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 behaviour, 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 behaviour and attractions, many individuals disclosed behaviours or thoughts somewhere in between.
Graphic by Michael J DiMotta
As Kinsey writes in Sexual Behavior in the Human Male (1948): “Males do not represent two discrete populations, heterosexual and homosexual. The world is not to be divided into sheep and goats…The living world is a continuum in each and every one of its aspects.”
The Kinsey Scale can’t be considered the ultimate measurement of sexual identity of course since it won’t tell you that someone might be sexually attracted to girls but romantically favouring boys or the other way around. Not to mention all the shades of the rainbow in-between gender, gender-identity, sexuality, attraction and so forth.
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