Wednesday, 28 Oct 2020

What is the Kinsey scale and how do you use it?

The Kinsey scale is used to describe a person's sexual orientation based on one's experiences or responses.

It is also known as the "Heterosexual–Homosexual Rating Scale."

Who was Alfred Kinsey?

A New Jersey native, Dr. Alfred Kinsey founded the Institute for Sex Research at Indiana University, which is now known as the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction.

He began teaching "Marriage and Family" at Indiana University in 1938, a course for senior and married students.

Kinsey had arrived at Indiana in 1920 after receiving his Ph.D. in biology from Harvard.

Drs. Kinsey, Wardell Pomeroy, and Clyde Martin developed the Heterosexual-Homosexual Rating Scale, or the Kinsey scale.

The three doctors authored Sexual Behavior in the Human Male (1948), which found that people did not fit into exclusive heterosexual or homosexual categories.

Dr. Kinsey personally took about 8,000 of the approximately 18,000 sex histories gathered by the research team.

Actor Liam Neeson portrayed the pioneering doctor in the 2004 film Kinsey.

Kinsey passed away unexpectedly at age 62 in 1956.

What is the Kinsey scale?

First published in Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, the Kinsey scale "accounted for research findings that showed people did not fit into exclusive heterosexual or homosexual categories," according to the Kinsey Institute.

Kinsey and his team questioned thousands of people about their sexual histories, and found that sexual behavior, thoughts, and feelings towards the same or opposite sex were not always consistent across time.

The team declined to assign people to three categories (heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual) and instead used a seven-point scale, ranging from 0 to 6 with an additional category of “X.”

This is discussed at length in Sexual Behavior in the Human Male.

How does the Kinsey scale work?

The Kinsey scale

The research team uses a seven-point scale:

  • 0 – Exclusively heterosexual
  • 1 – Predominantly heterosexual, only incidentally homosexual
  • 2 – Predominantly heterosexual, but more than incidentally homosexual
  • 3 – Equally heterosexual and homosexual
  • 4 – Predominantly homosexual, but more than incidentally heterosexual
  • 5 – Predominantly homosexual, only incidentally heterosexual
  • 6 – Exclusively homosexual
  • X – No socio-sexual contacts or reactions

"It is quite generally believed that one’s preference for a sexual partner of one or the other sex is correlated with various physical and mental qualities, and with the total personality which makes a homosexual male or female physically, psychically, and perhaps spiritually distinct from a heterosexual individual," the co-authors wrote.

"It is generally thought that these qualities make a homosexual person obvious and recognizable to any one who has a sufficient understanding of such matters."

They would add: "The histories which have been available in the present study make it apparent that the heterosexuality or homosexuality of many individuals is not an all-or-none proposition."

How do you use the Kinsey scale?

An official “test” does not exist, according to the Kinsey Institute.

While providing valuable research, the scale is considered to be outdated.

Source: Read Full Article

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