5th January 1948: Sexual Behavior In The Human Male

Alfred Kinsey’s “Sexual Behavior In The Human Male” was published at the start of 1948. One of the landmark texts in modern understanding of sexuality, it followed extensive interviews with men across the USA and its findings about sex and sexuality were considered outrageous at the time. The oft-quoted “1 in 10” figure for homosexuality is derived from that 1948 report.

Kinsey plotted sexuality on a scale from 0 to 6 where 0 indicated exclusive heterosexuality and 6 exclusive homosexuality; 1,2,3,4 and 5 were gradations between and can be seen as different experiences of bisexuality.

Explaining his scale, Kinsey wrote:

“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”

Five years later he released a similar report about women’s sexuality.


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