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Kenneth Davidson and Nelwyn Moore Deposit Research Collection with Kinsey Institute

RELEASED: May 16, 2005

Dr. J. Kenneth Davidson Sr.
Photo by Rick Mickelson

EAU CLAIRE — The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction at Indiana University has announced that Dr. J. Kenneth Davidson Sr., professor emeritus of sociology and former coordinator of family studies at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, and Dr. Nelwyn B. Moore, professor emerita, Texas State University-San Marcos, will have their lifelong collection of research files and scholarly work on human sexuality gathered into an archival collection to be named for them. For more than 20 years, Davidson and Moore have been research partners, collaborating on much of their work.

Davidson, who retired last August after 28 years at UW-Eau Claire, began shipping the significant collection of journal articles, correspondence, published papers, unpublished manuscripts and research data which has been housed at UW-Eau Claire to the Kinsey Institute last month. Davidson said he started the collection, which includes more than 10,000 articles on human sexuality, 37 years ago when he was a sociology faculty member at Augusta State University and research instructor in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the Medical College of Georgia. Over the years Davidson has carefully catalogued the journal articles into broad categories. He started out using old-fashioned note cards and later moved to computer files.

Liana Zhou, head of the library at the Kinsey Institute, said the Davidson/Moore archival collection is an important addition to the Institute Library.

"For the past four decades, their research contributions covered a wide range of topics, from studies on sexual emotions to sexual relations and knowledge of marriage and family," said Zhou. "The Institute library aims to acquire, organize, preserve as well as provide access to human sexuality resources and is visited by students and scholars of sexuality from all over the world. The Davidson/Moore collection will expand and enhance our collecting scope, and we are very pleased that they have decided to deposit their lifelong collection with the Kinsey Institute."

The Kinsey Institute is a private, not-for-profit organization that was established by Alfred C. Kinsey in 1947, just before the publication of his groundbreaking study "Sexual Behavior in the Human Male." The general public was recently reminded of the work of the Kinsey Institute with the release of the movie "Kinsey," director Bill Condon's interpretation of the life of Alfred Kinsey. Today the Institute investigates sexual behavior and sexual health through the development of collections of resources for scholars, programs of research and research publications; interdisciplinary conferences and seminars; information services; and graduate training.

Davidson, who admits that he often found others somewhat uncomfortable with his work and research topics, said he started on the path to becoming an expert on human sexuality almost by accident.

"It was at a 1968 Medical College cocktail party that a student and her pediatrician husband introduced me to the department chair of obstetrics and gynecology and a medical student who were doing some research into the medical aspects of human sexuality," said Davidson. "What they had to say was fascinating, and I agreed to serve as a research consultant in the department to assist with additional data collection. Some of that data became an intriguing topic for my doctoral dissertation."

Almost 40 years later, Davidson said that he is still intellectually challenged by sexuality research and glad his that life's work will now be more widely available for new scholars to use and build upon.

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NW

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