Klein Sexual Orientation Grid

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Sexual orientation
Part of sexology
Common classifications


Other classifications

Fluid sexuality
Kinsey scale
Klein Sexual Orientation Grid

Related articles

Affectional orientation
Situational sexual behavior

Drawing-Gay flag.png  This article about lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender issues
Also see the article on Sexual orientation

The Klein Sexual Orientation Grid attempts to further measure sexual orientation by expanding upon the earlier Kinsey scale which only considers from 0 (exclusively heterosexual) to 6 (exclusively homosexual).

Because most people had been (and arguably still are) first exposed to sexuality with the binary of heterosexual or homosexual, Alfred Kinsey set his scale of sexual orientation with seven intervals, beginning at 0 with ‘Exclusively Heterosexual’ and concluding at 6 with ‘Exclusively Homosexual’. As you travel the scale, you could be determined to be ‘Predominantly heterosexual, more than incidentally homosexual’ at interval 2, ‘Predominantly homosexual, only incidentally heterosexual’ at interval 5 and anywhere in between. At the centre, Interval 3 is `Equally Heterosexual and Homosexual'.

Fritz Klein refined the scale and somewhat simplified it. It remains with 7 intervals, but instead they are:

Rating Description
1 Other sex only
2 Other sex mostly
3 Other sex somewhat more
4 Both sexes equally
5 Same sex somewhat more
6 Same sex mostly
7 Same sex only

What limits the Kinsey scale is that it focuses on the person’s sexual experiences and fantasies up to that time. So to develop and hope for a better understanding of an individual’s sexuality throughout their lives, the Klein scale investigates sexual experience and fantasies in three times: the present (the most recent 12 months), the past (up to 12 months ago) and the ideal (which is as close as one can get to intention and prediction of future behavior).

Basically, Klein allowed the concept that people’s sexuality can change through their lives.

But these aren’t the only innovations Klein made. Even more important than considering that sexuality is fluid was Klein's introduction of many different factors that can influence identity. These are:

  • Sexual Attraction: To whom are you sexually attracted?
  • Sexual Behaviour: With whom have you actually had sex?
  • Sexual Fantasies: About whom are your sexual fantasies? (They may occur during masturbation, daydreaming, as part of real life, or purely in your imagination.)
  • Emotional Preference: Emotions influence, if not define, the actual physical act of love. Do you love and like only members of the same sex, only members of the other sex, or members of both sexes?
  • Social Preference: Social Preference is closely allied with, but often different from emotional preference. With members of which sex do you socialize?

By considering all of these other life factors, Klein's categorical scale offers much more in terms of understanding that sexual activities do not necessarily denote sexual orientation, and just because two people have the same sexual identity does not mean that they have the same sexual practices.

More information on this topic is available at [ Wikipedia:Klein_Sexual_Orientation_Grid ]


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