah, the homunculus worries me, the prairie voles not so much.

I myself have warned people to be attentive to their own susceptibility to sexual bonding. If they know they will fall in love with any sexual partner, then they should be careful not to choose sexual partners they would not want to fall in love with. If they know this isn't an issue for them, they can go to to town. If they don't know yet, then they should take things slow until they know themselves better. Variations in susceptibility to sexual bonding is a pattern that can be observed empirically in humans. Prairie voles simply serve as a model for studying a possible neurological mechanism for sexual bonding.

There are other places that touch on sex in the context of couples counselling. The Kinsey institute is about what people actually do, not how we can manipulate what we do to get desired outcomes.
17
Disappointingly reactionary response.

I'm with 6, 8, 10, 13, etc. A few more points if you read the entire article:

After the quote Dan cites, "There’s just so much you can do, and I want to take Kinsey into directions that are unequivocally important.” The next line is:

Those directions include sexual trauma, the transgender movement and medical interventions that can have an impact on a person’s sexuality and relationships.

Interestingly, these are topics that seem to be pretty important to a lot of the SL readers/letter writers.

Also, the article mentions that each director of the institute brings a slightly different focus to the research program. For example, "From 2004 to 2013, psychologist Julia Heiman led the institute and broadened the scope to sexual assault, sexual aggression and what makes for good, long-term relationships."

So if you wanted to be outraged by -- OMG -- an interest in the overlap between sex and LTR (among other topic areas!!!), you're 12 years too late.
18
@1, @8, @10, & @12: Thank you.

Seriously, Dan, if the term "relationship" is such a trigger for you, maybe you're about as fit to be in charge of this advice column as you speculate Carter is to be in charge of the Kinsey Institute.
19
@18
Yeah, strange response to 1 word.
Maybe this Carter woman is a monster but so far 1 word isn't enough.
20
I'm going to join the chorus here and say that my first thought was that "relationship" is not the same thing as "pair bond" and that Dan, you might be getting all bent out of shape over nothing. I have a relationship with everyone I interact with. In most cases, that relationship is defined by mutual civility and lack of any interpersonal connection, for example when I check out at the grocery store. The fact that sex releases certain hormones which affect how we feel about the person we had sex with is of scientific interest and worth studying. I would guess that this effect varies across the population, and it would be nice to remove the stigma around casual sex by demonstrating scientifically that some of us are more wired to associate sex with emotional bonding than others.
21
Good comment, bratwurst@8.
22
Dude, I think you made too many assumptions. You do realize that you have a relationship with your bank teller, while you have no relationship with your banking app... right? It sounds like you are the one conflating all human relationships with pair bonding and marriage. Or maybe you think that treating people as sex apps is healthy.

I hope you realize that all of your ideas about healthy ways to approach sex would contribute $0 to your bank account if you were not focusing on helping real people with their real relationship problems. Sounds like it's no different at the Kinsey Institute. I'd expect more funding in general now that they are committing to more applied research. Probably the point of the speech.

I do hope they continue to study gender differences in general. It should still appeal to pharmaceutical companies and health care and fit the "well-being" category. But gender research has always been hard to find funding for. Some of the most impressive clit research I've seen was self-funded.* As for solo sex (masturbation).. what else is interesting about it other than effects on health and relationships?

Also, when you finish it off with a "who cares if people are offended - they aren't allowed to visit the Kinsey Institute if they are uncomfortable with nudity. Duh!" You look like a jerk. Vday blues?

* Alas it wasn’t until as recent as 2009, French researchers Dr. Odile Buisson and Dr. Pierre Foldès gave the medical world it’s first complete 3-D sonography of the stimulated clitoris. They did this work for three years without any proper funding. Thanks to them, we now understand how the erectile tissue of the clitoris engorges and surrounds the vagina—a complete breakthrough that explains how what we once considered to be a vaginal orgasm is actually an internal clitoral orgasm.

Dr. Foldès has been performing surgery on women who have suffered from clitoral mutilation, restoring pleasure to over 3,000 circumcised patients.
23
@11: Why would anyone visiting a facility focused on sexual behavior research be offended by genitalia?

Reading Dan's original post, I wouldn't be surprised if university administrators soon decided that a facility focused on sexual behavior research is too offensive.
24
"medical interventions that can have an impact on a person’s sexuality and relationships."

Been there; done that; got out alive and intact. Pass.

I suspect that everyone is right here - that Mr Savage is, as Poirot once said, making a hill out of a mole-mount, but that the hill is really there
25
So what's the problem? I mean I didn't see where she said that the only sex anyone should have is in a monogamous, heterosexual relationship. And Dan you've pointed out that getting naked with someone regularly is situation that's pretty likely to cause the participants to develop feelings. What's wrong with studying that?

And why no one talks about cheating 'saving' relationships, maybe because it happens very rarely? And the cheating you give permission for only tends to extend the life of relationships that should've ended?
26
".. to understand how sex affects sex."
Well, I'll just ponder those words, or not.
Any sexual encounter does involve a relationship, Dan. It may not be an intimate, let's get married type relationship.. It is still a relationship.
Yeah, I know the power of this oxytocin stuff. Blinded me for years.
27
Sorry Dan, I don't think folks are understanding you. But, I thought you expressed yourself pretty clearly. For example, I did not see you say you were against vole research.

A key point for the rest of you: the laudable objectives you point to regarding relationships, trauma, or whatever, are already being researched and prioritized elsewhere. That's the whole point Dan was making, that the Kinsey institute prioritized research to ask what it is, not just how do we make it like we want it. The former is scientific observation. The latter is objective focused engineering.

Suggesting Dan is against healthy relationships is just trolling. It is obvious here that he is arguing that there are changes in the mission statement that point toward increased preconceptions about what should be. Dan believes there is value to having people researching sex who are trying not to have any preconceptions and that the changes in rhetoric of the current Kinsey institute suggests that they are moving away from that part of their historic work.

Wouldn't surprise me if the board members were having trouble being socially accepted at the elite cocktail parties with the boards of non-profits like the Gates Foundation. "We're working on innoculating all people of the world against horrible illnesses. What are you doing?" "Oh, for example, today our institute just started a new project looking at changes suburban housewife infidelity and sexual activity of long distance truck drivers."
28
I'm with the crowd regarding Dan's ultra-narrow interpretation of the word "relationships" and his apparent unilateral insertion of the word "healthy" as its modifier. Did Carter say she was only going to study healthy relationships? Did she say she was only going to study monogamous relationships? I don't see that anywhere. Not all sexuality involves relationships, true, but if she'd said "We're going to focus on partnered sexual activities, not fantasy and masturbation" would that have passed Dan's sniff test? And, you know, as a non-monogamous person, I'd say she's bang on about oxytocin and bonding. It doesn't just apply to exclusive pair-bonding.

But then there was the anecdote about the phallic statue. Talk about burying the lede!
29
Fuckin' oxytocin! Caused me to stay with a racist for years. An abuser for quite a bit more. I'd LOVE to know what happens in my brain when I fall for the wrong guy.

Dan, there is currently a huge gaping hole in research on these kinds of hormonal/relational approaches, and responses, to sex (traditionally thought of as lovey-dovey emo female crap, even though men do it too). I'm hoping she means she is going to rectify that. I know you will one day really appreciate this approach, since it will demystify relationship dynamics by making their underpinnings more scientifically accessible.

1. Not all sex involves another person.
No one said it did. And masturbation has been studied quite thoroughly, thankyouverymuch.
2. People are not voles.
True, people often have complex relationships with the people they have sex with. But people do have similar hormonal responses to their mates compared to voles. Also, in science we work with simple animals for many reasons.
3. There is nothing wrong with consensual sex outside of pair bonds.
No one said there was.

30
On a related note, prairie voles are the perfect vehicle for furries who also have a huge Nellie Olsen fetish.
31
@4, I get it. . .

You prefer sex with the voles.
32
While it's possible that Dan is jumping the gun here, I do find it a bit concerning that Carter seems to imply an intrinsic link between sexuality and relationships. It's hard to assume that her statement of, “I think human sexuality must be viewed in the context of relationships..." means anything but romantic, sexually active relationships; it's obvious from the context in which she uses the term that she means exactly that, not the professional or friendly relationship you have with your accountant or mechanic.

That said, I don't see anything in her immediate history that sounds alarm bells. Her reaction to the statue is only mildly disturbing; one can be a sexually healthy individual while recognizing that not everyone with whom she might interact is over the Abrahamic cultural prejudices of our society.
33
Extra, extra! "Notable sex/relationship columnist completely loses his shit after misinterpreting something a social/bio scientist said!"
34
On the one hand, I am, like Dan, a middle-aged fag, and one who's been reading and listening to Dan's output for a long time, and can't remember the last time I disagreed with him on a question of sexual morality.

On the other hand, I'm also a neuroscientist, familiar with the prairie vole research, and committed to the notion that brain and behavioral research in (other) animals tells us useful things about humans.

And man, is he ever off-base on this one. It is simply a fact of the matter that for some animals -- prairie voles, bonobos, humans -- sex is tied up with (not equal to!) affiliative behaviors that are important for survival even though not directly related to reproduction. As a scientist -- a gay, lefty one -- of course this should be part of the scientific study of sexual behavior. Reading through the quotes here, I can't find anything wrong with what this new director is saying.
35
I agree with those who have a far broader definition of "relationship" as well as those who think there could be value in extending research to include sex in the context of relationships. If the research is focused strictly on sex within some sort of traditional relationship, that would be awful, but that's not my take on what is being said.

And how do we know the research would point to people having to accept to pair bond for life when sperm touches the inside of a vagina? It could just as easily point to women losing interest in the pair bond after a typical time to fertilization cycle. Who knows?

Also, how did ethical non-monogamy end up under the "cheating" umbrella?
36
I'm with the majority here. I'd say it's pretty difficult (though likely not impossible) to have sex with someone you don't have some type of relationship with -- that can be a stable monogamous relationship between two people, you can be regular fuckbuddies, or you can have a relationship as two people having a one-night stand (etc. etc.). I'd wait to see what she actually does.
37
I completely agree with Dan on this one, as well as comment 27.

If you disagree, try this: imagine for a second that Dan is right, and Sue Carter is taking the Kinsey institute in a more prudish direction. Do you really think she would just come out and SAY that? Do you think she would say "sex can be gross and uncomfortable so we will only be studying sex related topics which are easy to market to the masses from now on?" No, of course she wouldn't say that. She didn't get to be in this position by being stupid. Instead, she would couch her agenda in pleasant-sounding PR speak.

Comment 27 is right in saying Dan never spoke out against vole research (or against studying relationships, or in favor of a narrow minded definition of relationships). These are red herrings. The point is, Sue Carter is espousing an unscientific point of view.

This is the scientific method in case anybody forgot: 1. Make observations 2. Question 3. Form hypotheses 4. Develop testable predictions 5. Gather data to test predictions 6. Develop general theories.

If you start your research with the premise that human sexuality "must" (Carter did use the word must) be in the context of relationships, you're skipping straight to step 3. Or worse, this could be considered a skip to step 6. If you start with the assumption that humans must be as monogamous as voles, you're skipping steps even harder.

I found a good article about the voles Carter studied. http://www.economist.com/node/2424049 The interesting thing about these voles is, there is another species of vole which is very genetically similar, yet not monogamous. The research helps us to understand what exactly makes some animals monogamous and other animals non monogamous. I found it interesting that oxytocin leads to pair bonding in the monogamous species, but not in the non monogamous species of vole.

What this research does NOT tell us, is if humans are monogamous voles, or not monogamous voles. And yet, Carter is talking about humans as if they are as monogamous as monogamous voles, and as if oxytocin will influence humans in the exact same way it influences monogamous voles. Agendas like this have no legitimate place in research, society has no need for scientists who reason backwards and come up with the solution before they have gathered the evidence.

There are a lot of unpleasant things about sex which offended visitors will not like, but which must be studied regardless. The penis must be studied, even if offended visitors don't like it. Rape, pedophilia, bestiality, and masturbation are all aspects of human sexuality which must be studied, even if they may have nothing to do with relationships.

Please don't twist my words and make it sound like I'm anti-relationship or anti-vole science, that's not what this is about at all. This is about a scientific institute which was founded on unflinching, brutal honesty, during a time when homosexuality was considered a horrendous perversion. This same institute is now apparently trying really hard to appeal to the sensibilities of the masses, as if it were a Disney movie and not a real place of research.

The BEST case scenario here is, Sue Carter is just saying this for good PR and won't actually change the direction of the Kinsey institute. Personally, I'm not so optimistic.
38
Speaking of other hands, a programme last night said we can tell a lot by the lengths of the index and ring fingers.
Not conclusive science, interesting still.
If some guy sticks his cock inside my vagina or mouth, I call it a relationship. A relationship where his body parts dissapear into my body.
A physical relationship.
40
JDelapp @32: "It's hard to assume that her statement of, “I think human sexuality must be viewed in the context of relationships..." means anything but romantic, sexually active relationships"

Not at all. I found it easy to assume that she meant "we should study the way both participants in a sexual encounter relate to that encounter. We should study the interaction between two [or more] individuals, not study the interaction from the point of view of one participant only."

And I'm with Sandiai. If this research leads to the elusive "cure for love," where do I send a cheque?
41
Statement from the Kinsey Institute facebook page:

"Since 1947, the Kinsey Institute has been unwavering in its commitment to studying sexuality in all diverse forms. Though Dr Carter’s research focuses on the biology of love, the Institute’s agenda remains varied and inclusive of human sexuality in all contexts."

42
@37 Human sexuality "must" be in the context of relationships because as soon as you have sex with someone, you now have a sexual relationship with them. Your (and Dan's) narrow view of what "relationship" means seems to be the problem. My relationship with myself changed when I started masturbating and my relationship with friends changes if we have sex. If you can fuck someone and have no relationship whatsoever with them while doing it, it, then you're kind of a psychopath. Most of us are wired to empathize with people we interact with. Google "Mirror neuron".
44
Thanks for the thoughtful comment, TheLastComment @37.

I had always been just as interested in the nonmonogamous voles as the monogamous ones, as it's clear to me that we have a variety of reproductive strategies. I had no idea that the researcher has selected the monogamous ones as representative of all humans. That's clearly unsupportable.

Also: fetishes. People are into their fetishes with or without relationships with a person. Being into silky lingerie might be more fun when a partner is cooing over you and telling you how hot you are in your silky panties, but you can also masturbate in your panties with no partner around. So I don't see a "must" link with relationships.
45
@42 I wasn't aware masturbation counted as a "relationship with myself." I suppose I must be a PSYCHOPATH. OH NO.

Seriously though I'm not defining the term relationship narrowly, I'm using the word relationship the way I believe it is being used by Carter. Honestly it's pretty insulting that you're attempting to explain the concept of relationships to me, just because I don't agree with you doesn't mean I'm a dumbass.

@44 Thanks. That's how it seemed to me, but it's still possible I'm not interpreting this right.
46
@34. I think you've hit it on the nose.

This argument over "relationship" reminds me of people who try and disentangle "culture" in an effort to ferret out true human nature. It's impossible, because "culture" is the expression of our genes, to buzz Dawkins. Not in its details (whether we worship a mother goddess or a sky god) but in its existence. You cannot have humans without culture.

So the concept of "relationship" as part and partial of human sexuality is the same. Dan loves to cite the bonobos and their use of sex as a relationship building as well as pure procreation out of Sex at Dawn , but have this Carter chick make a similar argument - the importance of sex in human interaction - and oh, lord, is the second coming of the jesus freaks.

She didn't say married relationships. She didn't say hetero relationships. She didn't say healthy relationships. She said "relationships." I had relationships with my one night stands. And the impact of those experiences colored my relationships with others going forward.

masturbation I would argue also has a tremendous impact on relationships going forward. Masturbation helped me learn to love my body. Sounds weird, but true. I think a situation where people are more interested in masturbation than sex with their so can substantially damage relationships as well.

So, the MRIs of clitorial stimulation - pretty awesome - and we'd say that is sex research without the involvement of relationships. Yes?

But no, what is the French doctor doing with his new found knowledge? Restoring the sexual responses of girls injured by genital mutilation (please you French dude). And what does that open for them? Improved relationships with themselves and their future mates.

If you accept that relationships is the foundation of human society - and it is, seriously - then you realize that sex is inexorably tied into that.

Don't believe me, DS, look to the Bonobos.
47
@44. Considering most species are anything but monogamous, I'm not surprised she focused on the outliers.

The whole "hide the penis" thing was stupid, but I don't think necessarily indicative of a sexually narrow view.
48
@47: Second that. A monogamous species is interesting because it's different. Not to mention most socially monogamous species of which I am aware practice some degree of sexual infidelity. Isn't Savage interested in that sort of thing?

I simply see this as a focus shift from the psychology of sex to the sociology of sex. That's what "context of relationships" means.

Given Dan's penchant for coining phrases, I propose we replace the phrase "have a cow" with "have a vole."
49
This seems like a very narrow view of the term "relationship". I did not pick up on marriage, monogamy, etc at all from this. ALL of our sexual "problems" come from how they affect our interactions with others, otherwise where is the "problem"? If you like to fuck stuffed animals and you live near Toys R Us and have a lock on your bedroom door, you don't have a "problem" until you try to introduce this hobby/fetish to others. Whether it's a coworker or a rando you want to get naked with, that is a "relationship". If all of our sexual acts were autonomous, this column would not exist. All sexual neuroses comes from how it operates and is perceived by the people in our lives, the "relationships" we have with other people. Studying the habits of balloon fetishists in and of itself isn't nearly as useful as learning how those people can best navigate their fetish with other people to both enjoy said fetish and happily engage in a community of supportive and/or similarly-kinky people. They don't have to marry 'em, they just gotta feel happy and comfortable around them.
50
"Sensory homunculus" = model where body parts are given size in proportion to the number of sensory nerve endings. Don't know if this is what she keeps turned to the wall, but here is an amusing picture: http://scienceblogs.com/omnibrain/wp-con…

Since "homunculus" means "little man," it seems appropriate that there should also be a "femunculus." All I could find were drawings though: http://www.methodquarterly.com/2015/02/t…
51
Pretty sure I have released a lot of oxytocin in the presence of my left hand. Also my right hand, pre-internet. I say this because I really like both of them and want to spend a lot of time with them.
52
@50, Coool. (IMO, the clitoral map should be bigger).
53
@51. Hahahaha.
54
Is Savage is trying to back off on this one?
Haven't heard a peep from him to answer crit.
Nice thing about him is that he will eventually admit to being hasty, which is much better than most talking heads will ever do.
55
Dan, just for the sake of record: prairie voles are animals, yeah. And Alfred Kinsey was a professor of entomology and zoology. He didn't start with people either. Don't pick that point to criticize Carter when there may well be several others.
56
This is a failed piece, the entire premise of which rests on a fundamental misunderstanding of the word "relationship". Try again, Dan.
57
Maybe you should just let people have their own ideas and research interests, the same way you are allowed to have your own ideas and research interests. Is the Kinsey institute some be-all end-all of sexual knowledge? People are allowed to disagree. Get a grip and step away from the OUTRAGE button for a moment. .
58
I'm encouraged by her taste in office decor: "Instead of pictures of prairie voles or an actual animal or two, black-and-white photos from the Kinsey Institute collection grace her walls: a Robert Mapplethorpe of two men embracing, a Herb Ritts photo of Olympic diver Greg Louganis."

The comment @37 (with the lesson about scientific method) seems to assume a lot about Carter that is not in evidence, e.g.: "Carter is talking about humans as if they are as monogamous as monogamous voles"

No she isn't. The whole point of the vole research is that some voles are monogamous and some aren't -- just like people -- and in the end it turns out that the expression of oxytocin receptors (where and in what density) in the brain is what makes the difference. It's a perfectly reasonable hypothesis to suggest that maybe that's what's different in people who tend toward monogamy and those who don't, too. I don't see anywhere in the article where Carter implies that humans are like the monogamous voles and not the other kind. I don't see any anywhere in the article that she's promoting a sex-is-only-for-pair-bonding agenda.

If anyone is seriously worried about this, I encourage you to actually read the USA piece (more carefully than Dan did) down to the part where she actually talks about the research she wants to do at Kinsey. There are no hidden "promise rings" here.

Again, this is a stupid post (sorry Dan, love ya anyway) and @37 is an unwarranted slander of Sue Carter as a scientist.

As for the hiding the big humunculus cock, the kinds of senior scientists who run institutes have to be part politician, and it's easy for me to imagine that she might have the kind of gue$t$ in her office who wouldn't want a cock in their face and whose sensibilities she would feel inclined to protect. Unnecessary, maybe, but it doesn't make her a prude.
59
Put away your pitchforks. Despite the article's out-of-context use of quotes, Dr. Carter is a legend in the neurobiology space and somebody whose pioneering research is hugely instrumental in creating a science-based, progressive worldview towards sexuality, as seems to be popular in these parts. Here's few things about the new Kinsey Director that should make everybody here happy.
-She DISCOVERED what oxytocin does, regarding pair-bonds and love. DISCOVERED IT. She's a freakin' legend.
-Get your terminology right. "Sexual monogamy" (one sex partner) and "social monogamy" (pair-bond, falling in love) are two very different things. Did you know that Dr. Carter was one of the first researchers to observe that mammals that were socially monogamous (have the capacity for what we view as partnered love) were NOT sexually monogamous? The puritan world assumed that socially monogamous mammals had one sex partner. She showed that wasn't the case. She is NOT the right-wing anti-sex zealot you are suggesting. In fact, she gives crazy science to the sex positive movement.
-She isn't talking about humans being sexually monogamous at all, and in fact is one of the most prominent voices out there in how social and sexual monogamy ARE NOT THE SAME THING.
-When she (and researchers like her) talks about monogamous vs non-monogamous prairie voles, this has NOTHING TO DO WITH SEX. She's simply talking about voles that pair-bond (are social monogamous) vs those that don't. The lessons she draws from how they differ are extremely important in understanding how these hormones affect humans as well. She is not trying to puritan anything up here.
-Regarding this quote: "How do hormones effect our sexual experiences? We’re just trying to make it a little more clear that this is in a context of psychological and emotional functions and health benefits." Yeah, you know what? Hormones effect our emotions and our health. Carter is perhaps the world's leading expert on oxytocin (she discovered what it does), and is talking about how these hormones—some of which are related to sex—do stuff to us. Maybe we want to know exactly what they do?
-The quotes about "relationships". Good research looks at context. Bad research assumes things exist in a vacuum. If having sex with people has different hormonal effects on us if we have different relationships with them—whether they are lovers, life partners, or even abusers—I'd certainly like to know. Saying you can study sex and remove the hormones from it because they may be involved with romance is silly. If romance and sex have related hormonal effects, we need to know and study that.
-The moral: OXYTOCIN IS POWERFUL STUFF. All she's saying is that people should know what it is and how it works and maybe science should study that?
-Also, have you seen a homonoculus? Just Google Image Search it: https://www.google.com/search?q=homuncul…
They are the stuff of nightmares. Can you blame her for not wanting to look at it? I mean, I'm scared just looking at the search results.
60
Oh, and regarding the sculpture? I just reread the piece: It's IN HER PERSONAL OFFICE, and not in a lobby or some other public space. She chose to display it—so so what if she chose to turn it around? She's not John Ashcroft going around covering up Lady Justice. Getting upset at her for that is just silly. It's in her office!
61
This article is garbage. Re: modesty in art, I've been to the Kinsey Institute recently, and I assure you that there is still more phalli and yoni on the walls than you can shake a stick at. Re: Sue's background in Voles, let us not forget that Alfred Kinsey's research was not even in mammals -- he made his name studying gall wasps.

Finally, re: the broadening of the vision of KI, I'll let you in on a secret about the harsh realities of nuts-and-bolts sex research: it's unfundable. Research costs money, most of which usually comes from the government, and the situation in Indiana and US congresses is not exactly conducive to sex research. KI researchers now tend to do their sex research as part of broader contexts. I don't think that current work on, say, sexual violence is any less deserving of our support than the original Kinsey Reports were.

The culture warriors in the Indiana House do enough to attack Kinsey Institute's funding and credibility every budget session. We don't need allies doing that work for them.
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I think we have an opportunity to learn more about ourselves and others as we include the details of relationships with sexual activities. Maybe we will find correspondence between specific relationship events and sexual frequency and variety.
Still, it will take great imagination to explore the relationship between a person and their vibrator or other sex toy. Will there be emotional blackmail on the part of cock rings? Will jealousy of a particular dildo lead to celibacy?
For the record, oxytocin levels go up when you pet your dog at the same rate and to similar levels as when nursing a baby or making love in both you and your dog. While this contributes to the strength of the bond we have with our pets it is not the only factor nor will it determine a monogamous sexual relationship with Phydeaux. Many pet owners respond by acquiring additional dogs to broaden and deepen the oxytocin warmth (see where this might going?) Hormones can have dramatic influence on our behavior, but in most situations it does not overwhelm our will and compel a specific behavior. In fact, the same hormonal activity might influence completely opposed behaviors in different humans (or voles). There are too many variables in body chemistry to assert more than a hasty generalization.