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    A pictorial representation of the Kinsey scale.
    A button that reads "Kinsey 6."

    The Kinsey scale, also known as the Heterosexual-Homosexual Rating Scale, was developed by sexologist Alfred Kinsey as a way to measure sexual attraction based on experience. It is meant to go beyond separating people into gay and straight. It has seven numbered categories, from "exclusively heterosexual" or "0" to "exclusively homosexual" or "6," and one unnumbered category called "X" for those who have never had sexual experiences or reactions, which does not encompass experiences on the asexual or aromantic spectrums.

    History

    The Kinsey scale was first published in Sexual Behavior in the Human Male in 1948 and was also featured in the 1953 sequel report Sexual Behavior in the Human Female.[1][2]

    Instead of using sociocultural labels, Kinsey primarily used assessments of experiences in order to rate individuals on the scale.[3] While he originally proposed a thirty-point scale, he reduced it to the scale as it is known today:

    Rating Description
    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.

    Over 8,000 interviews were coordinated throughout his research.[4]

    Culture

    The Kinsey scale influenced queer and LGBT+ activism throughout the 20th century.[5] Kinsey's sexual history interviews led him to conclude 5 to 22 percent of men and 2 to 6 percent of women are a "5" or "6" or almost exclusively or exclusively homosexual, leading to "Kinsey 5" and "Kinsey 6" being pride symbols.[6] In general, Kinsey found that 10 percent of men were predominantly homosexual between the ages of 16 and 55, which is the source of the "one in ten" slogan that was prominent in LGBT+ activism even into the 2000s.

    Reviews of the Kinsey scale have noted that anyone who is not a "0," "6," or "X" is bisexual or otherwise multisexual,[7], although Kinsey did not prefer the term.[8]

    See Also

    References

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