Frequently Asked Questions

What is Kinsey Reporter?

Kinsey Reporter is a global mobile platform for the reporting, visualization, and analysis of anonymous data about sexual and other intimate behaviors. It works on smart phones that communicate securely with a central database server. The anonymous data collected with Kinsey Reporter are aggregated and shared openly with the community at KinseyReporter.org.

Why should I use Kinsey Reporter?

The Kinsey Institute is exploring new ways to record and describe people's sexual experiences worldwide. We are also exploring new ways for people to be connected while protecting their privacy. We hope to reach people with all kinds of different ideas, beliefs, and experiences, and who might be willing to report on sexual behaviors, regardless of who is involved and where it is observed. By using Kinsey Reporter, you contribute to research on human sexual behavior. We ask you to act ethically, in the role of a good journalist or "citizen scientist." Submit what is true and accurate to the best of your ability.

What and when can I report?

Ideally, you would submit a report within 24 hours of the event you are reporting. The report can be about yourself or someone else. It is all anonymous. Kinsey Reporter includes surveys about various sexual activities and other intimate behaviors. These surveys cover sexual behaviors and events, sexual health issues, violence reports, public displays of affection, and other unique behaviors and experience. A 'survey' in this case is a report of information shared by many individuals on a topic of interest; it is not based on a random or representative sample of a community or population.

Can I submit reports without a smart phone?

At this time, the only way to submit reports is via the free Kinsey Reporter apps for mobile devices.

Can I submit multiple reports?

Yes! We cannot link different reports to the same user, but we invite you to submit reports on different events as often as you like. Surveys will change over time, with new ones being added and old ones being phased out. But you can answer the same survey as many times as you like to report on different events.

Why can't I submit reports in my own words?

To ensure that reported data is strictly anonymous, you can only select among the provided tags when answering a question. However, contact us to suggest new surveys, questions, or tags.

Will my smart phone reveal my exact location?

No. Even if you enable location via GPS, you decide the geographic resolution of your reports. If you live in a sparsely populated area, you can select state/region or even country in the preferences panel. To protect your anonymity, reports only include the approximate location based on your preference. Unless you select city/town resolution, the name of your city or town is not sent to the Kinsey Reporter database. Even if you do select city/town resolution, the Kinsey Reporter database will only receive the generic coordinates of your city or town rather than your exact location.

Why doesn't my report appear in my exact location?

To ensure that reported data is anonymous, we aggregate reports in wide geographical areas. You have a few choices about the resolution of your location. For instance, a reporter in a sparsely populated region might prefer to use the country resolution, while users in large urban areas may prefer the city/town resolution. The default resolution is state/region and it is easy to change in the preference panel.

Why doesn't my report appear at the exact time when I submit it?

To protect the anonymity of the reports even in sparsely populated areas, we aggregate reports over time. A report is not published until a sufficient number of reports have been received from the same location, and then all of those reports are recorded with a randomized timestamp. The more sparsely populated your area and/or the higher the geographic resolution you select, the longer the delay until your report appears. Therefore, in a sparsely populated area, you might want to select a lower resolution (e.g., state/region or country), to minimize the delay until your report becomes public.

Do reports include personal identifiers?

No. To protect the anonymity of the reports, no personal identifiers are recorded --- not even anonymized ones. In other words, nobody can tell if any two reports are from the same person or from two different people.

Is Kinsey Reporter vulnerable to eavesdropping?

To protect the anonymity of Kinsey Reporter users and reports, all communication between the Kinsey Reporter mobile apps and the Kinsey Reporter server is secured using SSL/TLS, the same strong encryption protocol used for secure home banking and credit card purchases online. Therefore, even if you submit a report from an open wireless network, such as at an Internet cafe, and hackers eavesdrop your communication, they cannot extract the content of your report.

Is Kinsey Reporter data freely available?

Yes! Interactive visualizations of the data are available on the KinseyReporter.org website. The anonymous data we collect is also publicly available to the community via an Application Programming Interface (API), documented on the KinseyReporter.org website. We welcome your feedback.

Will there be versions in languages other than English?

For now, only English is available. In the future, we may develop versions in other languages if there is evidence of strong interest and if we have sufficient resources.

Where can I learn more about sex, love, and relationships?

Check out Kinsey Confidential and its many resources. The Kinsey Reporter apps provide links to information related to the survey tags from Kinsey Confidential and Kinsey Institute resources, such as the the Continuum Complete International Encyclopedia of Sexuality. Kinsey Reporter also features links to Kinsey Confidential's latest podcasts and blog entries.

Who is behind the Kinsey Reporter project?

Kinsey Reporter is a joint project of the world-famous Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction (KI) and the Center for Complex Networks and Systems Research (CNetS), both at Indiana University, Bloomington.

CNetS team:

Bento Mobility LLC:

  • Nate Johnson
  • Zach Collier

KI team:

Special thanks to:

We gratefully acknowledge general support from:

How can I contact the developers?

We welcome feedback from users to help us improve the Kinsey Reporter apps, website, and data service. Contact us using this email or visit us on Twitter, Google+, or Facebook with questions, comments, and suggestions!

How can I support The Kinsey Institute?

Download Kinsey Reporter, share your reports, and spread the word among your friends! Contact us if you are interested in supporting the research mission of The Kinsey Institute by participating in more traditional studies or becoming a donor.

I heard that Kinsey Reporter was pulled for a few months initially, should I worry?

No! Before the first launch, the project went through an extensive review process that included the IU Vice President for Research, the security and technology offices, legal counsel, and of course the Institutional Review Board. However, Indiana University's General Counsel asked for further vetting of the legal aspects of the platform. The IU President therefore appointed the General Counsel's Office and IUB Provost to lead a second review and asked us to take down the service in the meanwhile. This process also involved a second technical review by the a new team appointed by the Vice President for Information Technology. Based on feedback we received, we made a few minor protocol revisions to further strengthen the anonymity of the service, and we added formal privacy policy and terms of service/license agreement documents as required by the General Counsel's Office. These changes were once again vetted and approved by the Institutional Review Board. We are grateful to Indiana University for these significant efforts to protect the privacy of our citizen scientists!

What are the policies on privacy, management, and ethical use of the Kinsey Reporter data?

The data collected by Kinsey Reporter are submitted autonomously and anonymously by users, stored on a secure server to prevent unauthorized access, and shared with the community through a website and a web service (API). KinseyReporter.org does not require users to set up accounts. Use of the Kinsey Reporter apps or website constitutes acceptance of the privacy policy and terms of use of Kinsey Reporter apps and website.

The Kinsey Reporter data collection protocol has been classified as research exempt from review by Indiana University's Institutional Review Board (protocol #1205008624). This means that the data can be used for research and shared without requiring informed consent from users of the apps. According to the protocol, each report collects the following data:

  1. Tags: user responses for survey questions selected by the user.
  2. Timestamp: approximate date and time of the report.
  3. Location: approximate geo-coordinates based on user-selected resolution.
For further details please refer to our privacy policy and terms of use.

Users may voluntarily share information about the project through social media. Use of third-party social media platforms may require user authentication and authorization. We use Google Analytics to monitor aggregate information about use of the apps and website. Social media and analytics information is separate and independent of the information we collect from user reports. Google Analytics and social media are governed by terms of use and privacy policies of those services, such as Google Analytics, Google, Facebook, and Twitter.

Last modified: 2013-11-22 at 14:22:00 EST