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Males do not represent two discrete populations, heterosexual and homosexual. The world is not to be divided into sheep and goats. It is a fundamental of taxonomy that nature rarely deals with discrete categories... The living world is a continuum in each and every one of its aspects, (p 639).

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, (pp. 639, 656)

Kinsey, et al. (1948). Sexual Behavior in the Human Male.


Kinsey Scale

[picture of Kinsey 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

(Kinsey 1948), p. 638


Selected References that Discuss the Kinsey Scale

Diamond, Milton. (1993). Homosexuality and bisexuality in different populations. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 22(4), 291-310. [Uses Kinsey Scale to standardize and measure later studies' findings.]

Hansen, Charles E., and Evans, A. (1985). Bisexuality reconsidered: An idea in pursuit of a definition. Journal of Homosexuality, 11(1-2), 1-6. [Provides critique of Kinsey Scale and calls for other measures for bisexuality.]

Kinsey, Alfred C. et al. (1948/1998). Sexual Behavior in the Human Male. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders; Bloomington: Indiana U. Press. [First publication of Kinsey's Heterosexual-Homosexual Rating Scale. Discusses Kinsey Scale, pp. 636-659.]

Kinsey, Alfred C. et al. (1953/1998). Sexual Behavior in the Human Female. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders; Bloomington: Indiana U. Press. [Discusses the Kinsey Scale and presents comparisons of male and female data, pp. 468-475.]

McWhirter, David P., et al. (1990). Homosexuality/Heterosexuality: Concepts of Sexual Orientation. New York: Oxford University Press. [Based on symposium at The Kinsey Institute. Discusses sexual orientation and the current usefulness of the Kinsey Scale. Includes other scales proposed by contributors to this work. One such scale is the Coleman Model of Clinical Assessment of Sexual Orientation.]

Ross, Michael W. (1983). Femininity, masculinity, and sexual orientation: Some cross-cultural comparisons. Journal of Homosexuality, 9(1), 27-35. [Combines the Bem Scale with Kinsey Scale across different nationalities.]

Sell, Randall L. (1997). Defining and measuring sexual orientation: A review. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 26(6), 643-658. [Outlines Kinsey Scale, Klein Scale, and Shively/DeCecco Scale.]

Van Wyk, Paul H., and Geist, Chrisann S. (1984). Psychosocial development of heterosexual, bisexual, and homosexual behavior. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 13(6), 505-544. [Adds a family development model to the Kinsey Scale.]

Selected References on Other Measures of Sexual Orientation

Chung, Y. Barry, and Katayama, Motoni. (1996). Assessment of sexual orientation in lesbian/gay/bisexual studies. Journal of Homosexuality, 30(4), 49-62. [Critically reviews methods for assessing sexual orientation.]

Davis, Clive M., et al. (1997). Handbook of Sexuality-Related Measures. Thousand Oaks CA: Sage Publications. [Includes 14 measures of homosexualities, one for heterosexual preferences. There are also related measures for gender, masculinity, femininity, and transsexualism..]

Ellis, Lee, et al. (1987). Sexual orientation as a continuous variable: A comparison between the sexes. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 16(6), 523-529. [Measures sexual orientation in two facets: 1) experience measure; and 2) a fantasy measure.]

Gonsiorek, John C., and Weinrich, James D. (1995). Definition and measurement of sexual orientation. Suicide and Life Threatening Behavior, 25(Suppl), 40-51. [Critically examines how sexual orientation is measured and defined.]

Klein, Fritz, et al. (1985). Sexual orientation: A multi-variable dynamic process. Journal of Homosexuality, 11(1-2), 35-49. [Discusses the problem of lack of clear, widely accepted definitions of heterosexual, bisexual, and homosexual.]

Sell, Randall L. (1996). The Sell Assessment of Sexual Orientation: Background and scoring. Journal of Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Identity, 1(4), 295-310. [Includes review of sexual orientation measures, which are characterized as dichotomous, bipolar, multidimensional, and/or orthogonal.]

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