Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Alfred Kinsey and the Kinsey Scale: Sexuality is on a continuum!

Alfred Kinsey’s research on sexuality was incredibly influential in the APA’s decision to remove homosexuality form the DSM. His work led to a larger cultural shift from viewing homosexuality as pathology to a more fluid view as a normal variant of human sexuality.
He developed a 0 to 6 point scale to classify sexual behavior or fantasy from “exclusively heterosexual” to “exclusively homosexual.” His research concluded that 37% of males and 13% of females had a least some overt homosexual experience to orgasm and that 10% of males and 8% of females were exclusively homosexual. This is where the 10% rule that is regularly quoted stating that generally speaking, approximately 10% of the population is homosexual. Current research has show that this number is actually lower, close to 5%.

His work (along with his colleagues) supported the idea that homosexuality was natural and widespread.

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

Reflecting on your own behavior and fantasies, can you think of times when you were attracted to or aroused by someone of the same sex? If you identify as gay, can you think of times when you were at attracted to or fantasized about someone of the opposite sex? Do you see any parallels between Kinsey’s fluid view of sexuality and that of Freud’s?

1 comment:

  1. Very effective use of images throughout your blog.