YL: Will you tell us, Dr. Kirkendall, a little about your educationalbackground? Where did you get your early education?
LK: Well, first of all, I grew up on a western Kansas wheat farm and went toschool in a one-room rural school. It housed all eight grades and was presided over by one teacher only. Usually this was an unmarried female who had graduated from high school. I think most of them had gone no further than that. And my educational aspirations were quite limited also. I expected to go no further than that. And my educational aspirations were quite limited also. I expected to go no further than that. And my educational aspirations were quite limited also. I expected to go no further than completing the eighth grade. I just didn't think I was capable of going beyond that level of education. For several reasons, I had a very low opinion of myself. One was that I was a country kid, living in a sod house, about seven or eight miles from the county seat town of Oberlin Kansas. I knew there were kids my age in Oberlin, though I was acquainted with none of them. I envied them, but at the same time they scared me. They knew so much more than I did and I felt I would never be able to keep up with them in high school. Further than that, the only vocation I knew about was to farm, so I was anticipating that I would become one. Then on top of it all, my eyes were crossed, and at that time I could think of no deformity that could be worse. With all of these problems, after graduation from elementary school, I stayed on the farm for four years and never expected to go to high school. Later, while in high school, I underwent three operations to have my eyes straightened. My appearance as changed somewhat by those three operations.
YL: If you didn't want to go to high school, what changed your mind?
LK: Well, in a way I did want to and of course my mother was favorable to mygoing and urged me on. The final impetus came from one four years younger than I, Sherrill Buffington. In those days, farm kids went to town on Saturday nights, met other kids, and did a lot of talking about all kinds of things. In the beginning of the fifth year after my elementary graduation, I went to town one Saturday night and met Sherrill. He had just enrolled in high school two weeks earlier, as a freshman. He started talking about what a wonderful experience he was having. "Oh, you ought to go to high school; you'd like it." He urged and persuaded me until I finally said to him that I would consider it. So I went home and told my mother about my talk with Sherrill. After listening, he said "Well why don't you go?" So I said, "Well, all right, I think I'll go." I then went to my dad. Of course, he saw me as a farmer and thought of school as something to interfere with getting the farm work done. But wheat drilling was already over so one of the major farm tasks was out of the way. Furthermore, he probably didn't expect me to do well in school anyway. When I told him I was thinking about going to high school, he said "Well, God damn it, go ahead, you'll be back in six weeks anyway." That was the encouragement I got from him.
YL: Did you live in a dormitory while you went to school?
LK: Oh, heavens no! There were no dormitories. This was a little western Kansastown. I lived eight miles from town, and in those days you rode a horse that distance. No automobiles. Oh, there were automobiles, but I certainly didn't have one. A few pupils who lived on farms rented rooms in town, so I rented one and had a roommates. I enrolled two weeks and two days after the beginning of school, five years after I had finished my elementary education. I saw the high school principal, Caleb Smick, and told him I'd come to enroll. He smiled and said, "All right, but I've got a few things to do first and I'll be gone, if it's okay with you, for about a half hour." This was about nine o'clock in the morning. Well, I waited and waited and waited, and my feelings of worthlessness began to flow again. Finally he returned after eleven o'clock. He said, "Oh, I am sorry, I got so involved in things I was doing that I just let time slip." But he did enroll me. That was Tuesday morning and I started immediately that afternoon to attend classes. I'm trying to show you how iffy the whole business of my attending school was - it was extremely "iffy."
YL: It was a really frightening experience?
LK: Yes, it was. One of the morning classes that I was enrolled in was algebraand I had never had any algebra. It looked like Greek to me! In any event; I went into the algebra class on Wednesday with the book I had bought. The teacher showed me where they were and said, "Now you go ahead and study the book and I'll help you later." She then conducted the class, and announced that next day there would be a test over what the class had already covered. I was frightened, but I studied for the test and took it. Friday she had marked the test, brought them back and distributed them. They were marked in terms of percentages, 100% being perfect, and mine was rated sixty-five; seventy-five was passing. I looked at my percentage and said to myself, "Just as I thought; I've flunked. I can never make it." I was all ready to quit high school at noon on Friday. As I was walking out of the room, the algebra teacher stopped me and said, "You know, I think it is remarkable that with no more background than you have had, that you scored 65% on this test. Now on Monday I want to set aside some time to work with you. Come in and I'll help you because you're going to do very well in algebra." If she hadn't caught me, I would have taken my books and gone home and become a farmer. That's why I said whether I went any further in school was a very "iffy" business! But I did have the disposition to apply myself intensively on physical work, and I did the same on school work. I took extra classes during the day and some evening classes. I was four years older and more mature than the students who were my competitors. This made the going easier. Stilly I saw nothing ahead but farming, so I enrolled in vocational agriculture. Actually with me in his class, the vocational agriculture teacher had a farmer enrolled. Many of the things he discussed I had done. The result was graduation in three years (1924) as valedictorian of my class, with a grade point average of ninety-six plus.
YL: I bet your father was a little surprised.
LK: Yes, he had really altered his attitude though. He was rather pleased withmy academic success, for he had dropped out of school when he was in the sixth grade. But he was even more pleased when as a freshman I went out for football and made the first team to begin with. The coach tried me in backfield, but I was misplaced there. I was awkward and unsure of myself so that I was always fumbling the ball. If it was thrown to me I was likely to miss it, or if I did catch it I was likely to drop it. So the coach assigned me to be right guard. I only weighed 131 pounds stripped, but I was ready to and did fight like a tiger. So I was a line guard for three years.
YL: How did the high school faculty and your fellow students feel about yourscholastic record?
LK: Quite agreeable I think. In later years when I went back to Oberlin,graduates from my class still talked about my high grades. While I didn't realize it, I think that Mr. Smick, the high school principal, must have felt I could do something besides farming. In a certain sense he became my advance agent. In the spring of 1924, my last year, Mr. Smick said to me, "There's to be a scholarship contest at Manhattan Kansas, Kansas State Agricultural College. I would like you to be a participant." I thought it over, then said "Yes". As I recall there were fifty or more contestants. There were two days of tests, algebra, geometry, history, English, and other subjects. The third day, the tests were graded and they called us together to give us our standing, starting with tenth place and working toward first. I hoped I would at least get 10th place. Well, I wasn't 10th, and I wasn't 9th, and I wasn't 8th, and I wasn't 7th and by then I had given up. Then it turned out that I was second. Wow, second place in the State Scholarship Contest! As an award I received a scholarship to attend any school in the state.
YL: Was it a full scholarship?
LK: Not as I recall. It applied only to the freshman year. It covered tuitionand minimal academic expenses. But remember, this occurred a long, long time ago. But now I had a scholarship, so why not go to college? By now I had the support of both parents. I chose Washburn in Topeka. I don't know now exactly why, but I did. Probably because it wasn't an agricultural school. By now I realized that maybe I could do something other than being a farmer. Moreover, Washburn was in Topeka, the capital city of Kansas, and this would give me another slant on affairs. So I enrolled, though I did not have money for day-by-day living expenses. To cover these costs. I applied at the office of the Topeka Daily Capital to become one of their newsboys. They accepted me, and I was assigned to deliver papers across the Kansas River in the northern part of the city. I had to give my afternoon to delivering papers and my weekends to collecting money for the papers I had delivered. As a result, my academic standing suffered. I got a B average, but that was very upsetting to me because I compared it with the higher grades received in high school. Nearing the end of my first year in Washburn, I decided to change colleges, going to Kansas State Agricultural College (as it was called then) and borrow money so I could give full attention to my studies.
This depended on my getting a loan, so I went to see our local banker inOberlin, Elwood Brooks. He was head of the Farmer's National Bank, and also head of the local school board, so he knew that I had been in the local high school. He also knew my family. Also I had talked over my plans with my dad. By this time, as I said, he was very much more approving. I asked him if he would go with me to sign a note if Brooks was willing to loan me the money. He said yes. We went to the bank and talked to Brooks. He said, "Your dad doesn't need to sign this, your signature is good enough." So he sat me down in another room to read the note and the terms on which he would loan me money. I happened to overhear my dad talking with Brooks. My dad never expressed himself emotionally except in anger and he had a lot of anger that he could let out. Expressing himself in terms of love and caring seemed just beyond him. But now I heard him talking to Mr. Brooks, and I heard him say, "I wish to God I had a personality like he's got. He takes things as they come and hardly ever gets upset and angry." That overheard conversation meant a lot to me, and helped a great deal in further altering my attitude toward my father. As Brooks loaned me the money, he said, "Now you go ahead this year and then we'll see what the situation is like. I think likely we can loan you money to get through Kansas State Agricultural College." I went to Kansas State and graduated at the end of two years. In total, I attended one year at Washburn and two years and two summer schools at Kansas State; so in getting my bachelor's degree I condensed eight years of school into six and a half.
YL: What was your major at Kansas State?
LK: Well, I went into education. I saw that there was something to do besidesbeing a farmer. And again I made grades. I think that all of my grades for the two years I was at Kansas State were A's except in ROTC; that was a C. I was salutatorian of my college class. YL: How did you get into the educational field?
LK: Well, one day in the spring in my second year at Kansas State I got atelephone call from Caleb Smick. You will remember that he was principal of the high school when I enrolled as a freshman. In the meantime he had been promoted to be Superintendent of the Oberlin Schools. He said, "The principal of the elementary school has resigned and I'm wanting to fill the job. Would you be interested?" Really, I didn't know what was involved but it sounded interesting and so I said I was. The confirmation was almost immediate, and so I found myself employed as principal of the Oberlin Elementary School. I had eight women teachers, and it turned out that I was the only inexperienced teacher on the entire faculty. This of course was in the days of male chauvinism and so the principal had to be a male. Besides being principal, I also taught courses in history in the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade, and civics in the 8th grade. I had thought I would like to be a principal because I wanted to work with students, but I found that being principal took so much of my time administratively that I just didn't really have much time to work with the pupils. At the end of two years there was a vacancy at the high school; a history, civics and speech teacher was needed. Mr. Smick told me that I could have that position if I wanted it. I accepted, left the principalship, and went to teach at the high school.
YL: Now this was in the community where you grew up. Did that cause you anyproblems as an elementary school principal?
LK: Not really, though through one experience I had, I thought it might. I'vetold you that when I was in high school I was on the football team. Several grade school youngsters worked with the football team as water boys, and of course they knew me and addressed me as Kirk. I picked up my nickname, Kirk, while I was in high school, and have had it ever since. The incident I am going to mention is associated with the football player/water boy relationship. The very first day of school of my tenure as principal I walked to the front door of the school building, opened it, walked in, and there were four or five former water boys lined up along the wall waiting for me. As I stepped in they greeted me - "Hello Kirk", I thought, "Oh my God!" The college instructor who taught one of our education courses had warned us that you should never let your pupils address you by your first name. I thought, what in the world can I do? I stopped, passed the time of day, and talked with them a little bit. Then I said, "Would you fellows like to help me as a principal?" Their response was, "Oh yeah, we'd like to do anything we can." I said, "Well, why not call me Prof." This was the mode of address used with the preceding principal. I didn't care to be call "Prof", but I thought that it was a better way of addressing me than Kirk. They replied, "Sure, we'll call you 'Prof'." So from then on I was "Prof".
YL: Are there other points you would like to make about your elementary school principalship?
LK: Yes, a couple. I was proud of the fact that I was hired as the firstprincipal to preside over a brand new elementary school building. Actually the building was unusual both for that time and for the size of the Oberlin community. Shortly after school started, Mr. Smick commented that he hoped that the new building would be kept in as good shape as possible. As he put it, "Of course there will be ordinary wear and tear. But I hope you will keep graffiti off the walls and keep the desks and other furniture in good shape." I replied that I agreed, and then asked him if he had any suggestions. His reply was, "Not really. Anyway, I regard this as one of your responsibilities as principal." With that injunction I began to probe possibilities. Several occurred. A major decision was that this would be accomplished only as the pupils felt a proprietary interest in the school and school building. It should be their school in a very real way. Several different approaches, it was decided, would be followed. The arithmetic teacher in the two upper grades agreed to take her classes to the office of the County Assessor. This official would explain the millage arrangement of computing taxes. Knowing this then it could be determined roughly how much money each family had contributed to the new building and its outfitting. This was aided by receipts which had been given for desks, blackboards, or other fixtures. Thus each pupil could say "Well, our family bought four desks; I am sitting at one of them". Or "I'm writing at the blackboard my family purchased". Many people came to visit their new school. The upper grade pupils were coached as guides and whenever possible they showed visitors around the building. If a visitor was complimentary they were asked to write a short note. It was then read to the pupils and posted on a bulletin board so all could know that their school was approved.
YL: Do you really think this made a difference?
LK: Oh, yes, definitely. The older pupils wanted to keep the school lookingnice, and they accepted this as their responsibility. One day I was in my office when a couple of seventh or eighth graders came in and said quite excitedly, "Prof, someone in the first grade room has walked along the corridor with a crayon and made a mark all along on the wall!" So I went with them to assess the damage. When we arrived several other pupils were already there with soap and water and were removing the mark. I thought it interesting that no one ever asked who did it. The big issue was to get the mark off the wall.
YL: That was very interesting. Were there other such incidents?
LK: Yes, several others. I think rather than going into them in detail I'llmerely mention them. The pupils helped set out trees on the school lawn and some of the eight grade boys removed graffiti from the walls of the boy's toilet which had been left there by an outside basketball team. A traveling art exhibit came to the school twice, and the pupils sold tickets to the exhibits and raised enough money, with some help from the school board, to get two classical paintings for each classroom. An active student (or school) council was formed and carried out many of these activities. One thing that I remember particularly is this experience. What was going on at the school got bruited around town so one day the Rotary club invited the officers of the school council (the officers came from the three upper grades), and the three upper grade teachers (including me - the principal), to a noonday Rotary meeting to discuss our school program. Thus all teachers and pupil leaders were away from the school and at the Rotary club. The program ran overtime and all of us from the school were delayed in getting back. The automatic bell had rung to signal the beginning of classes about fifteen minutes before we returned. As we were hurrying back, I thought that, without teachers or leaders being in the classes, we would really know whether the rest of the pupils were taking all this seriously. I must admit that I had my fingers crossed. The mathematics teacher returned to her classroom. Here several pupils had put problems on the blackboard, and each was explaining his/her problem to the rest of the class. The English teacher found that her class was proceeding with their diagramming assignment. One class member was explaining why he had diagrammed a sentence as he did. I went to the sixth grade room where I was supposed to conduct a discussion on history. The sixth graders were reading their history books.
YL: That certainly sounds interesting and well organized. Then nothing much went wrong?
LK: Not too much, but what did was pretty bad. One thing I remember was thatsome of the boys in the upper grades practiced basketball in the gymnasium. They reported a couple of times that while they were playing someone had apparently gone through their lockers. Their clothing had been disturbed and money had been taken from their pockets. I suggested that we place a lookout hoping to catch the thief. This was done, and the thief turned out to be a seventh grade boy. When confronted by me, he admitted he had done this. The amount of money he had taken was very small, but following what I had been taught in my educational courses, I decided I should tell his parents, which I did. They refunded the money, and said they would talk with their son. A few days later a couple living next door to this family reported to me that the parents, themselves were well-known shoplifters, and that after I had talked with them they had really given their son a terrific beating. Not because he had taken the money, but because he was so inept that he was caught. YL: Did other things go wrong?
LK: Well, I'll mention one other, for I think it was the most distressingexperience I have ever had in my professional life. One morning about eleven o'clock I had a telephone call from the Sheriff's office. It was a local call, asking if the two Y____ children were in school. I had the absentee list before me, and they were not on it, so I said I supposed they were. The sheriff then told me that after these children, a boy and girl, one in the fourth grade and the other in the third, had left for school that morning their father and mother had got into a fight. The father had pulled a pistol and had shot and killed his wife. He had then turned the pistol on himself and committed suicide. This couple had no family immediately at hand. The news, the Sheriff said, was all around town and he felt that when the noon hour was reached the children might have this information unceremoniously dumped upon them. "Do you have any idea about what can be done?" I did know a couple with whom the Y____ family had visited. To make a long story short I called this couple and found they had already heard the news. I suggested that I would pull these two children from their rooms, put them in my car, bring them to the couple's home, and together with the couple tell them that their parents were dead, and then make arrangements to move them to the home of relatives who were some miles away. The couple consented to this, and that is what was done.
YL: Would you discuss your experience as a high school teacher?
LK: I would say it went off quite satisfactorily. I enjoyed all the classesassigned to me. Furthermore I participated quite actively in various extracurricular activities. I was assistant to the assistant football coach. Also I was simultaneously coach of the debate team and the wrestling team. This latter combination was a real asset; if you couldn't get your opponents one way, there was another. But for me, my luck held and both teams won championships. I'm trying of course to be a bit factitious, but not too much so. At that time, and in small communities, high school sports were highly competitive. They were activities that a community member could get excited about, attend along with others and boost the school and their community. When I became coach of the wrestling team it had already experienced two undefeated seasons. I coached it for four years and only one match was lost - the last one in the fourth year of my tenure as coach. However, in this period of time I became quite disillusioned with high school sports conducted as they were then. In the first place they were not sports, they were sheer competition. The players and coaches were under tension. Nobody could thoroughly relax and enjoy living. In fact I came to realize that some people judged the worth of the school by knowing how successful the teams were in athletic competition.
YL: How long were you on the high school faculty?
LK: Four years. During my fourth year Smick had a heart attack and died. Withhis death my main emotional support was gone. So at that time I decided that I might as well devote full time to working toward an advanced degree. I had already attended three or four summer session at Teachers College, Columbia University while I was still at Oberlin, Kansas, and had completed work for my Master's degree through these summer programs. So in the fall of 1933, I became a full time graduate student at Teachers College working for a Ph.D.
YL: Did you get your degrees in family life?
LK: No, I was still going to be a school superintendent. I now saw through thatI could go into the field of education; I didn't have to be a farmer. I did want to assume a leadership role in the field of education, and I felt that by being either a principal or a superintendent this would be possible. So I went for administration. I majored in secondary education and administration, together with courses in psychology, counseling, and sociology. While I was doing this I came to realize that I liked the latter field better than the courses in administration. I did however enjoy my years at Teachers College very much. I had classes under remarkably good instructors, such as E.L Thorndike, P. M Symonds, W.M. H. Kilpatrick, George Counts, Fretwell, and Goodwin Watson. I also met a number of interesting and challenging student peers.
YL: Did you enjoy living in New York City?
LK: Oh, yes! Very much. My time was pretty well occupied by my academic work,but any time off was easily filled by investigating aspects of urban living. This was new to me. I visited the lower Eastside, a poverty stricken area of New York City, the Bronx, Newark and other New Jersey cities. I rode the subway to Long Island and visited some cities in Connecticut as far east as New Haven. I explored the Statue of Liberty, and saw the European immigrants as they disembarked at Ellis Island; and of course, Coney Island. I visited the docks anchoring ocean-going liners, and went aboard several of them. The theater scene was wonderful but limited because of a shortage of funds. I might add that I also had a job in the Teachers College Library, shelving books and doing other routine work.
YL: Then New York City was the center of much of your activity for those years.You were quite curious, weren't you?
LK: Yes, but I think it was more than curiosity. I had come to the point ofseeing myself teaching psychology and sociology to teachers and prospective teachers. It seemed to me that what was learned from a textbook needed to be supplemented by seeing some of the activities described therein. Another way I satisfied this curiosity was to explore, as well as I could, the territory between Oberlin, Kansas and New York City. I was not married and had no family at this time, so I was relatively free to come and go as I chose. The school year at Oberlin was eight months long so I had about six or seven weeks between the time school was out in Oberlin and the summer session began in New York City. What I did was that each summer I would pick a different route so I could see a different section of the country. I wrote Chambers of Commerce, corporations, and educational institutions saying, "I'm going to go through your town at such and such time, and I'd like to visit your factory" or whatever it they had that I would like see. I would spend the six weeks this way, traveling and stopping. One time I left western Kansas and went to Tulsa, Oklahoma and out into the oil fields. I saw the oil barons pumping oil and drilling for it. Then to Hot Springs, Arkansas to see the hot springs and how they were being used for medical purposes, then into Louisiana, where I visited the sugar cane fields. I was at a frog farm, the owner raising frogs so that New Orleans restaurants might have frog legs on their menus. Then on to New Orleans .Here I took a boat trip on Mississippi River, and inspected the old French Quarter. From there I went through Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, the Carolinas to Washington, D.C. and on to New York. Another summer I went through the northern part of the United States, through Minnesota. I visited Minneapolis and St. Paul, and northern Wisconsin. I saw shipping on the Great Lakes, and crossed the United States and Canadian boundary at Sault Ste. Marie Canal connecting Lake Superior and Lake Huron. I went through Canada and down to New York from the north. During these travels I went through a number of factories, for example, textile and steel-- producing factories, and auto-assembling plants. I have visited courtrooms and have toured several penitentiaries.
YL: Well, you said this was more than curiosity. Can you add anything to that comment?
LK: Yes, I think I can. Even while I was an elementary school principal, and ahigh school teacher, I saw the school as existing in a community and as being a community institution. One's education should help one live within the community with a clearer understanding of it, and adjust to the community more effectively. I suppose, too, that this philosophy was another factor which put me into college/university teaching. I know that as I was completing my Ph. D., I went to the Teachers' College Placement Bureau and talked with them about how best to set up my credentials. They talked with me and looked over my academic program and the kind of experiences I had, and then said, "We think that you're better prepared to be an instructor and teacher at the college level than to be an administrator at the secondary level. We would advise you to set up your credentials in terms of that employment goal." After thinking about it, I agreed and so I sought a college/university teaching position. My first offer was a summer session job teaching educational courses at New Mexico State College at Las Cruces, New Mexico. And of course I used this opportunity to visit Arizona, Mexico, and the Indian villages near Santa Fe and Albuquerque. For a full time job I had two offers. One was from Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon, and the other was from the Teacher's College of Connecticut in New Britain, Connecticut. I decided to take New Britain, Connecticut because it was near New York and the eastern part of the country. I was on the staff there for four years. During my first year I was there I lived alone. I was married the summer between my first and second year at the Teacher's College of Connecticut. My wife was the daughter of the Methodist minister at Oberlin, Kansas, and I was Superintendent of the Sunday school and active in church affairs. That is how I met her.
YL: What did you teach when you were a professor at the college? You were notyet in family life, were you?
LK: No, I was not. The Teacher's College of Connecticut was preparing teachers.I taught educational psychology, psychology of adolescence, tests and measurements. I also worked with students who were classroom interns preparatory to becoming public school teachers. I was there four years.
YL: How then did you get interested in family studies?
LK: Well, that goes back to my elementary and high school experience. I havealready told you of two experiences in which I learned a great deal about the importance of family life on children and youth. One had to do with the Y____ children, whose father killed their mother and then committed suicide himself. The other had to do with the boy who was caught picking pockets. Let me give you a third example. This time it involved a boy in the first grade. He was downtown after school one afternoon. He was the son of an itinerant road worker. I don't know whether he was illegitimate. At any rate, the woman who bore him was gone, and the father was now responsible for him. He was now living with a group of men. I was told later that he got razzed by a number of the road workers; because they got a kick out of seeing him angry and upset. That day, on the street, he got very upset about something so he pulled out a knife ran up behind three or four women and stabbed their legs, before he was caught. That happened after school so I didn't have anything or any responsibility for dealing with it. The people with whom he lived dealt with the situation. Later this waif got pneumonia and died. I thought that perhaps this was the best solution if this was to represent the life style he was to lead. Here I have related three instances, all taken from the elementary school age-group, of children whose lives were already potentially severely damaged by the kind of family in which they lived. And the damage was severe enough that it wasn't likely that the usual school programs could do much to help. I saw that the family, whether it presented a good or a bad atmosphere, had a powerful influence on lives. It was this awareness that moved me toward going into family life education.
YL: But we are now talking about a specialization on the family. We have heardmore about you as having specialized in sexual counseling and sex education. They are certainly not one and the same.
LK: Well, of course you are correct in saying they are not one and the same, butthey are closely related in some respects. Let me explain how I moved into the field of human sexuality. I would say that I got into it, first through a personal need. I am a sexual being myself. As I was growing up and as I was an adolescent I engaged in masturbation. I was quite distressed by this for I had read and heard of the disastrous results that came from that "secret vice". I had read somewhere that it might even result in death. However I was not successful in curbing my "solitary sinning", and gradually I became less fearful. Finally I accepted it as an expression about which I had very mixed feelings. I enjoyed it, yet it seemed despicable. So I gave myself up to living within this conflicting situation. Here then was another concern-dealing effectively with sexual behavior. So when I went to college I tried to find hooks which would be helpful, but none really were. They were more accepting of masturbation than some I had read in my boyhood, but not much better.
YL: But how did you get into the sex education field?
LK: I moved into it very gradually. Actually I didn't think of it as sexeducation. I could talk to kids pretty readily. I noted this when I mentioned the boys standing by the door of the elementary school awaiting me, their principal, so they could say, "Hello, Kirk." As a principal I had to talk with pupils about many things, and their families often came into the conversation. I talked with several boys in both elementary and high school who were bothered by masturbation. This opened up the whole sexual realm, particularly for males. I confined myself to boys, for I didn't have the capacity, nor the knowledge or awareness needed for talking to females. Nor did I help the boys any, for I gave them the same old techniques for getting rid of masturbation that I tried myself and found they had not worked. They didn't work for them either, and so I began to think that something was badly wrong about our attitudes towards sexuality. But why didn't parents help their children? Here, then, was another interest, a concern with sexuality, as well as for the family. When I went to Teacher's College for my graduate work. I enrolled in a Sex education class taught by Maurice Bigelow. I think this was the correct title though I am not sure. Perhaps "social hygiene" was the title used; it was common in those days.
Bigelow was an outstanding person and an effective instructor. He had alsopublished a book on sex education. By current standards Bigelow was pretty traditional, as I recall, but he was quite open and ready to move forward. I took his course. Then one day he called me into his office, "I am just about ready to retire," he said, "and I think that courses like this ought to be taught. I don't know of anybody who is interested in doing it. I think you've got the capacity and the interest, and I'd like to encourage you to go ahead. See what you can do to introduce sex education courses and carry forward work in this field." I felt elated over this appraisal so I accepted this as an additional concern. As I have already noted, family and sexuality are tied together, very closely tied together. When I went to Teacher's College of Connecticut, one of the things I did was to bring in speakers who would talk about the family and sexual matters-mostly about the family, because in those days you really didn't talk very much about sex-you talked about family! But there was a man named Paul Popenoe who presided over the American Institute for Family Relations in Los Angeles. I had been in correspondence with him. I invited Paul Popenoe to come to the Teacher's College of Connecticut. He did come to the College, spoke, and stimulated interest in the family and sexuality. Following my interest in sexual matters, I wrote my first book, Sexual Adjustments of Young Men, while I was at the Teacher's College of Connecticut. It was based on what I had picked up in counseling, I continued at the Teacher's College of Connecticut for four years, and then I was employed to be head of the Division of Counseling and Guidance in the College of Education at the University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma. This was a division preparing prospective teachers hoping to do counseling and guidance work with high school students.
YL: What did this program require of you?
LK: Well, of course I taught the courses. Another thing, I went into the highschools to encourage the school authorities to set up guidance and counseling programs. One thing I did, rather on the side, I think will be interesting. The year after I graduated from high school in 1924, the Superintendent, Caleb Smick, whom I have already mentioned, set up an arrangement whereby the typical Halloween activities, which were more mostly stunts pulled by youth, though at times they became destructive activities, were turned into events designed to improve the community. Instead of soaping windows, pushing over outhouses, or begging for food, the purpose was to express concern for community welfare and improve the appearance of the community. Mr. Smick handled it in such a way that it looked like the students had thought of it and organized it from start to finish. Later I was told by one of the student leaders that early in October, Mr. Smick called the football team together and mentioned the business men who had agreed to drive their cars and carry the football players to out-of-town games. That was the way it was done then, rather than employing buses. As he closed his discussion, Mr. Smick noted how much time and money it would cost the business men who had volunteered to do this. Some of the players expressed their appreciation for the sacrifice the business people were making. Then Mr. Smick said, "Yes, of course we should be appreciative. But I suppose, come Halloween, these same men will find their windows soaped or their car tires deflated". Several players saw the incongruity of this behavior and commented that it shouldn't occur. Mr. Smick agreed too that it shouldn't. Then some of the players asked what could be done. Mr. Smick replied that he hoped that something would be done, but really it was up to them. Out of this grew a positive approach to Halloween activities. The males raked lawns and did minor repair work around homes. The girls made cookies and took them to people in hospitals, and shut-ins. After the cleanup period was over, the Chamber of Commerce group invited the students to an evening wiener roast. (And here again I can see the hidden hand of Mr. Smick.) In the years I was on the Oberlin teaching staff I participated in five of these programs, not as a leader, but as worker in the ranks. The plans were worked out by the students and the workers were under their supervision.
YL: Did you plan to work this plan out in Oklahoma high schools?
LK: I planned to work it out as soon as I was in a teaching position, and thatwas before I got to Oklahoma. I tried to introduce it in Connecticut but not so much went on there at Halloween as in the Middle West. Moreover, I found that the school administrators did not have the same confidence in their students that Mr. Smick had in his. Finally, I was probably pretty inept in understanding all that was involved in the Halloween cleanup and in expressing myself. When I went to Oklahoma in the fall of 1941, and went into various communities I discussed this project with high school principals, but after that I told the principals that I needed to work with the students, apart from the administrators. Some assented to this; others did not. Those who did not thought it would be better to keep the kids apart rather than letting them get together. I was successful however in getting students in six high schools to reverse the typical Halloween procedure.
YL: So you did get it to work in Oklahoma!
LK: Yes, but an even greater challenge was ahead, in Denver, Colorado. I havewritten an article about this for an educational journal, School Activities. It was printed in October, 1950. The title of the article was Biography of a Halloween Idea. This idea was explained to a group of high school students from five Denver high schools. They were holding a model student council meeting before the educational delegates at a conference sponsored by the National Association of Student Councils. The topic for discussion was an important one. But I have a copy of the article at hand. Let me read some paragraphs from it to you. The students were discussing how their peers attending the five Denver high schools could "eliminate the vandalism and depredation which occurred during the football season at times when the Denver high schools were football rivals? The discussion revolved about painted walls, clipped hedges, and similar destructive activities. Opinion on procedure was sharply divided. The majority group argued for more policemen and severer penalties for culprits. The minority group insisted that such measures would be ineffective-would indeed aggravate the situation. They failed, however, in having no clearly defined plan of their own. The meeting broke up with no conclusions reached. I had listened with intense interest. Here was an opportunity to put the principles which had been successfully applied in Oberlin and in Oklahoma towns to test in a new situation. When the meeting was over I button-holed Bill Welch, the leader of the minority, and sketched for him the story of the Halloween idea, and my conviction that it could be used to help the situation centering about football rivalry. He persuaded various council members to come together that afternoon to discuss their problem further. In a two and a half hour session, a plan was worked out for meeting the problem of destructive expression of football rivalries. At the same time, this group discussed the principles involved in relation to the Denver Halloween problem. After returning home, I forgot the discussion until November, 1942. Then a message came from Bill Welch. His enthusiastic letter described how the pupils had greatly reduced the objectionable expressions of football rivalry. Then in their enthusiasm they had gone ahead to tackle the Halloween situation. He enclosed clippings from the Denver Post and the Rocky Mountain News of October, 1942, describing the plan of Halloween observance which had been advocated and successfully followed by the Denver high school pupils. The pupils themselves had planned a campaign to eliminate Halloween vandalism, at the same time substituting a program of parties and dances in the various schools. The principles had worked again!
In November, 1946, I was curious to know what had happened to the Denverobservance, so I wrote the Denver chief of police In reply to my inquiries about a constructive Halloween observance in Denver, he replied, '...regarding Halloween depredation,...we have had wonderful results in Denver...It has been of material financial benefit to the city as well as to citizens and owners of private property. We are also positive it has resulted in cutting down injuries occurring in pranks... We have every reason to believe this program will be continued...at least we hope so, as it has been of the nearest help to the Police Department. (signed) A. Hanebuth, Chief of Police.' The program has resulted in reducing the Halloween calls to the police department from over 600 before the program began to less than fifty in 1949. Likewise, the destructiveness and harmful rivalry between the schools at the time of football games has been replace by friendly association and interchange between the student bodies of the schools involved. An amusing sidelight on this experience has appeared on occasions when this plan was described to groups of educators. In an effort to explain essential features, I eliminated all seemingly irrelevant details. I soon learned to expect one question, 'What size community was this?' almost immediately after the close of the discussion. Those who lived in small communities thought this event must have occurred in a large community: those in a large community thought it must have occurred in a small community. The one thing they were certain about was that it couldn't happen in their community. The 1949 observance of the constructive Halloween program was sponsored by the All-City Student Councils with the slogan, 'Fun Without Vandalism'. Following the observance, the Council received a letter of commendation from the Chief of Police, Chief of the Fire Department, and President of the City Council. We quote: 'I am amazed and greatly pleased at how well these student leaders impressed upon their fellow students the fallacy of wanton destruction and jeopardization of the city's welfare." (signed) Allie A. Feldman Chief. Denver Fire Department' Be it resolved that the thanks and appreciation of the people of the City and County of Denver be expressed to the All-City Student Council of the Denver Public Schools for initiating and making the anti-vandalism program successful.' (signed) Cominie Crow, President. The Denver City Council"
YL: Well, you were certainly involved with the community. How long did you stayat the University of Oklahoma?
LK: For two years only. I went there in the summer of 1941, and the Japaneseraid on Pearl Harbor occurred on December 7th, 1941. Even with the war breaking out the first year went off pretty well. The second year, however, we were really in trouble. After the close of the first year, so many students, both men and women, had entered the military service that there weren't too many students left. The university program was secondary in interest to enlisting in the war effort. It became clear that I needed to find something else to do. It so happened that I knew Thomas Parran, Surgeon-General of the United States Public Health Service. He knew of me and what I was doing and he asked me if I would be interested in serving as an educator at the Venereal Disease Education Institute in Raleigh, North Carolina. I accepted, and we moved to Raleigh, North Carolina. My responsibility was to get high school officials interested in and offering programs of sex education. The rationale for this, though it was unspoken, was that it would be one element in combatting venereal disease. It wasn't to make sexual relating any nicer, better or more acceptable. The war was on and rates of venereal infection were climbing. There were two of us who traveled together visiting schools throughout the state - a black man and I. Here I got my initial first-hand information on racism. My black cohort was a nice man but we could not register at the same hotel, nor could he eat with me at Caucasian, or white, restaurants. So I arranged my schedule to eat with him at black or Negro restaurants. I was in North Carolina not too long, less than a year. Then I had a call asking if I would be interested in taking a position in the Office of Education. I accepted it, moved to Washington, D.C., and was on the staff of the U.S. Office of Education. But how did I get the job? Some things I never found out exactly, but I think that Thomas Parran, who was interested in getting all the states to establish programs in sex education, kept pushing J. W. Studebaker, the Commissioner of Education, to do something about sex education. Knowing Studebaker, I think he said, "I'm in agreement with you but we don't have the money." Then Parran replied, "Well, I've got a man on my staff I'll loan to you." Studebaker then couldn't back out.
YL: So that's how you ended up in Washington, D.C.?
LK: That's how I ended up in Washington, D.C. or more accurately we moved toWashington, but I operated nationally from the Office of Education. My position there put me in touch with State Superintendents of Public Instruction and people in the health field throughout the United States. I received invitations from many to come to their state and help them with their programs. While I was with the Office of Education I was invited to and worked in thirty-six different states.
YL: Did you come to Oregon?
LK: Yes, I did. Here I was invited by those in charge of the E.C. Brown Trust, aprivately funded organization, created through a bequest in the will of a Portland physician, E.C. Brown. I was scheduled for several talks in Oregon through the auspices of the E.C. Brown Trust. Futuristically that was all to the good, for when I came to Oregon in 1949 I renewed acquaintance with the Trust officials, and I was soon allied with them in getting family life education programs in three schools, McMinnville, Dallas and Baker. I was responsible for the last two. While I was in the Office of Education, however, my invitations came more from the southern states than elsewhere, for it was there that problems with venereal disease were most obvious. Fewer requests came from the New England states with their Catholic background. The Middle West was a little uncertain about all of this, but I was up and down the West coast several times. But as World War II was approaching its end, Bess Goodykoontz, Assistant Commissioner of Education, called me in and said, "Now that the war is ending, we don't need this program anymore." Her comments reflected again, I feel, that the program was seen as combatting venereal disease as a wartime threat, rather than as one promoting sex education. It also reflected their justifiable concern over potential political criticism. But there was nothing I could do about it. I was out of a job again. I had heard, however, that the Army was setting up GI universities abroad to enroll American soldiers and that they were seeking instructors. The Universities were designed to enable soldiers who were awaiting transportation home, to utilize their time profitably. They were seeking instructors with adequate academic backgrounds so that the courses they offered would be acceptable if later a particular GI wished to continue his education at an American University. Therefore, I called the War Department, and asked them about the Universities and the possibility of getting a job at one of them. They told me that there were to be three universities; one in England, another one in France, and a third one in Florence, Italy. "What could you teach?" I told them I could teach educational subjects and they said, "Well, we are certainly going to have some GIs wanting educational courses. We'll let you know in a few days whether we are interested." I had called them in the forenoon; that afternoon I got a return call. "Would you be interested in going to Florence, Italy, and teaching three courses in educational psychology? My only hesitancy was in leaving my family. Laura, Karen, and Karl were in Topeka, Kansas, visiting her parents. I called her and when I told her what was up she said, "Go right ahead. I will get the kids back to Arlington all right. This will be a remarkable opportunity for learning." That was a wonderful response, though I had expected her to say, "Do whatever you think best."
So I said I would go. However, before I left for Florence I went to Kansas for avisit. A couple of weeks later I boarded a plane and was en route to Florence, by way of the Canary Islands, a stopover at Casablanca, a flight over North Africa, then on to Florence via Naples. I reached Florence about a week before the university was to open on a campus that had housed Mussolini' Aviation School. The authorities had been checking people who wanted certain courses and they had eight GIs who wanted educational psychology, and five instructors qualified to teach the course. The Administrator of the university, an Army officer said, "We'll let you teach three courses in general psychology." I could teach general psychology, but I said, "I'm very much interested in the family and I would like to have one of my three courses on marriage and the family. He assented to that so I hit upon the name Psychology of Marriage for lack of a better term. He assented to this also. I had a week before classes started so I had time to visit with GIs who were enrolled. Our conversation typically went like this: "What are you going to teach?" "I'm going to offer a course in Psychology of Marriage." "Oh, I'm going to be in that class." There seemed to be so much interest that I went to the Administrator and told him what I had been experiencing. I suggested that he let me have all my classes in Psychology of Marriage. Since he really didn't need me in general psychology anyway he was agreeable. I was assigned to a classroom seating just over a hundred. The first day of enrollment, before noon, all three classes were filled. A total of 320 students had signed up. I didn't have any textbook because they hadn't imported any books for a Psychology of Marriage course. I did order a general book on the family which reached Florence about the*time the first term closed. I did ask though that each enrollee write a thoughtfully prepared paper on How My Life in the Army Has Affected My Attitudes and Experiences Toward Marriage, Sex, and the Family. I never really got to read these papers, but I heard one account after another on this topic by those who came in for counseling.
YL: That experience must have had quite an impact. Was the Universityadministrator pleased?
LK: Oh, very much so. When I was about half way through the first term he calledme in and said, "This course is clearly meeting a need of some kind. My proposal is that you take the auditorium which holds about 275 people for the next term, and we'll enroll as many as want to come." I agreed to that and again on the first day, we filled that auditorium three times with over 800 enrolling. I never did get the roll called. The Army didn't care what I taught as long as I took the roll, so I said to the admistrator, "Look, if I take the roll, my whole period will be taken just calling roll. If you want to take to roll, send somebody in to do it." And he did. The person who was responsible for doing that passed sheets along each aisle. But some sheets got lost, names were written illegibly, a few were visitors, so after a few days they too gave up. But, of course, there were the other instructors. When they heard I was going to teach Psychology of Marriage they had a lot of risquÃ© jokes. One of them was, "Is this going to be a lab course?" Once they saw what was happening, however, that atmosphere changed. The thing was, that I was no wiser than anyone else. I didn't know what I was getting into; I really didn't. These men didn't want to talk, they wanted to confess! They wanted catharsis! They had been involved in so many circumstances of one kind and another, but now the war was over, and they wanted to go home. But were afraid to; they didn't know whether to tell people at home what they had been through, how they felt, or what they had experienced. Some had girlfriends, or had been engaged. Their U.S. girlfriends may have ceased writhing them, or the soldiers may never have received the letters. Some engagements had been broken. Others had become involved with Italian women and were wanting to marry them, but the Army was disapproving and forbidding marriages with Italian women, and their parents were siding with the Army. Many of the Italian women wanted this, if for no other reason than it would get them away from war-torn Italy. Some of the males had already produced children. Some had lost their "buddies". I really had no awareness of the intensity that existed in some of these personal relationships, though I could understand it once I became involved in counseling. There were times, particularly in battles, when one's life depended on the alertness of a buddy.
One day a soldier came in, sat down and started to talk concerning circumstancethat involved him and his buddy. They were with the infantry and were pursuing the retreating Germans. At one point the two dropped into a fox hole for shelter, (that is a hole left in the soil by an exploding shell). As they were lying there out of sight, the exchange of rifle fire died; they didn't hear the guns anymore. What were they facing? Had the Army gone ahead and left them behind? Had the Army retreated and left them to face the enemy alone? In order to assess the situation this man's buddy raised his head to see what was about them. As he raised his head, it was shattered by a bullet. Brains gushed out over my counselee's uniform, and as he sat there he once again brushed his buddy's brain from his uniform. And as he did it, he did not cry - he bellowed. I dealt with situations like that, and one of my problems was to keep my own emotions under control. I came, too, to feel the intense stress which so many of my counselees had to cope with. I felt very much the same. My experiences were so intense and demanding that my family in the United States simply receded into the past; they seemed like people I'd known twenty-five or thirty years ago.
YL: Could you not escape that intensity by staying away from the University?
LK: Maybe others could; I couldn't. Certain parts of Florence were completelyruined, particularly along the River Arno. All the bridges crossing the river had been destroyed except the Pont Vecchio. I saw people living on the floor of their apartments with all walls and the roof shot away. People were dying all about you. I remember one day as I was en route back to the United States, traveling from Naples to the Army Headquarters, a few miles outside the city. I didn't start counting funerals, but in the three of four miles we had to travel, we must have passed fifteen or twenty funerals, maybe even more. I came home on the Randolph, an aircraft carrier. I boarded it in Naples, landed in New York, and went to Arlington where my family was. I'll never forget what happened as I stepped into our apartment. I'd been gone just four months, but as I said, it seemed like I had not seen Laura, Karen, and Karl for ages. As I entered the apartment, Karen, who was then about six, ran up grabbed me around the legs and said, "Are you glad to be home, Daddy?" I started to say yes, and instead of that I just broke out bellowing myself. My feelings are still so intense that if I talk about it much more I'll be crying, even now.
YL: You didn't see any other parts of Europe then?
LK: Not then. However in 1958 Laura and I went to Europe and found that in manyplaces you could still see and sense what had happened in the war. I was at Dachau and saw the concentration camp pretty much as it was when being used as a prison for Dews. We saw the gas chambers, the ovens, the shacks where the Jews were housed. We visited the house in Amsterdam where Anne Frank lived, and the city of Dresden, much of it still in ruins. Can you see why I hate war?
YL: Yes, I certainly can. What did you do once you returned home?
LK: First, I didn't have a job, for the University of Oklahoma had not had timeyet to reorganize. However, I did know some people who had been working to develop a teachers union. They had an organization, the American Federation of Teachers. They wanted a book "setting forth desirable goals for American Education and suggesting a program of action designed to assist in attaining those goals." They employed me to write a short book setting forth these goals and possible ways for implementing them. The title of the book was Goals for American Education.
At the same time I was getting considerable newspaper publicity relating to whatI had done in Florence, Italy. The news stories emphasized that I had taught courses in marriage and the family. This, I think, was instrumental in my being offered a position as Director of the Association for Family Living in Chicago. We moved to Chicago and I was there for about two years. I thought when I assumed this position that I would be fully occupied as a family life educator. To an extent I was, but more than that, a highly important duty was to be occupied with fund raising. I was not interested in that, nor was I successful at it. Then in 1948 I received a letter from the Dean of the School of Home Economics at Oregon State, Ava Milam. She was coming to Chicago, and was interested in talking with me about a position at Oregon State University. Dr. Ernest Warrington, a minister on the faculty of the School of Home Economics had been teaching courses in the family, but was now retiring. They were wanting another man for their staff, and they knew that I had been teaching classes in family life, so she would like to talk with me. After talking with her, I was offered the job, I then resigned my directorship of the Association for Family Living, and we were preparing to move to Oregon when I received information that Dr. Warrington wanted to serve one more year. The Oregon people were very upset with the situation, but they felt obligated to Dr. Warrington. "Was there any way I could work it out?"
Just at that time I knew that there was an opening on the YMCA staff at theUniversity of Illinois. They had hired a retired woman, Katherine Whiteside Taylor of Seattle, who was very prominent in the field of child development, to join the YMCA staff and offer courses for University men and women on marriage and the family. She had been there for one year but her approach and background did not fit the needs of university students. So she was moving on to something else. Knowing this. I called the YMCA. They knew enough about me and my background that I was offered the position at once. I explained that I could give them only a year for I had agreed with OSU that if I could find something temporarily, they could put off my coming to the OSU campus for one more year. I would come in 1949 instead of 1948. This arrangement was accepted. My wife and family stayed in Oak Park, a suburb of Chicago, and I commuted to the University. I was there during the week, but home on weekends. It was a very, very satisfying experience. The YMCA authorities turned me loose. They said, "It's your job. Now you work out your program in whatever way seems best." I decided I would work directly with the students whenever I could. So I conferred with the fraternity council, which included representatives from both fraternity and sorority houses. I said in effect "I am from the YMCA. My particular specialty is counseling and leading groups dealing with personal and sexual problems. I'll come to your fraternity or sorority and talk to you about these topics if you wish me to do it. I also have an office and will do counseling if that is wanted." I was just flooded with requests, both to talk at their living quarters and with requests for counseling on matters of personal and sexual adjustment and marriage problems.
Also occasionally I set up workshops and brought in prominent people to dolecturing. For example, I set up a workshop on Problems in the Engagement Period. It was a very enlightening experience for me. My outlook expanded and I enjoyed it tremendously. It was one of the best years of my life. However, at the end of the year we sold our house in Oak Park, packed up and came to Corvallis where I joined the faculty of the School of Home Economics. We rented a house right across the street from Hardin School for that year. It was owned by Dr. and Mrs. Vernon Cheldelin, an OSU faculty member on a year leave of absence. The second year, we rented another house, but in the meantime had started to build a home of our own at 3303 Tyler Street, a home we occupied for the entire time we lived in Corvallis. Our lot bordered the playground behind the Harding School. Karen and Karl could go to school without crossing a street, just by walking across the playground.
YL: When you joined the faculty what professorial rank did you hold, and whatcourses did you teach?
LK: I started as an Associate Professor, I believe. You will have to look in thecatalogue for that year to be sure. I took over the courses in marriage and the family. The introductory courses were FL 222 and FL 223, and the more advance were in the 300 and 400 categories. I was also given some responsibility for assisting graduate students working toward their master or doctoral degrees.
YL: Did teaching spend all of your time or did you do some research as well?
LK: I think in answering that question we should separate writing and research.I did do writing, particular articles for professional journals. That form of writing has always occupied a great deal of my time. In 1970 the E.C. Brown Trust published a monograph that contained around a dozen of the articles I had written up to 1969. It also listed books, pamphlets, and chapters in books that I had written or coauthored.
YL: That brought your writing up to 1969. Are your writings currently updated?
LK: No, not actually, for I'm continuing writing and something new appears fromtime to time. So what is up-to-date today may not be so tomorrow.
YL: Can you estimate how many books, pamphlets, chapters in books, and articlesyou have written?
LK: Well, it is a little hard to classify them, but I usually say twelve books,fifty chapters contributed to books authored by others, twenty to twenty-five pamphlets and monographs, and probably 300 articles. And of course right now I am working on a book which will carry four chapters I've written or have had a hand in writing, and a book of which I am a coeditor.
YL: You're working on a book now?
LK: Yes, I've just been reading proof on it. I've got half of it read and itwill be published by this coming 1984 summer.
YL: And what is this book about?
LK: Its title is Marriage and the Family in the Year 2020. In addition to thefour chapters I've already mentioned, there are eleven other chapters and a total of fifteen contributors. Since this is a futuristic book, all contributors have written as though they were living in 2020.
YL: You weren't writing full time then. How did you divide your time? Did youspend more time writing or lecturing or researching? LK: I guess you'd have to say that I worked all of them in. I'll mention some things that will interest you in regard to my lecturing work and how I handled my classes. When I began teaching at Oregon State, I was the only male on the Home Economics staff. That produced certain problems, particularly for my family, and I think maybe, some problems for the Home Economics staff as well. When I first started teaching the marriage and family relations classes, practically all students were female. Now and then maybe a girl would wangle a boy that she was going with into coming to class with her. I felt, however, that if I was to teach these courses I needed males in the classes. So following my experience at the University of Illinois, I devised a way for enrolling men. I went to the Fraternity Council where I said, "Look, I would like to come to your fraternities and talk with you about marriage and moving into marriage-your engagement period, your dating problems and sexual concerns. Let me know what you're interested in and I'll try to deal with it." So I began to get requests immediately, and I think before long I was in practically every fraternity on the campus. Furthermore, males began to enroll in the marriage and family life classes. In perhaps four or five years, we came to the point where there would an equal number of males and females in some classes. I think that these classes have continued to interest males and that it is now expected that they will enroll in the marriage and family relations classes. The assimilation of males was somewhat of a problem with the staff, however. They hadn't dealt with men and they didn't quite know how to relate to them.
YL: So this was one of the problems that came from your teaching procedures?
LK: Yes, though not a serious one. It was simply getting used to having menaround. I think a more serious problem was that the staff had never taught about sexual issues and really did not feel at ease with the fact that they were sometimes discussed in my classes. Sexual matters never came up in clothing and textiles or in foods and nutrition.
YL: Sexual issues have always been controversial. How did you handle them? Didyou have problems within the group or with the administration?
LK: I think that the staff members of the School of Home Economics just didn'tknow how to talk about these subjects so they just bypassed them and let me go ahead. I can't be positive about that, but at least I didn't have any particular trouble. I do know that one time Dean Milam was with my wife, Laura, and Laura told me later that Dean Milam said to her, "Do you believe all that stuff your husband teaches?" If they felt that way about it, there must have been some opposition. But as I said, I don't think they knew how to talk about it. Practically all of them were single women and they didn't quite know how to relate to families. My wife felt that she was pretty much isolated because most of my faculty peers were unmarried and had no children. How to make our family an intricate part of the social life of the School of Home Economics was a problem, particularly to begin with.
YL: Was there any problems elsewhere in the University?
LK: No, not really. I am sure that I had support at the higher levels,administratively. In about 1960 I initiated a course in Human Sexuality. I figured that there might be a lot of protests, so I went to A.L. Strand who was then OSU President. I talked to him about my courses and the teaching procedures I was following. I told him that in class I talked very frankly. Also I broke the class into small groups and they would get into discussions about different topics, many of which were not ordinarily talked about. I wanted him to know my teaching procedures, and I told him that I would get in touch with him in case anything came up that I thought might produce antagonism or generate a protest. He was pleased that I came to him. I remember one experience I had with my marriage classes before I had a course in Human Sexuality. I heard about a film which was quite explicit in explaining how to use contraceptives. It showed how to adjust a diaphragm, and how to use a condom.
YL: Did you show it to your classes?
LK: Well, I looked at it privately to decide if I should. I knew that some ofthe students were involved in intercourse so I thought they really needed the information. I decided to show it, so I told my marriage classes that I had this film. I said it was quite explicit in regard to putting on and fitting contraceptives. I didn't want anybody to feel that they were compelled to see the films so I would show it at five o'clock and seven o'clock and they could come or not, as they wished. In retrospect that arrangement seems very naive and arranged for exactly what happened when I did show it. Anyway, when five o'clock arrived I had students from the marriage class and many others besides. The room was jammed, students had been telling everybody else about the film. I didn't, feel I could withdraw the film, so before starting it I stood before the group and said, "Look, this film was brought here for members of the marriage classes and many of you are not enrolled in these classes. Just for the sake of the record, I want to say to the rest of you that you are not welcome." I then went ahead and showed it. At seven o'clock it was impossible to get them all in the room. The next day I went over and told President Strand what had happened. He laughed. He was very much on my side, and it might very well have been that there were protests that came to Strand from the staff, even from the general public, but he still supported me. I have an idea that was the case for sometime later, when Strand was retiring, he called me and asked me to come over to his office. I went over and he said he just wanted me to see a letter which had been sent to him from Governor Mark Hatfield, or rather a letter which had been sent to Mark Hatfield and which was a protest against me. Strand had already replied to Hatfield in a way which supported me.
YL: Was it written by a parent?
LK: That I'm not sure about. I think probably so. Anyway, Strand showed me theletter and his reply, then he smiled and said, "I just wanted you to know that I've had more protests against you than all the rest of the faculty put together!"
YL: Do you think it was because President Strand was on your side that you wereable to do all the things you did?
LK: Oh, unquestionably so. The number of protests against me was probablyincreased because I had so many female students. I think it helped a great deal as the number of males in my classes increased. Actually during that period while I was not regarded as a counselor, my counseling clientele expanded, particularly among males. It was the demand for more information which led me to establish a course in Human Sexuality; probably about 1960. I think it probable that I was the first college-level instructor to establish such a course. One time I was in a meeting where James McCary of the University of Houston, who taught courses in Human Sexuality at his University, told the group that, "I taught the first course in human sexuality in 1965." If these dates are correct then I preceded him by about four years.
YL: In your travels across the nation did you find that attitudes toward sexeducation varied from east to west. Did you notice much change?
LK: Well, when I was working with the Office of Education, I got many morerequests from the southern states to come there and help them set up sex education programs. I came to believe that they were more open to setting up sex education program because they had to deal with venereal disease much more than other sections of the country. The New England states were the least interested. I received fewer invitations to go there, and I think it was because its value system was predominantly Catholic. And then, of course, the central portion of the country, particularly once you got to Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and Colorado, was quite fundamental in their religious concepts. On the west coast, they were much more relaxed. I suspect that many of the people who settled the west were themselves footloose and receptive to change.
YL: You have traveled in other countries. Did you notice differences in attitudetoward sexual matters in Japan, Scandinavia, or in any of the other countries you visited?
LK: Oh yes! My wife and I have been to Europe six times I've been all overEurope, not once, but several times. People living in the Scandinavian countries are quite open in acknowledging their sexuality. People living in central Europe are reasonably open also. In Italy the men get close enough to the women to pinch them, but they don't talk about anything sexual. I've been in Israel three or four times and they are quite open and educationally concerned. I have worked in three different sexuality workshops there. I was in Japan and helped the Japanese establish the Japanese Association for Sex Education. They were quite relaxed and were hoping to set up sex education programs in the schools. I was in Japan for seven weeks in 1971, and later I went to Hong Kong and the Philippines, all the time lecturing on the importance of sex education. Then in 1980 the Japanese invited me back to an anniversary celebration for their Association. I returned and spoke to several of their groups. I think the major problem which lies ahead is to set up social and cultural situations where both men and women are able to realize the fulfillment of their potentialities and can relate to each other as individuals rather than as members of opposing sexual groups. Sex education for most societies is ready to go beyond physiology.
YL: Tell us something more about your relation to the rest of the H.E. staff,and to the graduate students. I recall that the Dean who employed you was Ava Milam and that at the time you came to Oregon you were the only male instructor on the staff.
LK: Correct, though I was on the staff for twenty years, 1949 to 1969, and Iserved under five Deans - Ava Milam, Vera Brandon, Miriam Scholl, Margaret Fincke, and Betty Hawthorne. I would like to add a comment about Ava Milam. She was a peripatetic Dean, traveling from time to time to other countries, and wherever she went she recruited students. The result was quite a cosmopolitan student body in the School of Home Economics-a situation much to my liking. Then the number of male instructors has increased. While I was still teaching, Phil O'Neill and Dell Schalock came on the staff, and after I retired Arthur Gravatt, Rodney Cate and Alan Sugawara were employed also. Now I think men are employed in all departments, men I have never met and know nothing about. I think this is significant for it heralds the breakdown of the long-existing occupational lines which have long separated males and females. As to my graduate students, the following are ones for whom I've been their major advisor. The first student for whom I served in that capacity was a Chinese women, recruited by Dean Milam. Her name was Lu Chen Yu. After her degree was awarded she became an instructor at Indiana University, Indiana, Pennsylvania. Another one of my graduate students I'm sure you know well, Arthur Gravatt. Perhaps you have even had classes with him. Larry Barnett took his master's degree at Oregon State and then decided he wanted to go into law so he went to the University of Florida and studied law there. Now he is a professor of law at Widener University, University of Delaware. Ben Ard also took his master's degree at Oregon State, but not his doctorate. He is a counselor at the University of San Francisco, and is the author of a recently published book, Living without Guilt and Blame. Another was Wes Adams. He received his doctorate at the University of Alberta in Edmonton.
He's been on the staff there for some time, and has been quite active andprominent, I think, in Canadian activities, deryk calderwood (he spells his name without capitals. He says that when he was growing up his family was so poor they could not afford capitals) is on the staff at New York University. He has acted as major advisors for a number of graduate of students. In addition to teaching the courses in human sexuality at New York University, he has set up arrangements whereby for the past ten or twelve years he's taken a group of students each summer to a different country for a summer session program. His summer session groups have visited Sri Lanka, Kenya, and they have gone to Sweden on several different occasions. I visited Derek and his students one summer when they were at Uppsala, Sweden. I happened to be there when they were staging a male beauty contest, and so got in on that, but I did not win the contest. The contest was staged to show how beauty contests tend to make persons into objects. Luther Baker took his doctorate at OSU, and he is at Central Washington University at Ellensburg. He has been there a number of years, and was at one time in charge of their Department of Home Economics. Helen Hartness, who also received her doctorate from OSU, was for many years a teacher at Lewis and Clark College. She has now retired from teaching, and lives in Portland. In those days, money was easier to come by than it is now, and each academic School, including the School of Home Economics, was allocated a certain amount to bring in speakers if they wished.
Most of the divisions in the School of Home Economics were handling courseswhich would not particularly profit from bringing in speakers. So over and over again their money was allocated to me. I brought Jessie Barnard, who wrote the Future of the Family; Reuben Hill, who was very prominent in the field of family relations; Margaret Mead and Robert Havighurst from the University of Chicago; Joseph Fletcher, who was and is very concerned about the moral issues and how to arrive at soundly conceived moral judgments. This is explained in his book, Situation Ethics; David Mace, who was once the Director of the American Association of Marriage Counselors. Mace is a citizen of England but has lived in the United States for many years. David, more than anyone else I know is a world-renowned speaker, having lectured in nation after nation; he is also a prolific writer. In these efforts he has been ably assisted by his wife, Vera. Alfred Kinsey and his research associates came to the campus also. Alfred Kinsey-I was not responsible for bringing him to Corvallis, though I was well acquainted with him. While he was here/my wife and I planned a dinner for him and his associates and invited several students and faculty to be there to meet Kinsey. Just before he came, I bought a guest book to be signed by individuals who were our guests. Kinsey's name is second in the guest's listings.
YL: Well, that seems like an interesting and exciting contribution to campuslife. A bit ago, though, we asked if you did any research but we never got to that part of the question. Did you have time for any research?
LK: I am really not research-oriented, though I did help my graduate studentswith theirs. The one research project I did pursue, however, was published as a book, and its publication certainly had interesting consequences. I am referring to the book, Premarital Intercourse and Inter personals Relationships, Even before the time I started teaching my course on human sexuality, the strong restrictions against sexual intercourse prior to marriage were being relaxed among teenagers and college-level youth. It was still strong among their parents and other older persons. But access to contraceptives, more references in the literature to sexual relating, and more freedom for the discussion of potential outcomes led to more sexual relating. And both in my classes and in counseling, questions concerning sexual intercourse came up over and over. I knew from the discussions I had that the outcomes of such relating were quite varied. Some were disastrous in their consequences; other couples engaged in intercourse seemed to become closer and more loving toward one another. I felt the need for authentic information based on objective studies, and a realistic context within which to appraise sexual associations. I felt that the real determinant of the outcome rested in the quality and nature of the interpersonal relationship a couple had created. So I tested my assumptions in some preliminary interviewing, and found that my hypothesis seemed to be sound. Therefore, I decided that I would turn this into a research project.
At this point I felt I needed to present this proposal to A.L. Strand, the OSUpresident, whom I have already mentioned. Such a project might well have negative repercussions. When I explained it to him, and this was probably 1955 or 1956, Dr. Strand agreed that such a research project, if properly done, should be very worthwhile. He was, however, aware that strong criticism could easily arise and that he might be called upon to disapprove and dismantle the research. So he had one suggestion to make. He felt that antagonistic attitudes were much more likely to arise as a consequence of interviewing females. He thought I might go along for sometime discussing personal sexual activities and patterns with females and no criticism would occur. Then some young woman would be highly antagonized by being asked if she had participated in intercourse, or she might tell her parents that she had been asked such a question. They might in turn be horrified and descend upon Strand, demanding that he put an end to such research. His solution was that he would support my research, but that it should be confined to males. If that was the case, he felt he would be in a much better position to defend the research project and me as a researcher. I felt that position was sound, and that the stipulation he had suggested made sense. So I agreed to confine my research interviews to male. This I did, and moved forward with the study. I did most of the interviewing in 1957 and 1958, tabulated the data and prepared the manuscript in 1959 and 1960, found a publisher, and the book came off the press in 1961.
YL: What were your conclusions? Did they fit the pattern you expected?
LK: Essentially, yes. I have a copy of the book at hand. Let me read the closingsentences from the final chapter where I am discussing the integration of sexuality into interpersonal relationships. They read as follows "...responsible sexual behavior and satisfying interpersonal relations are closely linked: as one finds satisfaction in his interpersonal associations and in his sex role, his sexual behavior patterns are influenced. This is, of course, in keeping with the underlying assumption of this study..." Perhaps this brings us nearer, too, to a definition of the kind of love that needs to undergird our sexual practices. The statement is frequently made that sex should be exercised within a context of "love". "Love" is usually taken to mean a romantic love, a surging emotional attachment between male and female. The writer regards this as a restrictive and limiting definition of love. The concern for interpersonal relationships, the central concern of this study, greatly enlarges the scope and meaning of love. Sex standards, genuinely set within the framework of this broader concept of love, will not go far wrong.
YL: I have been told that your approach was unique in that, whereas mostresearchers avoided a consciously contrived value framework, your research was set squarely within one.
LK: Yes, that is true. You see I did this study, not because I was simply aresearcher, but because I was seeking to provide meaningful answers to questions which my students were forever raising in class, and particularly in personal counseling sessions. They were such questions as these: "Is premarital intercourse right or wrong, and why?" "Will having sexual intercourse strengthen a relationship?" "If two persons agree to engage in sexual relations, what then makes it wrong?" My earlier disposition would have been to answer these questions with the comments I heard as I was growing up, but I knew this would not satisfy anyone. I had students from time to time from varied backgrounds, worldwide. I needed an approach that would, at the same time, include everyone. This turned me to a study of interpersonal relationships, for I was convinced then, and even more so now, that effective interpersonal relations are necessary if a person is to survive, to say nothing of surviving pleasurably. This approach becomes more meaningful day by day as the globe becomes more congested, in essence smaller, and more impacted with people. Thus the need for effective interpersonal relations is necessary for the survival of humankind as well. So I began trying to fit all ethical and moral situations into this framework, not simply those relating to sexual issues, but to all aspects of behavior.
YL: But this point is not a new one. People have known this for a long time. Howdid you make it applicable to sexual matters?
LK: Well, it took me some little time to do this, but finally I evolved astatement which set forth my value framework and made sense to me. It also made sense to my students whether they were male or female; American, Japanese, German, South African; black, Oriental, or Caucasian; Christian, Buddhists, Islamic or apart from any religious faith. It made sense whether applied to couple associations, family living, or to national or international affairs. I used this as my value framework and it appears in the introductory chapter of Premarital Intercourse and Interpersonal Relationships.
YL: Wow! You could write a book on that!
LK: Yes, and that is exactly what I did. The thing is, that I applied it tosexual relating, but not to other aspects of human behavior. But let me read the value framework within which I conducted the research. This is what it says:
"Whenever a decision or a choice is to be made concerning behavior, the moraldecision will be the one which works toward the creation of trust, confidence, and integrity in relationships. It should increase the capacity of individuals to cooperate, and enhance the sense of self-respect in the individual. Acts which create distrust, suspicion, and misunderstanding, which build barriers and destroy integrity, are immoral. They decrease the individual's sense of self-respect, and rather than producing a capacity to work together, they separate people and break down the capacity for communication."
This concept can be put in chart form. When it is, it reads this way: "Basis forMoral Judgements. Those actions, decisions and attitudes are 'Right-Moral/Wrong-Immoral' which produce 1. Increased capacity to trust people/Increased distrust of people, 2. Greater integrity in relationships/Deceit and duplicity in relationships, 3. Dissolution of barriers separating people/Barriers between persons and groups, 4. Co-operative attitudes/Resistant, unco-operative attitudes, 5. Enhanced self-respect/Diminished self-respect, 6.General attitudes of faith and confidence in people/Exploitive behavior toward others, 7. Fulfillment of individual potentialities and a zest for living/ Thwarted and dwarfed individual capacities and disillusionment.
YL: Then how did you apply that value concept to sexual relating?
LK: I handled it this way. I set up a range of categories into which the sexualexperiences my subjects would be describing might be classified. They were set up according to the characteristics of the partner, and were as follows: 1.Prostitute, 2.Pick-up, 3. Casual acquaintances dated for purpose of engaging in intercourse, 4. Dating partner who soon accepted intercourse, 5. Dating partners for whom considerable emotional attachment was felt before intercourse occurred, and fiancÃ©es. I then interviewed 200 college males who related 668 sexual liaisons, which were then categorized. From these data, the conclusion I read a bit ago was derived.
YL: Well, I have glanced through your book, and I must say that I was somewhatsurprised at the amount of frankness and openness displayed by your subjects. How did you get them to talk so freely?
LK: Well, I don't know for sure myself, but I think perhaps it was because Ialways tried to convey the idea that I was there to help the students anyway I could, and that we were partners in an enterprise. In my marriage and family life classes I tried to organize them around student needs. For the second class period following the opening meeting, I asked all students to hand in a paper indicating what they hoped to get from the class. I read these papers at once, making suggestions as to whether that objective was practical, and if I could, I suggested readings, or methods of procedure. I outlined class activities and discussions on topics that seemed of major concern. We did not have a single textbook, but I did ask the bookstore to stock five or six books which could be regarded as texts. Then each student was asked to purchase the one which most clearly met his/her needs. No final exam was given but everyone was asked to turn in a paper at the end of the term that bore particularly on the subject that they had picked as significant to their own adjustment. Another thing I did when my classes were smaller, was to evaluate each paper on its merits. I listed positive or/and negative views, but I did not put on a letter or numerical grade. I told the class that at the end of the term and when the class was over, I would have to send grades to the registrar. But before I sent them/I would post them and each person could see what I was expecting to transmit. If any student disagreed with the letter grade I was planning to send to the registrar, they could see me about it and bring any evidence that would bolster their position. If I could concur with the student, I would change the grade. Not many came, but when they did I usually found that, unbeknown to me, they had accomplished something I knew nothing about. Twice I had students say that their grade was too high; they should have a lower grade. I think it was the rapport I established with the students which made it possible for them to discuss almost any personal subject with me.
YL: Well, you said a bit ago that working on your research project had otherinteresting consequences. What had you in mind?
LK: What I had in mind was the avenues it opened up for speaking, forinvitations to serve on organizational boards and participate in workshops, and to be asked to assist in building school sex education programs. Actually during the years that followed the publication of the book, I was scheduled to speak in all parts of the United States. I have now spoken in all fifty states and in a number of other countries. I have conducted or participated in workshops in England, Israel, and the Philippines. I went to Japan where I spent five weeks lecturing to groups, urging them to organize an organization to promote sex education-which they did.
YL: We have given quite a bit of time to examining what happened to you withinOSU while you were on the faculty from 1949 to 1969. I think we should take the same period of time and look at your involvements in the local, state, national, and international communities, I'm sure that things must have been going on in some of those four communities beyond your OSU activities?
LK: Well, in the Corvallis community I was a participant in certain activitiesrather than assuming a leadership role. I did work some with instructors at the high school level, helping them to develop a course in family living, and I belonged to the Kiwanis club for a time. We also attended the Unitarian Fellowship occasionally. My involvement with the statewide activities were a little more demanding. Shortly after coming to Oregon, I set up ties with the E.C. Brown Trust and this connection became very interesting and quite demanding. The Brown Trust, as you may know, was provided for in a will arranging for the disposition of funds left by a medical physician, E.C. Brown. He died in 1939. He specified that the money should be used in Oregon to promote programs which would strengthen family life, emphasize sex education, and challenge or affirm existing values. I worked with two directors, Adolph Weinzril and Curtis Avery At the time I was most involved, the Trust (later designated as the E.C. Brown Foundation) was interested in helping schools set up programs emphasizing family life and sex education. Three cities had been selected as sites for them -McMinnville, Dallas, and Baker. The last two were my particular responsibility and during that time I made frequent trips to these cities, particularly Dallas. A trip to Baker took quite a bit of time. I was also minimally involved with Planned Parenthood at this time.
YL: Were you involved in activities at the national level?
LK: Oh yes, much more so than at the state and local level. The way that thiscame about was that I attended and often spoke at national conferences and conventions, plus being asked to serve on Boards directing national organizations. Would it be helpful to cite some of the groups with whom I have been affiliated?
YL: Yes, please do.
LK: Well, I worked quite closely with the National Council on Family Relations,serving on its Board of Directors at various times. At one time I was a candidate for the presidency, but thank heaven I was defeated in that race, which so far as I was concerned was not a race. I was also chairperson for the N.C.F.R.'s national committee on Education for Marriage and Family Life in the Schools. At another time I was appointed to be on the Committee on Adolescence, sponsored by the Children's Bureau of U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. I was a consultant for the Program on Human Sexuality at the University of Minnesota for several years. I have also served various magazines and journals in various capacities-consultant being on their board of advisors, and as a critic of articles under consideration for publication. My major emphasis has been in the field of human sexuality. One of my early experiences came in the late 1950s when I was asked by Hugo Gernsback, editor of the magazine, Sexology, if he could list me on his board of advisors. He wanted to have some professional persons on the board, but every professional person he had approached, but one, had refused. Sexology was regarded as a pornographic magazine because of its titillating covers and some of the articles it carried. I wanted to maintain my respectability, however, so I kept refusing the continued overtures that Mr. Gernsback was making. One day when I was in New York City, Mr. Gernsback took several hours to explain his position and why he had extended the invitation. He was quite aware of the existing criticism among professional academicians. The battles he had waged with the Post Office Department to keep Sexology mailable showed clearly the power and drive of the groups opposed to Sexology, as well as the power and drive of Mr. Gernsback to maintain its publication. But why did he not change the orientation of the magazine? Because, he said, he was trying to reach readers who thought of sex in risquÃ©, lascivious terms. His readers were persons who bought their magazines at news-stands; so far as he could tell, their educational level was low and they ordinarily did not subscribe to magazines. Their attitudes toward sex influenced their decision to buy the magazine; they responded to its titillating covers or a provocative article.
Mr. Gernsback said he saw no other magazine designed for this group. But thesepeople, too, both needed and wanted to understand their own sexuality. Mr. Gernsback also owned and published several other magazines explaining various technological aspects of communication through radio and other devices. Sexology was the only magazine which dealt with any aspect of human behavior. Furthermore, with the battles he had to fight with the Postal Department, it was a loser financially. His other magazines had to provide money to keep Sexology going. Mr. Gernsback said he disliked the shallowness of some of the Sexology articles in the magazine. He was constantly trying to deepen the insights of his readers by including articles that were incisive and conveyed accurate information. However, he had trouble getting professionals to write for the magazine. He did not particularly like the titillating covers either, and he had at times listed the articles on the cover page without any titillating photos on the covers. When he did, sales dropped drastically, and he had to return to the old format. He was hoping to get professional persons on his advisory board who understood the situation and would contribute articles. Nor would any agree to serve on his board of consultants.
When I still demurred, Gernsback raised a question. Suppose I were a physicianwho disapproved of drinking alcohol and was called to give medical aid to an intoxicated man who had fallen and broken his leg. "Would you help him?" I said I would. Then he won my consent by saying, "Do you not, as an educator, have to start with people where they are? If your ideas are good, do you not want them to get to all who need them?" He added, "It is my impression that you professional people write to impress each other, not to educate the masses. That is the purpose of your professional journals." That did it; I agreed to become a consultant and a contributor. A verification that this was the right decision came a few years later. More professional persons associated themselves with Sexology and contributed articles, as I did. Then in 1968 and 1970, Isadore Rubin, a Sexology editor, and I selected several Sexology articles written by professionally oriented persons. They were assembled in two books, Sex Education for Adolescents and Sex Education for Children, and published by Association Press. These books received laudatory reviews by professionals, some of whom I am sure disapproved of Sexology as a magazine.
YL: That was quite an interesting experience. It helps to build a perspectivefrom which sexological magazines can be viewed, doesn't it?
LK: For Sexology, under Gernsback, yes. But for some others I'm not so sure. Ihave been on the board of advisors for two other sexological magazines, Playboy, and Forum, and I have contributed one article to Hustler. I got into trouble with Playboy over their center spreads. Always, it seemed to me, the center spread pictured a young, demure maiden in a titillating posture. Seeing these month after month one comes, I suspect, to think of women at that stage of life as sex objects, not as a person. I wrote Playboy, suggesting that they use a portrait of a middle-aged or older woman, or of one ready to birth a child. Evidently that did it. From them on I was off the advisory list. Forum seems to me to be reaching somewhat the audience as Sexology. Hustler has aroused no interest; perhaps because I have gone through this tangle of emotions so often that it no longer appeals to me.
YL: Do you have other national experiences you would like to mention?
LK: I think it would be worthwhile to note that I have been quite involved withcertain other organizations not yet mentioned. I was one of the founders of SIFCUS, the Sex Information and Education Council of the United States. This is the way that came about. In the late 1950s, I was in Sweden, and while there I visited the RSFU, their National Association for Sex Education. I visited similar organizations in Denmark and The Netherlands. I came away thinking that we should have a similar organization in the United States. In 1961 I attended a conference sponsored by the North American Conference on Church and Family at Greenlake, Wisconsin. Here I met Mary Calderone and told her of my experience abroad and of my visits to the sex education organizations in Sweden, Denmark, and. The Netherlands. From our conversation, we agreed that the United States need such an organization also. Out of that came SECUS, with Mary Calderone as the first Executive Director. Several organizations, as offshoots of SIECUS, have been started. Another major organization that formed a couple of years after SIECUS the American Association of Sex Educators and Counselors, later revised to be the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists. I was Vice-President of this group for several years. And finally, for several years in the late 1960s and the early 1970s, I was the target for the John Birch Society, opponents of anything that recognized human sexuality. Wherever I went in the United States to speak they were in my audience. I could almost always pick them out; two people would be sitting together and carrying a tape recorder I used to say that they were taping me so they could "misquote me accurately!" And that's exactly what they did, they "misquoted me accurately". At that point they labeled me as an atheist, a communist, a threat to society. These epithets changed over time. I was labeled with whatever negative term was most in vogue at that particular moment. The most recent one has been that I am a secular humanist. Once I listed the different descriptive phrases that had been used to describe me. They added up to eight; more if I listed those that were unpublishable.
YL: And at the same time you were also writing articles, doing research andpreparing a book. Were you writing anything else?
LK: Oh, yes, some pamphlets to be read for the information they contained. Theywere published by Science Research Associates and Public Affairs Pamphlets. Now and then there was a chapter for some book. I will try to get you an updated bibliography of my publications. I am often cited as a prolific writer, but I think it only fair to say that I've had much help. Some of those who helped are listed as coauthors. Others have joined me in discussion groups or class exchanges and have thrown in new ideas, or suggested needed revisions in ideas I was advancing.
YL: You have commented on what you have done locally, within the state, andnationally while you were at OSU. Let's turn to the international scene. Is there anything you would like to add there? You have already cited your experience counseling American GIs in Italy, but that was before you came to OSU.
LK: Yes, I would like to add something. While I have attended a number ofinternational conferences and have presented papers, I have regarded this as more or less incidental to a larger goal, namely to use international travel to enlarge my breadth of global awareness and that of my family as well. And this did begin with my trip to Italy to work in the Army University there.
Before my retirement from OSU, my international contacts, as far as I canremember, practically all came through travel, either in Canada, Mexico or Europe. Travel to Western Canada was easy-it was so close at hand. And my trips through Eastern Canada did not take me beyond Montreal. So, for all practical purposes, a Canadian trip was like one in the United States. Mexico was somewhat different. I have been there twice. My first trip was to Mexico City with an Airstream caravan in 1961. Laura was teaching and could not get a leave of absence so my mother accompanied me. This was a leisurely trip and was valuable to me for I got a taste of another culture-Hispanic-much less devoted to technology, much more concerned with handicrafts and non-corporate business arrangements. Our four or five European trips were by far the most interesting because of the way we planned them. Laura accompanied me on several of them. Our objective was to meet and get acquainted with people living in various European countries. If the Leaning Tower of Pisa or Westminster Abbey got in our way, well and good-we would visit them. But our first objective was to find friends abroad. To do this I talked with a number of OSU students who either lived in Europe or knew people who did. I told each the principal purpose of our forthcoming European trip, and ask if he/she could help us make contacts where we could make friendly calls in Europe. Our plan was to go to Wolfsburg, Germany buy a VW, and travel about Europe on our own. This plan worked out very well, for we might start out with from fifteen to eighteen invitations to stop at various homes.
After we got there and our initial hosting person or persons met us, moreinvitations were offered. So both, on our first and later trips, almost all of our time was taken in visiting people, either new friends or old friends. Before Laura and I called upon any hosting family, we registered at a hotel or a guest house where we could get bed and breakfast so that the family that planned to host us did not feel they had to house us as well. Yet many times the response was for us to cancel our reservations and stay with the family. We visited a number of the families more than once and members of a few of the families have visited us in the United States. Another thing we did locally but with international implications for our family was to invite students from other countries to our home, often for meals; always to enable them to meet us, and for us to get acquainted with them. We sought to establish a sense of internationalism and racial acceptance within our family.
YL: We seem to have covered the twenty-year period during which you were on theOSU staff, so perhaps we should move into your retirement period. You retired in 1969, did you not?
LK: Well, I would like to word that a bit differently. Come 1969, and I was nolonger on the OSU payroll. I had been giving OSU less time for several years. My speaking engagements took more and more of my time, so that I was less and less available for the demands made by Oregon State. The last school year that I was a fulltime (100%) professor was 1965-1966. In 1966-67 I was 75% fulltime, in 1967-68 halftime, and in 1968-69 I was 25% fulltime. At that point I was no longer in the classroom; the time given to OSU was devoted entirely to helping graduate students. So my wife and I moved to Milwaukie, a suburb of Portland, in 1968. I was still receiving many lecture engagements so I was on the road a great deal. I still maintained my ties with my graduate students, and at the same time continued with my writing.
YL: Were talks mainly on sexual matters?
LK: Yes. The topic I was often scheduled to discuss was "The Sexual Revolution".The strict barriers forbidding sexual relating between unmarried couples, extramarital sexual relations, and the use of sex as an intimate or a recreational experience were breaking down. This was not so greatly different from practices in years past and/or in other cultures where a greater tolerance existed toward sexuality than has been the case in ours. So I often began my lecture by saying that what most people called a sexual revolution was not really one at all. The people, proclaiming that there was a sexual revolution were entranced with frequency figures-how many could do what, when! But I said, I could tell them what would make a sexual revolution. And then I would suggest that a real sexual revolution would come when we got our sexuality so thoroughly integrated into our social concepts and our patterns of living that the long-existing male-dominant, female-subordinate arrangement was discarded in favor of one which permitted both males and females to achieve their full potentialities. And of course there were other integrating concepts. Humans are sexual beings, lifelong, from birth till death. Sexual matters are already highly politicized. In an integrated society we need sex education programs for citizens, particularly voters. A moral/ethical code is needed which will evaluate sexual conduct by the same criteria as are other behavioral experiences And one could go on and on.
YL: As I recall you suffered a heart attack. Wasn't it about this time?
LK: Yes, it was in September 1969. I was just pushing myself a little too hard.My wife and I had received an invitation to join the World Campus Afloat which was going to leave New York in September. I was working feverishly to finish some writing I was doing plus assembling books and other materials I planned to take with me on the ship. One afternoon I got the books packed and labeled so they could be expressed to New York the next morning. That evening around ten o'clock or eleven o'clock I had the attack, and of course the trip was off. This was a major disappointment for both Laura and me, though positively I think I have recovered from it completely. I see no ill effects on my health whatever. But oh, how I hated to miss that trip!
YL: Dr. Gravatt tells me that the two of you have been working on a book. Canyou tell us a bit about it?
LK: Dr. Gravatt and I are editing a book called Marriage and the Family in theYear 2020. We have also written two chapters together. One is Chapter one, "Looking Toward the Year 2020". This is essentially a prologue, an introduction to the chapters to follow. Our second chapter is Chapter three ,"Marriage and the Family: Styles and Forms". I have also authored Chapter nine with Michael E. Perry, "The Transition from Sex to Sensuality a.td Intimacy", and also Chapter thirteen, "Family Options, Governments, and the Social Milieu: Viewed from the 21st Century" Each writer writes as though he/she was living in 2020, and is describing conditions as they exist then. The book is to be published by Prometheus Books, Buffalo, New York.
YL: Yes, but that is thirty-six years in the future. Will there be a family then?
LK: We get that question over and over. Of course there will be. The thing thatconfuses people is that they think of the family as the nuclear family-parents with 2.6 children, living in a detached home in a suburban area, probably with the father working downtown and the mother at home supervising the household and caring for the children. We will have numerous family forms in 2020, and one is likely to live in several different ones in one's lifetime. More families will remain childless, in others the woman may be the principal financial provider. The cohabiting arrangement will likely be fully accepted, and if formalized marriage does occur it is likely to come when a child is on the way, or has arrived. There will be some group families. If, in the later years of life, women continue to outnumber men, perhaps polygyny will be increasingly accepted.
YL: Well, since you have specialized in matters of sexuality, what do youforesee as affecting sexual behavior? Will sex still be around in 2020?
LK: Well, I'm not sure we'll use the exact phraseology to which we areaccustomed, but certainly there will be genital uniting. I'm hassling over words because certain technological developments may well effect our semantics. Perhaps you noticed that I titled one of my chapters "The Transition from Sex to Sensuality and Intimacy." There was a reason for that. Sexual connections are being used less and less for reproduction and more and more for pleasure and intimacy. When I was growing up there was little or no reference to the "sex" organs. They were always referred to as the "reproductive" organs. But we are now in the process of divorcing copulation from reproduction. This comes about through the use of various technological procedures such as artificial insemination, test-tube fertilization of the ovum, sperm and ovum banks, surrogate mothers, and perhaps ultimately artificial wombs. Robert Francoeur in his sexuality textbook Becoming a Sexual Person shows an "artificial womb" in which a prematurely-born lamb is being helped to survive until its body has matured to the point where it can subsist as an independent organism. At the end of the descriptive paragraph, Francoeur speculates that in the not-to-distant future the same technique may be used to sustain human life through the entire nine months of the fetal period.
Another possibility is that through the use of medical tests it will becomefeasible to tell which males and which females are likely to produce deformed children. When such information becomes available, if one wishes to reproduce, he/she may be required to get legal approval to become a parent. Some just can't see this as a possibility, yet people need to be licensed for marriage, or to take an examination to get a driver's license. Another possibility is that through technological processes applied to the male semen the male-producing sperm may be separated from the female-producing sperm so parents can opt for male or female offspring, as they wish. If and when these developments occur, then that part of the male and female body now called the sex organs or the genitals, may be given over to sensual pleasure and to expressions of intimacy. Their reproductive function may have disappeared; certainly it will be minimal.
YL: Dr. Gravatt was telling us that you have received a number of awards. Wouldyou care to comment on them?
LK: Yes, there have been several. I might comment on those having a specialsignificance to this interview. Many of them have come from sexological organizations that I have worked with. One of the most pleasing was given me at the conference of the World Association for Sexology at Mexico City in 1979. It was recognizing my contributions to the establishment of sex education programs, internationally. At the same time another recipient was Elise Otten-Jensen who had a strong influence in setting up sex education programs in Sweden, and thus influenced other countries as well. I've also appreciated the award for accomplishments in teaching given me in 1980 by the Department of Family Life at OSU. I certainly felt very good about it, both at the time and now.
YL: Then I understand that you also received an important recognition last year- 1983?
LK: Yes, that was the selection as "Humanist of the Year". Each year since 1953,the American Humanist Association has selected an outstanding individual who has in some way contributed to the betterment of human living. I can't help but feel that a mistake was made in 1983, but I am nevertheless honored to be included within this illustrious group. In 1982 the recipient was Helen Caldicott who founded the organization, Physicians for Social Responsibility, and who has been protesting the nuclear arms buildup. Carl Sagan was the 1981 Humanist of the Year, and Linus Pauling was the 1961 Humanist of the Year. As I recall it Linus Pauling is a graduate of Oregon State, while I have taught at OSU. Perhaps Oregon State is the only University that can claim two Humanists of the Year. I will give you a list of Humanists of the Year which can be appended to this list once it is typed.
YL: I think we are coming to the point where we must close this interview I haveonly two more questions to ask. The first one is this. As you look back over your life what emphases would you hope will be attributed to you and your influence? For what things would you like to be remembered?
LK: Well, several things come to mind. In my academic career I worked ondeveloping an interpersonal framework to be used in making moral decisions. This took a pretty firm hold from the very first. It was the value framework that I used for making the moral assessment of the worth, or lack of worth, in the premarital, intercourse associations which I incorporated in the book, Premarital Intercourse and Interpersonal Relationships. It was really not anything particularly new, but it was set in a context that made it easy to understand. It was published in a number of books - some ten or twelve as I recall, and was mentioned in magazine articles. A number of instructors told me that they found it very helpful in their classes or when working with counselees.
I will have one of the articles which spells out this concept duplicated forenclosure with this interview. The article was published in the fall, 1966 issue of the Intercollegiate Association of Women Students magazine. The second development which has given me much pleasure is that throughout my professional career, so far as human sexuality is concerned, I have sought to present it as an integral part of living. I have argued that people are sexual beings from birth until death. I have sought to understand sexuality better by becoming aware of what behavior is inherent and what is learned; how does sexual expression vary from culture to culture? I have argued for sex education for older people and have written an essay on sex education for the citizen. One of my hooks was entitled Sex Education as Human Relations. I have already mentioned the book, Premarital Intercourse and Interpersonal Relationships. At one time I worked for a prolonged period on a book which I hoped would become a textbook for a course in Human Sexuality. I used the title Sexuality and Human Wholeness. If my efforts aid someway in helping us to integrate sexuality into a broad pattern of responsible yet joyous living that will spell success so far as I'm concerned. The third emphasis is a somewhat more recent one. I am referring to a concern for the future and what it will bring. Some say that there are too many problems to deal with in the present; why spend our time on the future. But the future grows out of the present; there is no escaping that. So futuristic thinking helps us establish priorities for the present.
I think that as a result of my concern for the future I have two overseeingpriorities. One is the need to establish a procedure whereby nationalism will be downplayed and conflict between nations and cultures will be settled through arbitration and negotiation, not by warfare. If this is not done the likelihood is that the future will occur in a human vacuum. There will be no human beings around. The other emphasis suggests that education is a life-long process and must be so regarded. Typically, if someone asks where you got your education, one cites the school or college where he graduated. My reply is that I got diplomas that way, but once that was over I was then ready to begin my education. And that process is still continuing. The fourth emphasis is a very personal one. Laura and I hoped to rear our children so that they could become independent and responsible individuals. This was to be done by being straightforward with them, accepting their decisions, but continuing to work with them even if their decision may have been wrong. Let me give you one illustration. My son, Karl, decided that he would go to Haight-Asbury, San Francisco and become a hippy. He told me that he was going and I replied that while I was sorry to see him go, I still expected to support him emotionally. He thanked me greatly, but did depart for San Francisco. Sometime later he telephoned me and asked if I could come down and visit him. I agreed to do this and did go down for a week's visit. Karl and his compatriots set up a bed for me in their pad. I ate with them, and attended various events with them. I did not partake of L.S.D. however, I had a conversation with Karl telling him why I did not, and he approved of my decision I was the only parent I saw while there. However, I was glad to be there for I felt at home. If Karl was a Flower Child, I was a Flower Father. When I left I received an invitation to return, which I did later for a weekend. This emphasis was, I think, very helpful to Laura and me in helping our children grow to adulthood and at the same time maintain an effective working relationship with them. Now what was your second question?
YL: Well, my last question is one that I would like you to ask yourself. Hasanything of great importance been left out?
LK: I do remember that when I talked about my heart attack I had thought ofcommenting on my health. I think I have a healthy body, and while this is only speculation, I have attributed it to certain factors. One is the hard work I did on the farm from the day I was a small kid on. At that time I lived in an agricultural society, and children were economic assets. I can remember my father, when I was just a kid, talking about the birth of a male in some family in the community. He would mention the father's name and say, "Well, Jim Jones has a new hired hand this morning." I'm sure I was greeted that way! I remember driving a cultivator in a cornfield for a full day's work that is from early morning until late in the afternoon. But I was so short that my legs could not reach the shovels. So to keep them apart and prevent them from closing in and plowing up the corn plants, my father used a board to which he tied each shovel. They were separated far enough apart that they could not fall into the listen, row and uproot the corn. So I could work in the field, day after day! I drove a header barge in wheat harvest when I was so small I could not look over the side of the barge to guide the team of horses. I simply peered between the spaces which separated the slats that supported the barge frame. I kept the barge in line that way. In the evening I had to get the milk cows in, into the barn and locked into their stanchions, fed the calves, perhaps the hogs and do other odd chores. In the early morning I would ride my pony into the pasture and drive in the horses which would pull field equipment later in the day. I certainly was not entranced with all this, but I suspect it added stamina to my body so that I was never really ill. I did have the typical childhood diseases-measles, mumps, whooping cough-but nothing more. Up until I had my heart attack, which occurred after I had retired from OSU, I had lost only a half day from work because of illness. And I would not have lost that I suppose, had not Laura insisted on it. I had a slight cold and she wanted me to stay at home so I would not become seriously ill. I cannot remember ever having a headache, and I get a slight cold say every ten years or so. And as I say, I attribute a part of this, if not all of it, to the strenuous work program into which I was forced as a kid. Whether I am correct in this assumption I do not know, but there has been another factor that I feel certain has helped. I have never used tobacco, smoked, become intoxicated, or used drugs. This was not because I was such a virtuous person, however. None of these temptations were around to indulge in, except tobacco. As a kid I did try once to smoke, but I loused that up. I inhaled the smoke as I recall; anyway I came close to strangling. When I recovered, I thought that if that was what smoking was all about, none of it for me!
So far as surviving is concerned, I have twice come close to being killed. Onceas a teenager I was loading a header barge with wheat which had just been cut. The barge as you may or may not know, has a lower side with a rail on which the elevator rests as it carries wheat from the platform to the barge. I was standing ahead of the elevator in the barge so that as the header moved forward the elevator moved toward me. There was no problem so long as the header and the barge moved forward at an equal pace. Suddenly however, the front wheel of the barge fell into a badger hole and its forward motion was stopped. The elevator bore down upon me and I realized that I would be pinned between the elevator and the front edge of the barge. To evade this, I dropped precipitously and as I fell the elevator skimmed the top of my head. Had I been a fraction of a second slower I would have been beheaded. The second instance is somewhat similar. In 1975 I was riding in my Volkswagen, a friend was driving, down the Avenue of the Giants, just south of Eureka, California. Suddenly my friend slammed on the brakes and I was thrown forward into the windshield. What happened was that he had been alerted to the fact that a decaying redwood tree was falling across the highway and we were directly in its path. The lower portion of the trunk had decayed and had filled the trunk with gas so that as it felt it exploded into thousands of pieces. While I was bent over in the car a part of the tree, a portion of the trunk about two feet long and seven or eight inches in diameter, fell on top of the car, knocked open the door, was flipped into the car and landed on the back seat. As it came in it caught my shirt and undershirt, tore them off, lacerated my shoulder, and again would likely have beheaded me had I been sitting up straight. The car was a total wreck. It was towed away and I never saw it afterward. So you can see why health-wise I am more fearful of accidents than of illness.
YL: We are not sure this is a good experience to close our interview, but wedon't have further questions to ask. So thank you for your time.