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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. 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).
People who disagree with this interpretation of human sexual orientation are said to believe in a "heterosexual–homosexual dichotomy".
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
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
|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|
|other sex only||other sex mostly||other sex
|both sexes equally||same sex
|same sex mostly||same sex only|
|heterosexual only||heterosexual mostly||heterosexual
|heterosexual and homosexual equally||homosexual
|homosexual mostly||homosexual only|
- 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.
- Klein, Fritz (1993). The Bisexual Option. The Haworth Press. pg 19-20 ISBN 978-1-56024-380-9.
- "Kinsey's Heterosexual–Homosexual Rating Scale". The Kinsey Institute. Retrieved 8 September 2011.