The Kinsey Scale

6 06 2013

This is an interesting topic. I had a friend send me the image and it made me want to do a post. I did also find it amusing that on the image that gay also equals more naked. lol

The strip version of the Kinsey Scale

What is the Kinsey Scale?

The “Kinsey Scale, also known as the Heterosexual-Homosexual Rating Scale, was developed by Alfred Kinsey and his colleagues Wardell Pomeroy and Clyde Martin in 1948, and it was used to account for research findings that show cased a number of people who did not fit into exclusive homosexual or heterosexual categories. The basic premise is that more people fall somewhere between homosexual and heterosexual, just the variance differs. More people have at least a slight attraction (or more) to the same/opposite sex and very few are strictly 100 percent gay or even 100 percent straight.


But how do we use the Kinsey Scale in our writing? That is a good question.


It’s easier to go with one end of the spectrum or the other. The character is either straight or the character is gay. The middle ground takes a little more finesse to show. But at the same time it only takes the occasional comment or action to portray the interest of the character. It can be something as simple as the “straight guy” admitting to a celeb male crush as a norm thing, as in the straight guy who’d consider sex with Brad Pitt or someone else they think is hot. Or it can be the gay guy who enjoys looking at a woman’s cleavage. Sure he might giggle and even point it out (saw a guy do that once with a friend of his at a party, and she had her girlfriend with her) but while looking interests him he doesn’t want to do anything with her dating or otherwise. But that puts them on the scale that isn’t a 0 or a 6.


It’s the small details that count. Since we all have a spectrum of sexuality, it’s okay to explore those different levels in our characters. I plan to do that in the future.


Where do your characters fit on the Kinsey Scale?