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Indiana banned public funding of Kinsey Institute – IU considers a way around the ban

The university has ignored requests for comment on how the institute functions without taxpayer support

Trustees for Indiana University recently voted to table discussion on creating a legal separation between itself and the Kinsey Institute sex research think tank.

The Bloomington university’s news team stated the proposal would “permit the university to set up a nonprofit entity to fund and operate a small portion of Kinsey Institute functions that have historically been supported through IU’s general fund.”

“The proposal follows a recently passed Indiana law that prohibits IU from using taxpayer dollars to support the Kinsey Institute,” the news release stated. The center is named for sex scholar Alfred Kinsey (pictured).

“The tabled proposal would keep the Kinsey Institute at IU, including its name, faculty and collections,” according to the news release. “Only a small portion of operational and administrative functions would be conducted through the proposed nonprofit entity.”

The institute’s funding has remained in question after a state law went into effect on Aug. 1 which forbids the university from using taxpayer dollars to fund the center. Universities commonly use foundations to operate without being subject to public records requests.

For example, Purdue University’s foundation is ostensibly independent, but the chairman of its board is always the president of the Big Ten school, as previously reported by The Fix.

The university has repeatedly ignored questions from The Fix in how the institute functions in light of the law.

The Fix filed a public records request for a copy of any contract between the Kinsey Institute and Indiana University that is in effect as of August 1, 2023 including any rent agreements between the school and the center.

The university’s general counsel office said no such record exists. The attorney’s office and media relations has not responded to multiple requests for clarification in the past several weeks for information on if any rent is paid.

The institute is currently housed at Lindley Hall, a university-owned building on campus.

It has dozens of staffers who would presumably need office space to operate. For comparison, rent for a 12-person office in Bloomington would cost around $4,000 per month, using low-end estimates on LoopNet’s website.

The Kinsey Institute’s website is still maintained through the university and staffers still use IU email addresses.

“While the Kinsey Institute does not receive direct appropriations, the new legislation requires that the university also ensure that no state funds are indirectly used to support the Kinsey Institute,” a Q&A section states.

MORE: ‘People with cervices’: IU med school doubles down on gender ideology

“A limited number of the Institute’s operational functions have historically been supported by the university’s general fund, which may have indirectly included state dollars,” the institute states.

Kinsey Institute has repeatedly not responded to College Fix questions about its operations. The center asks supporters to donate to a specific fund through Indiana University Foundation.

The sex research think tank has come under criticism from Republican legislators and conservative activists who say Kinsey and his work represent “sexual perversion.”

Rep. Lorissa Sweet, who pushed for the funding prohibition, also criticized the Kinsey Institute for operating an app that has volunteers record their sexual activity.

As part of his famous “Kinsey Reports,” Kinsey used the journal of a child rapist to study the rape of 196 kids. He referred to the rapes as “pre-adolescent sex play.”

He claimed that the victims enjoyed the experience despite some giving “violent convulsions” or “sobbing.” He also described in detail how an infant supposedly achieves orgasm based on observations by “other boys or older adults.”

MORE: University cannot hide from open records law by using foundation, judge rules

IMAGE: Wikimedia Commons

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Matt has previously worked at Students for Life of America, Students for Life Action and Turning Point USA. While in college, he wrote for The College Fix as well as his college newspaper, The Loyola Phoenix. He holds a B.A. from Loyola University-Chicago and an M.A. from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He lives in northwest Indiana with his family.