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Dec 24 2016
by Natalie Day

The Kinsey Scale: What is it?

By Natalie Day - Dec 24 2016
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The Kinsey Scale — maybe you've heard of it and maybe you haven't — is something that is present in everyday life, whether you realize it or not. This sexuality scale was developed by Dr. Alfred Kinsey, Wardell Pomeroy and Clyde Martin. It was first published in 1948 in "Sexual Behavior in the Human Male," but has continued to be a prevalent source in explaining sexuality. The scale depicts sexuality as a number scale, meaning labels are not mutually exclusive. Everyone falls somewhere on this scale, including you and your peers.

Kinsey Institute

This is the basic Kinsey Scale, with a rating of zero meaning completely heterosexual and a rating of six meaning completely homosexual. As you can see, ratings of one through five are a mixture of the two in different amounts. The question is how do you know where you fall in the scale and how do you define yourself within these ratings?

Contrary to popular belief, there isn't an official Kinsey test to place yourself within a number rating, however many websites have developed tests that might help place you on the scale. If you're interested in taking a test to see where you are on this sexuality spectrum, Buzzfeed created a test, which you can take here, as well as Psymed, which you can find here.

Spacebattles

This graphic depicts the difference specifically with binary genders. This is an easier visual to see the variety of sexual interests within each number rating. This visual also gives a small description for each number, such as two being "more than incidental homosexual behavior" and four being "more than incidental heterosexual behavior."

The importance of the Kinsey Scale is that it shows that sexuality is not as black and white as just gay or straight. There are so many layers when it comes to attraction and emotional interest in a potential partner. This is why someone who labels themselves bisexual may or may not be equally interested in both genders.

It's also important to note that the Kinsey Scale doesn't reflect every sexuality, only the spectrum between homosexuality and heterosexuality. Other sexualities such as asexual or pansexual are not reflected in this scale. That goes to show how much more of a spectrum sexuality as a whole can be. If you want to read more on the history of the Kinsey Scale, this website is the perfect place to do so.

Keeping this scale in the back of your mind in the future is very important, specifically when returning to your college campus. The Kinsey Scale brings forward a layer of awareness that everyone should have when approaching sexuality in the future. Being aware that sexuality is not very strict, but rather fluid and undefined is imperative as you will encounter a variety of people on your college campus and in life.

Lead Image Credit: Pexels

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Natalie Day - Columbia College Chicago

Natalie Day is a freshman at Columbia College Chicago and is double majoring in acting and writing. She has traveled to Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and Jamaica for mission trips. Natalie spends her free time binge watching Netflix and working on her life long goal of becoming an old dog lady. Follow Natalie on Twitter and Instagram @nat__day.

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