Editor’s note: The following report is part of WND’s ongoing, multipart investigation into alleged crimes committed by sex-research pioneer Alfred Kinsey and his Kinsey Institute.
WASHINGTON – On Oct. 1, the federal government made a high-profile apology for experiments conducted in Guatemala between 1946 and 1948. Without their knowledge or permission, nearly 700 people were inoculated with syphilis and gonorrhea for the purpose of scientific research. Eventually the subjects were treated with penicillin.
During the same time period, however, far more horrendous experiments were being carried out – including the sexual molestation of hundreds of infants and children down to 2 months of age – not in a far-off Central American country, but at the state and federally funded Indiana University. The researchers never treated the victims of this research, and nobody has issued an apology.
Biologist Alfred Kinsey’s research on human sexual behavior is now celebrated as pioneering science, and Kinsey has become known as the father of the sexual revolution. He and the institute named for him are widely acclaimed by news media and in the academic community. Kinsey’s work continues to have a profound impact on American law and culture to this day.
Kinsey’s research is highly controversial for being based disproportionately on hundreds of interviews with prisoners, sex offenders and prostitutes. Kinsey and his colleagues falsely classified these people as normal World War II-era citizens, leaving the validity of his findings open to question. But the most infamous – indeed, criminal – aspect of Kinsey’s research involved what is first revealed in black and white in Tables 30 to 34 of his landmark 1948 book, “Sexual Behavior in the Human Male.”
These tables record how long it took for children to achieve “orgasm” and how many “orgasms” they were able to achieve over a period of minutes or hours. Hundreds of innocent boys suffered at the hands of pedophiles to compile this data.
Kinsey produced a second book in 1953, “Sexual Behavior in the Human Female.” To gather data for the book, Kinsey and his researchers allowed innocent girls to be abused by pedophiles. Now one of these victims, “Esther White” (a pseudonym), is telling her story.
Over the years, the Kinsey Institute has consistently denied that Kinsey recruited pedophiles to conduct his research or knew about any ongoing abuse of children. Esther White has stepped forward to tell us that’s not the way it was.
“Esther White” as
WND: How did you come to be a subject in the Kinsey experiments?
Esther White: My grandfather set this whole thing up. He was the connection. He went to Indiana University, he was getting his teacher’s certificate there. Kinsey was a pretty young professor and my grandfather was a pretty old student, he had already had three sons before he went to IU.
He was buddy-buddy with Kinsey. He used to have a picture of himself with Kinsey, on the bottom he had written “Me and Alphe.” That’s how Kinsey spelled it, A-l-p-h-e.
My uncle moved to Bloomington about 1948. Many years later he told me his wife was socially involved with Mrs. Kinsey. He seemed quite proud of that fact, because Mrs. Kinsey was socially prominent. He also told me he thought Kinsey was a “queer duck.”
My uncle and grandfather and dad went to meet Kinsey at the university on Thanksgiving Day in 1950. Our whole family was having Thanksgiving dinner there. Another uncle seemed upset about it and refused to go. He said he’d rather stay home with the nieces and nephews. I didn’t go, they didn’t invite me.
I think that’s when they made the deal to use the information they got before for Kinsey’s second book, the one about women. In the first book there were some statistics on little girls, too, they just weren’t the prominent charts. I think he knew he was going to write the one on girls while he was doing the one on males.
WND: How old were you when the abuse started?
EW: My grandfather abused me just one time, when I was 4. He didn’t do it again because I don’t think he ever had the opportunity.
My father started when I was 7. I was born in 1934, and I was 7 when it began, so it was 1941. My dad played sick sometimes so he could stay home alone with me. I just did what he told me to do.
WND: Would your father have abused you if he hadn’t been involved with Kinsey?
EW: I don’t know. My grandfather got him into it. I think the Kinsey people at IU talked my grandfather into getting involved. They brainwashed all the students about how important the research was, that knowledge was God.
My uncle was involved in this, too. He molested his stepdaughter, and of course the split in the family was horrible, and his wife divorced him. It was all kept very quiet, I didn’t find out about it until maybe five years ago when his second wife told me. But this man became a devout Christian man and repented profusely. He realized he had been duped by Kinsey, I think.
I think my father repented too. I couldn’t tell exactly the words because he had a massive stroke. I moved into his house to take care of him and my mother. He broke down crying one time. I think he was trying to say he was sorry. He was a Christian man when he died.
This is like peeling an onion, there’s just so many layers of it.
WND: Did your father ever molest any other children?
EW: I don’t think he ever molested other children. I don’t think my mother gave him a chance.
WND: Can you tell me what your father did to you?
EW: Everything. It makes me blush just to think about it. He was giving me orgasms and timing it with a stopwatch. I didn’t like it, I went into convulsions, but he didn’t care. He said all little girls do this with their daddies, they just don’t talk about it.
One time a little girl came over and knocked on the door right in the middle of a session. She wanted me to come play, and I ran out the door. It was my opportunity to escape, and I took it, even though he was yelling at me to come back. That was the only time I ever got away.
“Esther White” at age 9
WND: Did he ever force you to have sex with him?
EW: He wouldn’t physically force me to do it. He was not violent, he always did it in the name of love. He had the sick idea that I wanted sex with him. That’s the way these people thought. They were arrogant males.
I resisted probably the whole time, but I wasn’t permitted to resist. I would tell him no, but he wouldn’t listen. I would have convulsions, but he wouldn’t pay any attention. I was sworn to silence. I was not to tell my mother because I would cause a divorce, and that was my greatest fear. That was awful in those days, nobody had divorces.
I humiliated my father every chance I got. He was angry at me all the time. When he would try to get me to submit to him I would humiliate him by saying no.
WND: Was Kinsey aware of what was happening to you?
EW: Kinsey or his partners knew. In 1943, when I was 9, I found a sheet of paper that had boxes on it and my father was checking off things he was doing to me. He grabbed it away from me and put it in a brown envelope.
WND: Can you describe the sheet of paper?
EW: It was a form with little boxes down the left side of the page and a list of statements describing sexual acts. The form was instructions on what to do. It was for training. He was supposed to check things off when he’d done them.
One of the statements included the words “timed orgasm.” I didn’t know what “orgasm” meant, so I asked him. Then he explained to me exactly what he was doing, and what an orgasm was. I knew he was holding a stopwatch in his hand when he did it, but I didn’t know what he was doing. I was very young, I just didn’t understand any of this stuff, I was just doing what my daddy told me to do. He claimed to be doing it in love.
WND: And this was done to you in the name of science? By people who were conducting research?
EW: I don’t know for sure if my dad was involved with the Kinsey thing in the beginning.
In 1947 my father gave me a prepublication copy of Kinsey’s book on the human male. I was supposed to read it and give my evaluation of it. I was 13. By then the abuse had stopped, because my mother found out.
My dad told me he helped Kinsey write the book and that it was going to change the way the world looked at sexuality. He wanted me to do a two-paragraph review of the book. I wouldn’t do it. When I read the book it made me sick. I realized then what they were doing. The charts were in there, they were timing orgasms, and I didn’t want anything to do with any of it.
I wasn’t really fully aware of Alfred Kinsey, it was just the book. I didn’t want any part of it, and I gave it back to him. It stayed in his library until he died, and then I threw it out. He was a great fan of Freud; he had three of Freud’s books, and I threw them out, too.
WND: Did you ever meet Kinsey?
EW: I was interviewed by him. He and Pomeroy came to my grandfather’s home in Columbus, Ohio, sometime in the early ’40s. My great-grandmother was there, I think she must have known there was something wrong, because she treated me terribly.
Kinsey was supposed to come for luncheon, but there was a big snowstorm and they were late. My great-grandmother had prepared a great big luncheon. I think she was upset because they were late, and they didn’t have time to eat the luncheon. Kinsey had to leave because he was delivering a lecture at Ohio State.
Kinsey did interview me, he asked me some questions, things like whether I loved my family. My father had told me what I needed to say to him; we wanted to make a good impression. I found out later we had to make a good impression because we were getting paid for this.
When Kinsey was about to leave, my grandfather said, “What about the check?” Kinsey said, “I almost forgot,” and I saw him give my grandfather a check. Kinsey said “I made it out to both of you because I didn’t know which one was going to get the money.” That was in the winter of 1943.
They had to do the charting first, then they got paid for it. The check was probably $6,000. It was a 6 with a bunch of zeroes after it. Shortly after that my family bought a brand new house. The check was enough to put a down payment on the house.
WND: Did the Kinsey Institute ever follow up with you?
EW: Not at all. They didn’t care about me. Actually neither did my dad; he didn’t care what this was doing to me. He thought everything was supposed to be better because of this, that I would be a better person, much more broadminded.
Tomorrow WND will present the second half of the interview with Esther White. It will explore how Mrs. White was affected throughout her life by the molestation, her father’s continued attempts to molest her, the stunning story of her spiritual conversion and the role faith has played in helping her on her journey through life.
Today’s related story:
Members of the media who wish to interview the reporter, Brian Fitzpatrick, or Dr. Judith Reisman, who has written books about Kinsey, please e-mail WND.