Kinsey scale

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The Kinsey scale attempts to describe a person's sexual history or episodes of their sexual activity at a given time. It uses a scale from 0, meaning exclusively heterosexual, to 6, meaning exclusively homosexual. In both the Male and Female volumes of the Kinsey Reports, an additional grade, listed as "X", was used for asexuality.[1] It was first published in Sexual Behavior in the Human Male (1948) by Alfred Kinsey, Wardell Pomeroy and others, and was also prominent in the complementary work Sexual Behavior in the Human Female (1953).

Contents


Background

Introducing the scale, Kinsey wrote:

While emphasizing the continuity of the gradations between exclusively heterosexual and exclusively homosexual histories, it has seemed desirable to develop some sort of classification which could be based on the relative amounts of heterosexual and homosexual experience or response in each history [...] An individual may be assigned a position on this scale, for each period in his life. [...] A seven-point scale comes nearer to showing the many gradations that actually exist." (Kinsey, et al. (1948). pp. 639, 656)

Today, many sexologists see the Kinsey scale as relevant to sexual orientation but not comprehensive enough to cover all sexual identity issues. They suggest that sexual identity involves at least three different spectrums, sexual orientation being only one of them (two others being biological sex and gender identity).[2]

Table of the scale

The scale is as follows:

Findings

Kinsey reports

  • Men: 11.6% of white males aged 20–35 were given a rating of 3 for this period of their lives.[3]
  • Women: 7% of single females aged 20–35 and 4% of previously married females aged 20–35 were given a rating of 3 for this period of their lives.[4] 2 to 6% of females, aged 20–35, were given a rating of 5[5] and 1 to 3% of unmarried females aged 20–35 were rated as 6.[6]

See also

References

External links

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