Views & Reviews Medical Classics

The Faeces of Children and Adults

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b984 (Published 18 March 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b984
  1. Aidan M O’Donnell, consultant anaesthetist, St John’s Hospital, Livingston, West Lothian
  1. aidanmark{at}doctors.org.uk

    Though Alfred Kinsey is best known for his works on sexual behaviour, the late Stephen Jay Gould admired him most for his earlier work, a definitive study of gall forming wasps of the genus Cynips. Gould argued that Kinsey’s rigorous methods and scrupulous attention to detail lent him impeccable scholastic credentials. Harvard University’s only copy of Kinsey’s great wasp monograph contains this graffito: “Why don’t you write about something more interesting, Al?” As an undergraduate I was disappointed to find that Kinsey wrote about sexuality with every bit as much academic detachment as he had no doubt applied to his wasps.

    Kinsey was not alone in devoting an enormous amount of scholarly …

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