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.
Instead of using sociocultural labels, Kinsey primarily used assessments of experiences in order to rate individuals on the scale. While he originally proposed a thirty-point scale, he reduced it to the scale as it is known today:
|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.|
Over 8,000 interviews were coordinated throughout his research.
The Kinsey scale influenced queer and LGBT+ activism throughout the 20th century. 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. 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.
- Archived copy of Alfred Kinsey's Sexual Behavior in the Human Male.
- Archived copy of Alfred Kinsey's Sexual Behavior in the Human Female.
- Archived copy of "Bisexuality: History and Dimensions of a Modern Scientific Problem" by Erwin J. Haeberle in Bisexualities: The Ideology and Practice of Sexual Contact with Both Men and Women, Continuum Press. (Warning: older site, may be insecure.)
- "Alfred Kinsey and the Kinsey report: Historical overview and lasting contributions," Vern L. Bullough, Journal of Sex Research.
- "How Alfred Kinsey armed the early gay rights movement with research" by Michael Bedwell for LGBTQ Nation.
- Finding Out: An Introduction to LGBTQ Studies, 3rd edition, Jonathan Alexander, Deborah T. Meem, and Michelle A. Gibson, SAGE Publications.
- Dual Attraction: Understanding Bisexuality, Martin S. Walberg, Collin J. Williams, and Douglas W. Pryor, Oxford University Press.
- "Bisexuality" in Encyclopedia of Women in Today's World, Volume 1, Carol K. Oyster, Jane E. Sloan, and Mary Zeiss Stange, SAGE Publications.