Six degrees of attraction: The Kinsey Scale isn't enough
Published: Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 04:02
The Heterosexual-Homosexual Rating Scale, also known as the Kinsey Scale, needs expanding. The Kinsey scale
focuses exclusively on a person being sexually attracted to another person without delving into sexual identity. However, the zero-to-six scale doesn’t accommodate for all of the types of sexual attraction toward people.
Zero in the Kinsey Scale represents exclusively heterosexual, six stands for homosexual, and bisexual is right in the middle. Unfortunately, the scale leaves out asexual and pansexual entirely.
Despite the short-comings, Dr. Alfred Kinsey should be given kudos for helping put together such a scale. In 1948 he and his colleagues recognized that there is more than just heterosexual or homosexual attraction, according to The Kinsey Institute website.
Dr. Kinsey pioneered sexual research in the 1940s and helped put together the Institute for Sex Research in 1947, which was later renamed after him. Yet, despite all of the books that were published and all of the milestones achieved, one would think that the organization would update its scale.
It’s time to make a more encompassing diagram to include more types of sexual attraction. A diagram with more dimensions might help solve the problems regarding social acceptance.
David Jay, the founder of the Asexual Visibility Education Network, helped this issue of underrepresentation by modifying the Kinsey Scale and using it in its logo.
According to the New York Times, Jay produced a symbol that incorporates the Kinsey Scale. The AVEN inverted triangle includes the scale at the top with a third point at the bottom, indicating asexual people. The triangle is filled with a gradient to represent the gray area in between sexual attraction and the asexual lack of attraction.
Now, if there is a triangle with the Kinsey Scale at the top, there could also be triangle with a scale at the bottom. Pansexuals, people who are attracted to all genders, could be the pinnacle of this second triangle.
If both the AVEN triangle and a pansexual triangle were added together, a rhombus of better representation could be accomplished.
With a rhombus diagram, all of the types of attractions could be better embodied. Asexual could still be at the bottom, homosexual on the right, heterosexual on the left and pansexual could be at the top. By presenting the diagram as such, pansexuals would be shown as the polar opposite of asexuals.
Paired with scientific data, media plays a huge role in making the idea of various sexual attractions seem okay, or even normal.
While shows like Will And Grace made homosexual attraction seem as normal as heterosexual, newer shows are paving the way to social approval of bisexual attraction and beyond. The recognizable character Sherlock Holmes could be mascot for aesexuals, while Captain Jack Harkness could be the poster boy for pansexuals.
Having scientific diagrams provides more visual information on the complex subject of human attraction. Acknowledgement of a variety of sexual attractions can bring about better social understanding, and maybe even more acceptance.