Heterosexual–homosexual continuum

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The heterosexual–homosexual continuum or the sexual orientation continuum is a psychological and philosophical understanding of human sexuality that places sexual orientation on a continuous spectrum from heterosexuality to homosexuality, with sexuality ranging from exclusive attraction to the opposite sex to exclusive attraction to the same sex.

This concept stems from Alfred Kinsey's 1940s surveys of sexuality, less than 5% of young adults to show signs of homosexuality; numbers of Kinsey's subjects reported bisexuality of varying degrees, rather than the strict heterosexual/homosexual division that had been previously assumed. This work was expanded by Fritz Klein, who hypothesized that sexual orientation was a dynamic, multi-variable process, involving attraction, behavior, fantasies, emotional and social preferences, self-identification, and lifestyle.[1] This continuum was an important influence on the feminist and gay-rights movements of the 1970s and 1980s as academics and movement leaders tried to distinguish between one's sex—e.g. being male or female—and the social, cultural, and psychological aspects of gender and sexuality." The Heterosexual–homosexual continuum is measured using the over 200 scales including the Kinsey scale, Klein Sexual Orientation Grid, and Storms' model. According to a 2005 statement by the American Psychological Association:

Sexual orientation is an enduring emotional, romantic, sexual, or affectionate attraction toward others. 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).

Sexual orientation exists along a continuum that ranges from exclusive heterosexuality to exclusive homosexuality and includes various forms of bisexuality.[1]

People who disagree with this interpretation of human sexual orientation are said to believe in a "heterosexual–homosexual dichotomy".[2]

Kinsey Scale[edit]

"The Kinsey Scale," named for its creator, Alfred Kinsey is used to rate heterosexual-homosexual tendencies. The scale ranges from 0 to 6; the ratings are as follows:

0- exclusively heterosexual

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

X-No socio-sexual contacts or reactions

Although the scale has defined sections; people can fall at any point within/between two points.

Klein Sexual Orientation Grid[edit]

The Klein Sexual Orientation Grid was developed by Fritz Klein in his book The Bisexual Option. This scale was made after the Kinsey scale and developed the spectrum further.

Klein sexual orientation grid
Variable Determinant Past Present Ideal
A Sexual attraction To whom are you sexually attracted? 1–7 1–7 1–7
B Sexual behaviour With whom have you had sex? 1–7 1–7 1–7
C Sexual fantasies About whom are your sexual fantasies? 1–7 1–7 1–7
D Emotional preference Who do you feel more drawn to or close to emotionally? 1–7 1–7 1–7
E Social preference Which gender do you socialize with? 1–7 1–7 1–7
F Lifestyle preference In which community do you like to spend your time? In which do you feel most comfortable? 1–7 1–7 1–7
G Self-identification How do you label or identify yourself? 1–7 1–7 1–7
Scale to measure variables  A ,  B ,  C ,  D , and  E  of the KSOG
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
other sex only other sex mostly other sex
somewhat more
both sexes equally same sex
somewhat more
same sex mostly same sex only
Scale to measure variables  F  and  G  of the KSOG
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
heterosexual only heterosexual mostly heterosexual
somewhat more
heterosexual and homosexual equally homosexual
somewhat more
homosexual mostly homosexual only

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Continuum of Human Sexuality" (PDF). University of Illinois, Springfield. Archived from the original on 2011-11-10.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  2. ^ McConaghy, Nathaniel. "Heterosexuality/homosexuality: Dichotomy or continuum." Archives of sexual behavior 16.5 (1987): 411-424.

[1] [2] [3]

  1. ^ Kinsey, Alfred C.; Pomeroy, Wardell B.; Martin, Clyde E.; Gebhard, Paul H. (1998-05-22). Sexual Behavior in the Human Female. Indiana University Press. ISBN 9780253019240.
  2. ^ Klein, Fritz (1993). The Bisexual Option. The Haworth Press. pg 19-20 ISBN 978-1-56024-380-9.
  3. ^ "Kinsey's Heterosexual–Homosexual Rating Scale". The Kinsey Institute. Retrieved 8 September 2011.