Monday, February 15, 2010

Continuum of Human Sexuality - The Kinsey Scale

For Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction

Continuum of Human Sexuality

Current socialization processes presuppose very specific ideas of normality when it comes to sexual orientation. Specifically, society teaches that two distinctive gendersexist (male and female), and one sexual orientation (heterosexual) is acceptable. Narrow views of gender and sexuality serve to promote an oversimplification of remarkably complex constructs. In an attempt to educate professionals and the public, the American Psychological Association (2005) has defined sexual orientation as follows:

Sexual Orientation is an enduring emotional, romantic, sexual or affectional attraction to another person. It is easily distinguished from other components of sexuality including biological sex, gender identity (the psychological sense of being male or female) and the social gender role (adherence to cultural norms for feminine and masculine behavior). Photo movie

Sexual Orientation exists along a continuum that ranges from exclusive homosexuality to exclusive heterosexuality and includes various forms of bisexuality. Bisexual persons can experience sexual, emotional and affectional attraction to both their own sex and the opposite sex. Persons with a homosexual orientation are sometimes referred to as gay (both men and women) or as lesbian (women only).

Sexual Orientation is different from sexual behavior because it refers to feelings and selfconcept. Persons may or may not express their sexual orientation in their behaviors.

The Sexuality Continuum: An Introduction - Read complete article on The Kinsey Institute

University of Illinois at Springfield, Student Affairs Office. (2009). Continuum of Human Sexuality. (pdf) [A short non-technical discussion of sexual orientation and the Kinsey Scale.]

Kinsey’s Heterosexual-Homosexual Rating Scale

0- Exclusively heterosexual with no homosexual

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

What is "The Kinsey Scale?"

The Heterosexual-Homosexual Rating Scale, sometimes referred to as the “Kinsey Scale,” was developed by Alfred Kinsey and his colleagues Wardell Pomeroy and Clyde Martin in 1948, in order to account for research findings that showed people did not fit into neat and exclusive heterosexual or homosexual categories.

Interviewing people about their sexual histories, the Kinsey team found that, for many people, sexual behavior, thoughts and feelings towards the same or opposite sex was not always consistent across time. Though the majority of men and women reported being exclusively heterosexual, and a percentage reported exclusively homosexual behavior and attractions, many individuals disclosed behaviors or thoughts somewhere in between. Read complete article and more - The Kinsey Institute

The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction, Inc.

The Kinsey Institute at Indiana University promotes interdisciplinary research and scholarship in the fields of human sexuality, gender, and reproduction.

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