In the film Kinsey, Alfred Kinsey gave society a new view on sexuality and sexual behavior- creating a new culture that would understand and accept any matters of sexuality. Like any other cultures, sociologists believe that to really understand a certain culture, you must approach it theoretically with the social theories: structural functional theory, social-conflict theory, and sociobiology theory.
These social theories were shown and portrayed throughout the film Kinsey. The first theory, structural functional theory, focuses on a shared value in culture. This approach considers that cultural values direct our lives, giving meaning to what we do, and give people a feel of closeness and connection. In the film, Alfred Kinsey shared a common value on sexual behavior with the young adults. At the beginning of this film, young Kinsey already experience “self-pressure,” however, he wasn’t opened to it because 1) back in the olden days, sexual behaviors were considered impure, and 2) his dad was a preacher and his action would be morally wrong in a religion perspective. When years passed, Kinsey started teaching sexual behavior to a class of young adults.
In the beginning, Kinsey asked his students to fill out a questionnaire about any sexual activity they had practice and other sexual experiences. Unfortunately they were secretive and didn’t share much. They didn’t want to share about their sexual experiences to anyone because they feel shameful that someone knows their dirty little secrets and fear that their secrets will fall into the wrong hands. They also fear that people will not accept them because the sexual actions were not accepted then.
In order to gain his student’s trusts, Kinsey found it easier to interview each individually, face-to- face, rather having the fear that their secrets will land on other’s hands. Comfortably, his students were much opened up. Intrigued by the results of his students’ answers, Kinsey wants to expand his curiosity and starts a new study on human behaviors, specifically the male. His work-evidently his book Sexual Behavior in the Human Male-shook a lot of people but also brought some people together. For example, the scene where Kinsey finally told his father, the preacher, what he is studying and asked his father if he wants to be involved as one of the “samples”. Kinsey later find out the reason why his dad was against sexual behavior, giving Kinsey an understanding about his father.
That kind of opening up has to straighten a relationship in a way, bringing togetherness. Unlike the first theory, the second theory, social-conflict theory, doesn’t focus on shared view in culture. This theory helped people in society to opening their eyes in inequality. Understanding and being aware of the different inequality cause pressure toward change and conflict.
For example, in the scene that was taken place at a bar, Kinsey and his assistant were starting to conduct the research on sexual behavior of males. After hearing from his students and their sexual behavior experiences, Kinsey was fascinated and wanted to expand his study on sexual behavior on the human male. In order to do that, Kinsey has to expand his sample population. Also, to make his experiment fair, Kinsey must target other males, other than young males. The bar was a great place to get evidences and results from different adult males of all age.
By the end of the night, Kinsey and his assistance finished their interview with a homosexual. Hearing the inequality and struggle that this homosexual is facing, because of his sexual orientation, Kinsey achieved a spark or motive on his study research. Later on, publishing his work, Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, on both heterosexual and homosexual, Kinsey was one of the reasons for the “sexual revolution. ” Now in the modern day, although LGBT homosexuals are facing some inequality by some part of society, they are also accepted. The last theory that we are going to cover is the sociobiological theory. The name itself says it all.
This theory explores ways in which human biology affects how we create culture. This entire Kinsey film portrays this theory. Throughout the whole film, Kinsey is gradually forming a new culture of accepting sexual activities, convincing society that there’s nothing shameful about the human body. This study helped give an understanding that an “horny” individual is not alone because there are people that are also curious about the human body and its desires. Kinsey studied the human body’s reproductive organs and how they “function” during a sexual activity to give society a more understanding on sexual behavior since no one else have ever conducted such a study.
The film Kinsey tells a true story about Alfred Kinsey and how his work on sexual behavior answered many unanswered questions that people were afraid to ask-causing the sexual revolution. Society then discovered a new hidden culture and using the 3 main social theory helped give an understand of this new discovered culture.
Kinsey. Dir. Bill Condon.
Perf. Liam Neeson. Twentieth Century Fox, 2004. Macionis, John J. Society: The Basics.
12th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2004. Print.