|The Kinsey scale of sexual preference: Image from Wikipedia|
Posted by Jarrod Sunday, April 17, 2011
I just read a post on Homologous Legs on bisexuality that reminded of a film I watched some months ago about Alfred Kinsey. Kinsey was an entomologist worked with gall wasps (Cynipidae) but, it was his work in human sexuality that he is best known for. In the 1930s, Kinsey became interested in human sexuality and began to pursue research in order to classify human sexual practices. The thing that I, and I am sure many others would find interesting is, "What is normal?"
The ideas around what is normal is something that I have thought about quite a bit. People think they know what is normal and anything that deviates from their normality is just that, deviant or perverted. Kinsey and his colleagues addressed this by anonymously interviewing subjects about their sexual activity and preferences. The results were quite surprising with 'non-normal' activities proving quite 'normal'. Of particular interest was the apparent prevalence of bisexuality in men. This led to the development of the Kinsey Scale where sexual preference is viewed not as binary (i.e. gay or straight) or possibly three dimensionally, but more spectrally. In other words, zero on the scale is exclusively straight, and six is exclusively gay. What Kinsey and his colleagues found was that the majority of subjects fell outside of the exclusive zero or six, and had at least some bisexual tendency. That is not to say everyone acts on these feelings, but they are at least present.