The Kinsey Scale: Sexual Orientation

Sex was such a horrible topic to talk about, but a biologist of Indiana University introduced a scale that broke the silence. The silence changed due to this biologist named Alfred C. Kinsey (1894-1956). Kinsey broke the silence because before the scale everyone would keep their sexual orientation to themselves and most likely did not tell anyone. In other words, he was a great influence to people because since then people have become a bit more open about themselves. The importance of Kinsey is that he has conducted several of researches.

For instance, on one of his research he found out that many people had sexual experiences with both female and male. He concluded from his research that there is diversity in sexual behaviors. Therefore, he created a scale where people can go and set their sexual orientations, such as it contains the person’s sexual behaviors with same sex or other sex. Sexual orientation is very important to an individual because it establishes who they are, such as being homosexual, asexual, bisexual, and heterosexual.

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Even though there are many pros behind Kinsey’s scale, some cons do exist. The author, Kinsey, developed a seven-point scale known as the Heterosexual-Homosexual Rating Scale, better known as the “Kinsey Scale. ” Although this scale has been widely accepted by researchers and sexologists throughout the years, it is not always accepted by the general public or the society in which we live in. Sexuality is immensely intricate, and the Kinsey Scale seems to simplify sexuality for most.

Just like any other scientific finding, the Kinsey Scale has its strengths and weaknesses. For instance, the weaknesses of the Kinsey Scale are that some people may feel like they do not fit into any of these seven categories. Whether the Kinsey Scale is accepted by many or accepted by none, society will continue to categorize others into discrete categories. The downside of the scale is that it was only made based on one’s sexual behaviors and not in one’s interest. People who are transgendered, intersex, homosexual, and asexual could have trouble with the Kinsey Scale because their behaviors may not always match their interests.

For example, a homosexual person may behave in a way a heterosexual person behaves in, but have no interest in the person whom they are experimenting with. The pros of the Kinsey Scale are that it allows people to “[change their sexual behaviors] and attractions over the course of a person’s lifetime” (Yarber, p. 47, 2009) without classifying them as gay, lesbian, straight, or bisexual. Rather than placing someone in one category out of two, heterosexual or homosexual, the Kinsey Scale shows one’s sexual behavior.

Say you have a person who has had one sexual experience in their whole life with the same sex, but still continues to be sexually active with the opposite sex. That person may identify themselves as straight. The scale allows someone to be bi-curious, but there is not enough consistency to identify them as bisexual. So people then can identify themselves as a 1 on the scale which is “incidental homosexual behavior” rather than saying they are bisexual. The scale gives people more freedom to express their sexual behaviors in 7 different degrees rather than two discrete degrees.

Because the Kinsey Scale is such an open minded scale people can move up and down the scale. We believe that our argument is valid because the scale is helpful in many ways. It helps people have a better understanding of sexuality. Because the scale does not categorize anyone based on their sexual behaviors it allows more room for exploration and experimentation. ?The article “(How) Does the Sexual Orientation of Parents Matter? ” engages the Kinsey Scale because it shows how people have subjective bias views on homosexuals.

If people followed the Kinsey Scale they would most likely be more objective; which would cause heterosexual people to not be homophobic or at least understand what they are going through. They would view the life of homosexuals with a clear mind that isn’t going to judge instead of fighting against what they have been taught since birth. The gender roles teach people how to act according to their sex; if someone goes against the traditional teachings than they are viewed as outcasts. Society looks at them as a mishap.

This article strengthens the Kinsey scale because it shows how subjective views can affect the lives of people for the worse. For example, the subjective bias view of Wardle, a law professor at Brigham Young University has affected the lives of homosexuals in several states because he: charged the legal profession and social scientists with an ideological bias favoring gay rights that has compromised most research in this field and the liberal judicial and policy ?decisions it has informed. He presented a harshly ritical assessment of the research and ?argued for a presumptive judicial standard in favor of awarding child custody to heterosexual married couples.

The following year, Wardle drafted new state regulations in Utah that restrict adoption and foster care placements to households in which all adults are related by blood or marriage (Biblarz & Stacey 2001). Wardle’s state regulations spread to “Florida, Arkansas, and Mississippi [they] have [also] imposed restrictions on adoption and/or foster care, and such bills have been introduced in the legislatures of 10 additional states” (Biblarz & Stacey 2001).

Paul Cameron, a psychologist, views “that homosexuality represents either a sin or a mental illness and [continues] to publish alarmist works on the putative ill effects of gay parenting” Even though he was expelled for misrepresenting information his work still gets “cited in amicus briefs, court decisions, and policy hearings. ” Not only that, but “Wardle draws explicitly on Cameron’s work to build his case against gay parent rights.

Wardle also argues that homosexual parents are “more likely to molest their own children; that children are at [a] greater risk of losing a homosexual parent to AIDS, substance abuse, or suicide, and to suffer greater risks of depression and other emotional difficulties; that homosexual couples are more unstable and likely to separate; and that the social stigma and embarrassment of having a homosexual parent unfairly ostracizes children and hinders their relationships with peers” (Biblarz & Stacey 2001)

If Wardle didn’t believe in the discrete categories of sexuality and followed Kinsey’s Scale instead, he would have seen everyone as equals. This would have led him to be objective. Since everyone would be equal. He wouldn’t need to fear about homosexuals raising children the “wrong” way. He would have seen that parental orientation doesn’t affect the child’s orientation.

In the long term, Wardle wouldn’t have written a regulation that would take away homosexuals right to be a parent in several states. Which means homosexuals could be parents without being harassed on an academic scale because of their sexual orientation. Most research on homosexual parenting is from a heterosexual bias point of view because most scholars who are respected are heterosexual males. We as a group, all strongly agree with the Kinsey Scale. People should be able to change their sexual behaviors throughout their life.

People should not label a person, gay, lesbian, or heterosexual. Kinsey’s Scale was not meant to categorize people because of their sexual behaviors. When creating this scale, “it was more important to determine what proportion of behaviors were same-sex and other-sex. ” (Yarber, p. 47, 2009)


  1. Sayad, B. et al. 2010. Human Sexuality: Diversity in Contemporary America (7th edition). Boston: McGraw Hill. Stacey, Judith and Timothy
  2. J. Biblarz. 2001. (How) Does The Sexual Orientation of Parents Matter. American Sociological Review 66(1):159-183.

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The Kinsey Scale: Sexual Orientation. (2017, Jan 18). Retrieved from