Diversity in Sexual Orientation

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Diversity in Sexual Orientation
by Jason Burnley

When I think about diversity in the world I too think about diversity when it comes to sexual orientation. Sometimes I think -- How is sexual identity developed? What influences who we become sexually? Why is there such diversity in sexual orientation? To be quite frank, there are no correct or incorrect answers to these questions. The idea of sexual orientation and behavior is a very complex one. What was true in the past is certainly different than the norm today. When I researched the various psychological theories and methodologies of measuring one’s sexuality, naturally I came across the work of Dr. Alfred Kinsey, the creator of the Kinsey scale.

Dr. Kinsey created The Kinsey scale, a scale that attempts to describe and/or measure a person's sexual history or episodes of their sexual activity at a given time. “The scale ranked sexual behavior from 0 to 6, with 0 being completely heterosexual and 6 completely homosexual. An additional category, X, was mentioned to describe as asexual, those who experienced no sexual desire.” (Kinsey, et al. (1948), page 640, table 141).

Particularly when it came to males Kinsey’s research showed there was a certain disregard for discrimination. “Males do not represent two discrete populations, heterosexual and homosexual. The world is not to be divided into sheep and goats. It is a fundamental of taxonomy that nature rarely deals with discrete categories... The living world is a continuum in each and every one of its aspects.” (Kinsey, et al. (1948), page 640, table 141). “While emphasizing the continuity of the gradations between exclusively heterosexual and exclusively homosexual histories, it has seemed desirable to develop some sort of classification which could be based on the relative amounts of heterosexual and homosexual experience or response in each history... An individual may be assigned a position on this scale, for each period in his life.... A...
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