Proseminar – Dr. Erick Janssen

Dr. Erick Janssen visits Tcom

Presents The Kinsey Institute 

Dr. Janssen began T600 today with an enlightening history of The Kinsey Institute. Surprisingly, he explained that Alfred Kinsey, the institute’s namesake, was a well know researcher before his foray into sexual research. Kinsey studied evolution and had painstakingly collected and documented thousands of wasps. After being asked to take over a class on marriage, he was frustrated by the lack of research on the subject and thus, began researching marriage, couples, and sexuality full on.

Dr. Janssen began his academic career in Amsterdam, much like Telecom’s own Mark Deuze. As a student, he became interested in sexuality when he met a professor who studied the subject scientifically. Due to his research and his connections, in 1995, Janssen was invited to work in The Kinsey Institute.

Janssen explained that the institute looks less at what people do and more at why people do what they do. For example, they research sexual inhibition, sexual risk taking, and sexuality in couples. Interestingly, Janssen mentioned that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to arouse subjects with pornographic material. As a media researcher, I can’t help but wonder if it’s due to increased media fragmentation. Everyone has their niche in video games, TV shows, and (perhaps) porn.