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.

“Either you’re bisexual or you’re not.
You can’t have it both ways.
” – Jarod Kintz

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.

In several publications, Kinsey et al. wrote: ‘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. […] A seven-point scale comes nearer to showing the many gradations that actually exist.’

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

2 thoughts on “Kinsey Scale

  1. A “continuum” certainly makes a lot of sense. Interestingly (IMO), I have an online friend who calls herself “NeuroNotes,” because of her extensive work in the field of neurology, who once provided me with links (which sadly I didn’t preserve, but could possibly retrieve), that indicated that research had determined that the placement of puppies in the womb of their mother, can influence perceived sexuality. By this, I mean that a male puppy, lying between two female puppies in the womb, appears to receive extra estrogen from his mother, while a female puppy, between two males, receives extra testosterone. Regarding the mechanism by which this works, or what factors determined the degree of feminism in the male dog upon birth, or the degree of masculinity in the female, those details were in the study, and I can’t hope to repeat them here. I WILL, however, attempt to contact her and ask for them again, or even better, hopefully persuade her to come here and explain them.

    Granted, human children aren’t born in litters – unless, of course you’re the renowned “Octo-Mom” – but if an excess of estrogen or testosterone could influence the later behavior of puppies, it could as easily influence that of humans.

    NeuroNotes hasn’t been heard from for a few days, and may be attending a conference somewhere, but I will flag the email that brought me here, and at the earliest possibly, return with the data, or convince her to present it herself.

  2. Found it:

    The amount of testosterone a female bird puts into each egg will affect the personalities of her offspring:

    * Male sparrows from high testosterone eggs have larger patches of black feathers on their throats (this is considered sexy in sparrows); and both male and female sparrows from such eggs are less timid.

    * Male black-headed gulls from high testosterone eggs tend to don their breeding plumage earlier and engage in more courtship displays; they also tend to be more aggressive, and are more likely to win fights.

    For mammals, too, the early environment matters. In rats, mice, gerbils and ferrets, all of which have several offspring in each litter. A pup’s position in the uterus will have a lasting effect on its personality:

    *A female mouse who was between two females will be more docile than a female who was between two males. She will also be more attractive to males.

    * A male mouse who finds himself between two females will have a higher sex drive than a male who was between two other males. He will also be less likely to help look after the pups, and he’ll have a stronger preference for sweet food.

    The reason…hormones. Developing fetuses give them off to, so the neighborhood an embryo finds itself in, affects which hormones it gets exposed to while it is growing. Other fetuses aren’t the only source of hormones. The mother is, too. Hormones that circulate in the mother’s body during pregnancy may cross the placenta and affect the development of the embryo.

    Female rhesus monkeys exposed to testosterone toward the end of pregnancy will be more likely to engage in rough play and other “male” behaviors. The mother’s stress hormones, too, can have a potent effect. As adults, rats and mice whose mothers were stressed during pregnancy tend to be more timid and anxious than other animals: they tend to be more reluctant to explore new environments, or to come out of their cages when the door has been left open.

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