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View Poll Results: What Do You Consider As Your Sexual Identity?
Heterosexual 33 67.35%
Homosexual 6 12.24%
Bisexual 6 12.24%
I Consider My Sexuality "Fluid" 4 8.16%
Voters: 49. You may not vote on this poll

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Old January 21 2011, 07:35 PM   #1
Mr Silver
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Kinsey Scale (Credible or Psuedo)

I've seen a few mentions of the Kinsey scale in recent threads. From what I understand it comes from a concept that suggests "Sexuality is fluid".

In theory, Sexuality is fluid, we go throughout our lives being attracted to people of all shapes, looks, personalities, etc and in some cases, gender doesn't factor into a potential relationship. The point is, if Alfred Kinsey, who considered himself Bisexual, pioneered the concept of "Fluid Sexuality", what is the need for a scale that generalises "Sexuality"

I have an interest in Psychology and one of the most intriguing areas, in my opinion is Human Sexuality. Now, this is not a perverted interest, i'm genuinely fascinated in what makes up someones "Sexual Makeup", if you like. You can see The Kinsey Scale, which i've typed up below

0: Exclusively heterosexual
1: Predominantly heterosexual, only incidentally homosexual
2: Premoinantly heterosexual, but more than incidentally homosexual
3: Equally heteroseuxal and homosexual (bisexual)
4: Predominantly homosexual, but more than incidentally heterosexual
5: Predominantly homosexual, only incidentally heterosexual
6: Exclusively homosexual

Now, this like many other methods of measuring the "Human Condition" is generalised, sure, it covers a wide area, but at the same time, whats stopping someone from jumping between 0 and 6? That would make them Bisexual right? not necassarily as Bisexual people aren't attracted to both sexes all the time, especially when they are in a relationship with one gender.

I guess this boils down to what an individual considers themselves. I consider myself 1, while i'm exclusively Heterosexual, i'm sure that in my "Puberty" years, such things as Same-Sex attraction were considered, however I cannot recall anything that stands out, so for the sake of accuracy, i'm putting it as 1

What does everyone here feel about the Kinsey Scale? And if you are willing, feel free to discuss your Sexual Identity, there is a poll, however I will hide who votes what for Privacy reasons, its purely to see how people stand
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Old January 21 2011, 07:38 PM   #2
FordSVT
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Re: Kinsey Scale (Credible or Psuedo)

Captain M wrote: View Post
I've seen a few mentions of the Kinsey scale in recent threads. From what I understand it comes from a concept that suggests "Sexuality is fluid".

In theory, Sexuality is fluid, we go throughout our lives being attracted to people of all shapes, looks, personalities, etc and in some cases, gender doesn't factor into a potential relationship. The point is, if Alfred Kinsey, who considered himself Bisexual, pioneered the concept of "Fluid Sexuality", what is the need for a scale that generalises "Sexuality"

I have an interest in Psychology and one of the most intriguing areas, in my opinion is Human Sexuality. Now, this is not a perverted interest, i'm genuinely fascinated in what makes up someones "Sexual Makeup", if you like. You can see The Kinsey Scale, which i've typed up below

0: Exclusively heterosexual
1: Predominantly heterosexual, only incidentally homosexual
2: Premoinantly heterosexual, but more than incidentally homosexual
3: Equally heteroseuxal and homosexual (bisexual)
4: Predominantly homosexual, but more than incidentally heterosexual
5: Predominantly homosexual, only incidentally heterosexual
6: Exclusively homosexual

Now, this like many other methods of measuring the "Human Condition" is generalised, sure, it covers a wide area, but at the same time, whats stopping someone from jumping between 0 and 6? That would make them Bisexual right? not necassarily as Bisexual people aren't attracted to both sexes all the time, especially when they are in a relationship with one gender.

I guess this boils down to what an individual considers themselves. I consider myself 1, while i'm exclusively Heterosexual, i'm sure that in my "Puberty" years, such things as Same-Sex attraction were considered, however I cannot recall anything that stands out, so for the sake of accuracy, i'm putting it as 1

What does everyone here feel about the Kinsey Scale? And if you are willing, feel free to discuss your Sexual Identity, there is a poll, however I will hide who votes what for Privacy reasons, its purely to see how people stand
Why don't the choices in your poll more accurately reflect your scale?
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Old January 21 2011, 07:40 PM   #3
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Re: Kinsey Scale (Credible or Psuedo)

I'd say I'm probably a zero. I've always been pretty much exclusively attracted to women, and have never really considered the male form appealing at all. I guess I can see why men could be attractive in an academic sense, but that's about as close as I come to moving the needle at all.
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Old January 21 2011, 07:45 PM   #4
Mr Silver
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Re: Kinsey Scale (Credible or Psuedo)

FordSVT wrote: View Post
Why don't the choices in your poll more accurately reflect your scale?
Because the Poll, is more of a supplement to what I'm wrote about the Kinsey Scale, its more direct. In the Poll you have 4 choices, which pretty much covers your dominant Sexual Preference
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Old January 21 2011, 08:00 PM   #5
Holdfast
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Re: Kinsey Scale (Credible or Psuedo)

Captain M wrote: View Post
What does everyone here feel about the Kinsey Scale?
Kinsey, like many scientists, took a good idea and ground it into dust by making it too specific. The core concept of sexual fluidity; the shaping of sexuality both by natural predisposition, childhood experiences and adult cultural and emotional exposures, is I think essentially sound. In that sense, the work was important, if somewhat self-evident to anyone even remotely familiar with history and culture rather than just a biological scientific background. He did, however, take it to a different audience, so deserves some recognition for that.

The gradations he used to descibe it, and the nature of the work he carried out, are far more questionable for a number of methodological and indeed, ethical, reasons I haven't quite the effort to currently go into, and aren't really going to be taken up and discussed much on this board I think anyway.
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Old January 21 2011, 08:15 PM   #6
Mr Silver
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Re: Kinsey Scale (Credible or Psuedo)

Holdfast wrote: View Post
Kinsey, like many scientists, took a good idea and ground it into dust by making it too specific.
I fully agree, thats the problem with Theoretical Science in general, Just look at the jump in Autistic Spectrum diagnosis' in recent years

The core concept of sexual fluidity; the shaping of sexuality both by natural predisposition, childhood experiences and adult cultural and emotional exposures, is I think essentially sound. In that sense, the work was important, if somewhat self-evident to anyone even remotely familiar with history and culture rather than just a biological scientific background. He did, however, take it to a different audience, so deserves some recognition for that.
Sure, we can all agree to a certain level that Sexual Fludity is influenced by experiences and cultural factors, however its also well documented that an individuals "Base Sexual Disposition" is there from Birth, its like taking a Pizza Base that is either Straight, Gay or Bi and then adding Toppings with each Emotional and Sexual experience

The gradations he used to descibe it, and the nature of the work he carried out, are far more questionable for a number of methodological and indeed, ethical, reasons I haven't quite the effort to currently go into, and aren't really going to be taken up and discussed much on this board I think anyway.
Well, I for one am interested in hearing this, I am under the impression that Alfred Kinsey's reputation is overexaggerated, due to Popular Culture and the emergence of Homosexuality in the 1960's
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Old January 21 2011, 08:32 PM   #7
Jadzia
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Re: Kinsey Scale (Credible or Psuedo)

Sexual attraction isn't that simple that it can be represented with one number.

As simplistic models of sexuality go, a three number system would be better.

M. To what degree are you attracted to male sexual characteristics?
F. To what degree are you attracted to female sexual characteristics?
X. To what degree are you attracted to aspects of a person that are not characteristic of either gender.

Rate each from 0 to 6.

eg, M3/F2/X5

There are thousands of aspects of a person (both physically and psychologically) which we sense and form impressions upon. Some things are static, like the separation of a person's eyes, or their sex, while some aspects of a person can be changeable like their emotions.

Every one of those sense impressions evokes some degree of attractiveness or repulsiveness in the eye of the beholder. Some aspects may be so attractive on their own that they they are a turn on, and we become blind to everything else. Some aspects may be so repulsive on their own that they are a turn off.


For many people the sex of a person plays a strong role in whether they find that person attractive or not, but this is not equally strong for all people.

At one extreme gender plays a strong and critical role, which defines both homo- and hetero- sexualities. Bisexuality is a fusion of homo- and hetero- sexualities. With bisexuality, the sexual characteristics of both men and women are felt to be sexually attractive, so gender plays a strong and critical role.

At the opposite extreme we have pansexuality, which is the orientation in which gender plays a non-role, and where sexual attraction is solely governed by aspects that are not characteristic of either gender.

The last group is asexuality. For these people there are no aspects of a person which are felt to be sexually attractive.

Last edited by Jadzia; January 21 2011 at 10:34 PM.
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Old January 21 2011, 08:50 PM   #8
Holdfast
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Re: Kinsey Scale (Credible or Psuedo)

Captain M wrote: View Post
Holdfast wrote: View Post
The gradations he used to descibe it, and the nature of the work he carried out, are far more questionable for a number of methodological and indeed, ethical, reasons I haven't quite the effort to currently go into, and aren't really going to be taken up and discussed much on this board I think anyway.
Well, I for one am interested in hearing this, I am under the impression that Alfred Kinsey's reputation is overexaggerated, due to Popular Culture and the emergence of Homosexuality in the 1960's
Well, in brief (and sorry but I'm really not going to get into the detail, because sooner or later this thread is odds on to get derailed with some arcane and incomprehensible viewpoints about sexual and gender politics and the core discussion will get lost in the general noise), Kinsey used some very unscientific methods to collect some of his data. Narrow sample sets, borderline-illegal content, unethical practices... the lot, really. And then the political aspects to sexual orientation were seized upon in wider society by both his adherents and detractors, as you say.

But as I think we both agree, the core concept of a spectrum of sexual fluidity is fairly sound, with different people occupying different ranges within the spectrum, and the magnitude of the range also varying. The centre of social gravity, for want of a better phrase, impacts greatly on these ranges.

I quite like your pizza analogy, although I would go a little further and specify that I think it's a thin-crust rather than deep-pan.
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Old January 21 2011, 09:02 PM   #9
Mr Silver
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Re: Kinsey Scale (Credible or Psuedo)

Holdfast wrote: View Post
I quite like your pizza analogy, although I would go a little further and specify that I think it's a thin-crust rather than deep-pan.
I thought more in depth about it as well, I agree it would be a Thin-Crust (Base Sexuality), therefore with each additional topping (Sexual, Cultural and Emotional experiences), eventually the Pizza Topping would make up more of the Pizza's ingredients than the Pizza Base and the toppings would determine the individuals Sexual Preference, although the Base Sexual Identity still remains
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Old January 21 2011, 09:08 PM   #10
Canadave
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Re: Kinsey Scale (Credible or Psuedo)

Captain M wrote: View Post
Holdfast wrote: View Post
I quite like your pizza analogy, although I would go a little further and specify that I think it's a thin-crust rather than deep-pan.
I thought more in depth about it as well, I agree it would be a Thin-Crust (Base Sexuality), therefore with each additional topping (Sexual, Cultural and Emotional experiences), eventually the Pizza Topping would make up more of the Pizza's ingredients than the Pizza Base and the toppings would determine the individuals Sexual Preference, although the Base Sexual Identity still remains
Mmmmm... delicious, delicious sexuality...
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Old January 21 2011, 09:17 PM   #11
SiorX
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Re: Kinsey Scale (Credible or Psuedo)

Holdfast beat me to the duff science, and explained far better than I could have.

Another problem with the Kinsey scale is that it could use a few more axes. It doesn't account for change over time, and it doesn't distinguish between biological sex and gender (neither of which are strict binaries in any case). And, of course, it doesn't allow for asexuality.

That said, I often find it a culturally useful reference point. Depending on the day of the week and the position of Mars, I can be described as a Kinsey 3 or a Kinsey 4 with reasonable truthfulness. There are situations where that's infinitely preferable to identifying as 'bi'. People can be moronic when you tell them you're bi.

I know it's objectively wrong. I know using it might make me a bad influence on others. But it's too useful to ever give up entirely. Like using "they" as a gender-neutral singular pronoun.
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Old January 21 2011, 09:50 PM   #12
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Re: Kinsey Scale (Credible or Psuedo)

SiorX wrote: View Post
Holdfast beat me to the duff science, and explained far better than I could have.

Another problem with the Kinsey scale is that it could use a few more axes. It doesn't account for change over time, and it doesn't distinguish between biological sex and gender (neither of which are strict binaries in any case). And, of course, it doesn't allow for asexuality.

That said, I often find it a culturally useful reference point. Depending on the day of the week and the position of Mars, I can be described as a Kinsey 3 or a Kinsey 4 with reasonable truthfulness. There are situations where that's infinitely preferable to identifying as 'bi'. People can be moronic when you tell them you're bi.

I know it's objectively wrong. I know using it might make me a bad influence on others. But it's too useful to ever give up entirely. Like using "they" as a gender-neutral singular pronoun.
That's how I feel about it as well.
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Old January 21 2011, 09:52 PM   #13
Mr Silver
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Re: Kinsey Scale (Credible or Psuedo)

Another thing i've noticed, many people who appear to be most comfortable with their sexuality have had same-sex experiences. It makes sense too in some ways, Try before you Buy, although many people won't experiment, a lot of people do, most commonly through teenage years

I agree SiorX, for someone who isn't Bisexual (but knows people who consider themselves as this) I've noticed that there is a "moronic" attitude by people. However this in my opinion is influenced by the media, specifically "Bisexual Chic" and of course you get cases of Girls who say they are "Bi" in order to win popularity with Guys. Obviously this is frustrating for people who do consider themselves Bisexual
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Old January 21 2011, 10:15 PM   #14
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Re: Kinsey Scale (Credible or Psuedo)

i'm straight and am completely comfortable with that.
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Old January 21 2011, 10:22 PM   #15
Jadzia
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Re: Kinsey Scale (Credible or Psuedo)

To tie what I wrote above in with the Kinsey Scale, we'd look at the figures for M and F.


Pure heterosexuality would be M=0 F>0 for males, or F=0 M>0 for females.

Pure homosexuality would be M=0 F>0 for females, or F=0 M>0 for males.

The varying degrees of bisexuality would be with both M>0 and F>0. eg, If M = F, then you get a 3 on the Kinsey scale.

Pansexuality would be with M=0 and F=0 and X>0

Asexuality would be with M=0 and F=0 and X=0


Most people would have X>0. This is what adds complexity to sexuality.

eg, A person scoring M0/F6/X0 in my system would find all females sexually attractive since there are no other factors weighing in.
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