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In which Lindsey teaches you about the Kinsey and Klein models of sexual orientation.

Here's a link to the interactive Klein's Grid:

You can ask Lindsey Questions at:

Host: Dr. Lindsey Doe

Directing/Filming/Editing: Nicholas Jenkins

Titles: Michael Aranda

Executive Producer: Hank Green

Music Used In This Episode: Mining By Moonlight by Kevin MacLeod
A man named Dr. Alfred Kinsey did one of the largest studies of human sexual behavior in the 1940's. The findings of his study, published in these two volumes, give the world a much deeper understanding of sexuality, including a new way to talk about sexual orientation.


As Dr. Alfred Kinsey puts it, "There are not two discrete populations, heterosexual and homosexual. The world is not to be divided into sheep and goat." This is true of sexual orientation, how we're oriented with others sexually, if at all. Kinsey created a 7-point Likert scale to show how we describe sexual orientation. [Pointing to shirt] Like this one here!

Alright, so, seven points, 0 through 6. A Kinsey 0 is someone who is exclusively heterosexual. A Kinsey 6 is someone who is exclusively homosexual. The way that I remember this is when one of my classmates, very homosexual, raised his hand and said, "I'm a Kinsey 10!" And so, to me, 6 reminds me top of the numbers, higher numbers, more homosexual in behavior. And the lower numbers indicate more heterosexual, or interest in opposite-sex partners. Kinsey 1 is predominantly heterosexual with an incident of homosexuality, and a Kinsey 5 is predominantly homosexual with an incident of heterosexuality.

2 and 4 are more than incidents, so heterosexual with more than an incident of homosexuality and homosexual with more than an incident of heterosexuality. And a Kinsey 3 is equal parts heterosexual and homosexual, in either psychological reaction and/or sexual behavior.

Aces, I didn't forget you and Kinsey didn't either! If a person identifies as asexual, sexual orientation is denoted by an X. Kinsey describes them as "no socio-sexual contacts or reactions." You might be asking yourself, "Well what am I?!" If you're in a research study, the determination is made by the researcher. Otherwise you get to identify yourself. I'm a Kinsey 1.

With my students we talk about having different Kinsey numbers for attraction, behavior, and fantasies. Perhaps someone is a Kinsey 0 for behavior, a Kinsey 4 for fantasies, and a Kinsey 6 for attraction. This could mean that the person had only ever had experiences with somebody of the opposite sex, but that their fantasies were a little bit more of a preference for the same sex, and their attraction entirely for the same sex.

This is an effort at depicting orientation; it doesn't mean it's a done deal. I mean, Kinsey's scale doesn't even account for non-binary genders or pansexuality. Pansexuality? Attraction regardless of gender, all the genders. Other models do account for all these variables like gender and fantasies and time. Fritz Klein even came up with a method that brings in emotional and social preferences. And lifestyle, and how you would identify, regardless of algorithm. This is Klein's Grid, it is an interactive version that lets me show you how to use it. Dynamic, multi-variable, differences over time. Three differences over time, and the many variables to consider for those three time periods. Sexual attraction, sexual behavior, sexual fantasies, emotional preferences, social preferences, and lifestyle preferences you have, and even your political identity.

There are hundreds of different ways to describe sexual orientation; yours might be the next leader in how we classify each other. That's if we need to be classified at all...