Human sexuality spectrum

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The Sexuality Spectrum is a proposed theory of human sexuality that posits there is a continuum that accounts for every variation of human sexuality/identity without necessarily labeling or defining all of them.[1][2][3][4][5] The spectrum provides the idea that sexuality/identity is loosely identifiable by specific means or measurements. The human sexuality spectrum contradicts sexuality binaries.

Sexuality and gender roles have primarily been based on biological and anatomical basis. Gender is generally legally based on the sex organs that the individual has, in most countries of the world if not all. Under the human sexuality spectrum system, sexuality and gender roles are found on the spectrum, the spectrum accounts for any minor variations that can be found in any given person. This system is found to be useful for many who do not like to be limited to a label. Many people find themselves deviating from a strict label. The pressure to place a label on a person’s sexual or gender preferences causes stress for the person who may not fit on one of societies provided labels.

It cannot be certain if people sit on one point of the spectrum their entire life or if they move over time. Research does suggest that sexuality can move along the spectrum at any given point in a person’s lifetime.[citation needed] The idea or hypothesis of sexual fluidity accounts for this.

Commonly labeled sexualities[edit]

Heterosexual - Romantic or sexual attraction to only people of the opposite sex or gender.

Homosexual - Romantic or sexual attraction to only people of the same sex or gender.

Bisexual - Romantic or sexual attraction two both males and females, or more than one gender (not necessarily equally).

Pansexual (or omnisexual) - Romantic or sexual attraction to people regardless of sex or gender.

Polysexual - Romantic or sexual attraction to multiple genders, but not all.

Gay - A term used for both homosexual males and females, especially males, or as an umbrella term for the LGBT community.

Lesbian - A term used for homosexual women or for lesbian sexual activity or lesbian behavior.

Queer - Umbrella term to describe someone who is not heterosexual or cisgender.

Asexual - Describes someone who lacks or does not experience sexual attraction.

Aromantic - Describes someone who does not experience romantic attraction.

Kinsey scale[edit]

A heterosexual to homosexual rating scale produced by Alfred Kinsey along with his colleagues Wardell Pomeroy and Clyde Martin in 1948. The scale was developed as part of a theory that people did not necessarily only fit in an extreme view of the heterosexual or homosexual sexuality binary. The scale ranges on a 0-6 scale from exclusively heterosexual (0) to exclusively homosexual (6) with five steps in between. The chart is a basic scale depicting sexuality solely based on male and female attractions.[6]

The problem with the Kinsey scale is that it does not account for a lot of the sexualities that fall under the idea of queer nor does it account for gender identities. The scale is extremely linear with only a limited number of systematic steps and it only has two extremes. The scale is also based on a self-evaluation which is indefinite and subject to change over time. Because of this, Kinsey believed that we should develop a way to assign a position on the scale at each point in the person’s life. The human sexuality spectrum is more effective in how it depicts smoother transitions in between sexualities. The human sexuality spectrum can also include gender roles. The Kinsey scale has the human sexuality spectrum beat in how it provides a numerical scale for its users. The Kinsey scale provides measurable data which the human sexuality spectrum is not able to do.

Idea / theory of sexual fluidity[edit]

Sexuality lies on a spectrum but the theory of sexual fluidity allows for the idea of variation over time. Kinsey supported this by finding evidence in his research that people seem to find their sexuality can change over time. The idea of sexual fluidity is that sexuality does not necessarily stay in one place on the spectrum. It can vary over time depending on situations. Someone’s perceived sexuality may not always fit who the person ends up being attracted to. Sexuality can bend and flow and end up surprising a person. The idea of sexual fluidity is a theory though as there is no way to prove sexuality is fluid. What can be said is that there is research based evidence of people deviating from their perceived sexuality. This supports the idea of the human sexuality spectrum as it provides evidence that sexuality does not necessarily fit on an extreme but can be found at any point in between. It is impossible to prove whether the person’s sexuality changed or if their sexuality was different than they thought all along. This theory suggests that not all gay people are born gay.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Asexuality: A Study on Knowledge and Perceptions". sexual orientation is a multidimensional concept consisting of sexual behavior, sexual desire, and self-identification, each which is measured according to the human sexuality spectrum.
  2. ^ Wright, Scott D. (2016-01-21). Autism Spectrum Disorder in Mid and Later Life. ISBN 9781784500375. For even within the austistic spectrum there exists a human sexuality spectrum . . . .
  3. ^ McCleaf, Kathy J. (2014). "Attributions to Sexual Minority Women's Academic Success". Journal of Homosexuality. 61 (6): 868–888. doi:10.1080/00918369.2014.870810. PMID 24328892. To imply that sexual minority status was a normal, usual, or natural part of the human sexuality spectrum was to challenge existing social and cultural taboos
  4. ^ "Gay, Straight, Bisexual: What the Labels Don’t Tell Us." Friendfactor. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Oct. 2014.
  5. ^ "Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity 101." Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Oct. 2014.
  6. ^ "Prevalance of Homosexuality study". Retrieved 2017-03-06.