The Kinsey Scale

Dr. Alfred Kinsey, Dr. Wardell Pomeroy, and Dr. Clyde Martin developed the Heterosexual-Homosexual Rating Scale, also known as the “The Kinsey Scale,” in order to account for research findings that showed that people did not fit into exclusive heterosexual or homosexual categories.

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

The Kinsey Scale is a widely used index and instrument for measuring heterosexual and homosexual behavior. The Kinsey Scale does not address all possible sexual identities and does not purport to accommodate respondents who identify as non-binary. Contrary to popular belief, Kinsey was not a behaviorist, but granted that sexuality is much broader than simply lived behavior. The Kinsey Scale is dated, yet remains popular in many contexts. The original Kinsey Reports, Sexual Behavior in the Human Male (1948) and Sexual Behavior of the Human Female (1953), are broadly agreed to be historically significant.

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