The Kinsey Scale!
“Men do not represent two separate populations – heterosexual and homosexual. One cannot divide the world into goats and sheep. Not all things are either black or white. It is a tenet of taxonomy that nature rarely has separate categories. Only the human mind introduces categories and tries to divide the facts into separate subjects. The living world is a continuum in all its aspects. The sooner we become aware of this in relation to human sexual behavior, the sooner we will come to a real understanding of the realities. “
– Alfred C. Kinsey: 1948
As early as 1941, when there were 1,600 interviews, Kinsey showed a percentage grading between heterosexual and homosexual behavior based on 30 selected cases. He was faced with the still very complex problem that one cannot simply divide into “heterosexual” and “homosexual” as well as “active” and “passive” homosexuals and explain this simply endocrinologically, but that there are infinitely many intermediate stages of existing behavior there.
The Kinsey Scale is a rating of a person’s sexual orientation established by the sex researcher Alfred Charles Kinsey; an attempt to grasp this complex matter with a single numerical value. It was published in the Kinsey Reports in 1948 and 1953. The scale ranges from 0 to 6, where 0 stands for exclusively heterosexual and 6 for exclusively homosexual. In between there are various forms of bisexual experiences, with 3 denoting equal proportions of heterosexual and homosexual experiences. In addition to the scale, there is also a category X for individuals who have no sexual contact and who do not show any obvious sexual reactions in a social context. Today this category is often understood as a classification of asexuals. The classification is made not only according to the number of sexual acts, but also according to psychological experiences, which Kinsey expressly emphasizes in his explanations.
“For example, a husband with no real homosexual contacts, who regularly fulfilled his ‘marital duties’ but mainly fantasized about male partners, was not placed under 0, but under 2 or 3, depending on how strong or frequent his homosexual desires and fantasies were. Conversely, a henchman with only one girlfriend but thousands of homosexual contacts could get the same placement under 2 or 3 if his actual sexual desires were directed towards this girlfriend and he served his male customers ‘just for the money’. ”
– Erwin J. Haeberle: Bisexualities, 1994
He no longer saw any reason to speak of “the homosexual”. If the explanation was followed, it also became clear that the question of the number of homosexuals in a population could not be answered in principle. It was only possible to indicate how many people could be assigned to which section of the Kinsey scale at any given point in time.
In terms of actual sexual behavior, the 1948 Kinsey Report found that 37 percent of the US male population after puberty had “at least some physical homosexual experience leading to orgasm” and a further 13 percent had “erotic reactions to other men” To maintain “without actual homosexual contacts”. All in all, therefore, only 50 percent of the male adult population are exclusively heterosexual and only four percent without exception – and throughout their entire life – homosexual. (Alfred C. Kinsey: The Sexual Behavior of Men. S. Fischer, Berlin 1964, p. 600 f.)
As yet, no definitive and precise causes for the emergence of non-heterosexual behavior have been identified. Even so, there is some evidence of influences that play a role in its development. There are many findings that emphasize the importance of biological factors influencing the development of sexual orientation. Various researchers have found that differences in the brain affect people’s sexual orientation. These differences develop in the second half of pregnancy.
The reseacher Levay and his colleagues found, for example, gender-specific brain structures in the medial preoptic region (in the anterior hypothalamus) in the INAH3. This region is about three times as large for men as it is for women. It turned out that this core was also much smaller in homosexual men than in heterosexual men, or was absent entirely. (S. LeVay: A difference in hypothalamic structure between heterosexual and homosexual men. In: Science. Volume 253, No. 5023, August 30, 1991) Hormones and chemical substances also play an important role in the development of sexual orientation, and indeed already in the womb. Above all, pheromones and testosterone influence the development.
Overall, it can be stated that biological causes for a later non-heterosexuality are considered more likely than social causes. This is supported by the fact that the signs in childhood appear so early that, on the one hand, the children cannot be socially influenced and, on the other hand, the development of sexual interests is still very far away.
Nevertheless, it must be emphasized that a strict distinction must be made between lived and repressed homosexuality. Although the idea of innate homosexuality can be contrasted with the principle of personal responsibility, this is of no use if the person concerned does not want to recognize it. Ultimately, there is a free decision and neither can anyone “make someone homosexual” or, conversely, the “allegedly homosexual” force people to believe him. A lived Sexual behavior is a matter of personal responsibility, just as a doctor can only make treatment recommendations, a mechanic makes a repair suggestion or the waiter recommends the plate of the day. The fact that the surrounding community has an influence on whether someone stands by his homosexuality or not is the fate that is opposed to a fight and has also promoted the emergence of most of the LGBTQ + scenes in the western world!
The Roman Catholic Church insists that “every person has the same fundamental identity of being a creature and by the grace of a child of God, heir to eternal life” and therefore refuses to classify any person as exclusively “heterosexual” or “homosexual”. It clearly distinguishes between homosexual inclinations and homosexual behavior. According to the Roman Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, homosexual inclination or tendency is objectively disordered and does not correspond to the creative sense of sexuality, but as such is not yet sinful, while consciously and freely performed homosexual acts are serious Sin to be viewed. In principle, all Christians are called to lead a chaste life; Homosexual people are also required to completely abstain from same-sex sexuality. Within the Church, however, this attitude is not supported by the majority of the laity in all countries; there are rather great differences between different Catholic areas. The acceptance of homosexuality in Brazil and the Philippines is over 70% as high as in many Western countries.
– Tuhfet Ul-Mulk (a Turkish translation of Ruju as-Shaykh ila sibah)
According to the Islamic scholar Thomas Bauer, Islam has been tolerant of homosexuals for more than a thousand years. Bauer emphasizes that there was “no trace of homophobia” to be found in Arab-Islamic cultural history between 800 and 1800. According to Bauer, it was not until the 19th century that the West introduced the “fight against messy sex” in the Middle East as part of colonization. Prior to 1979, in a thousand years, there was no known case in the Islamic Middle East and North Africa in which a man was criminally charged for consensual sexual intercourse with another man. In Muslim migrant communities in Europe, the issue of homosexuality is seldom addressed openly and is mostly viewed as an issue relevant to the culture of the majority society and not the migrant community.
Accordingly, homosexuality is actually not a question of biological behavior, but an awareness of free sexuality. Apparently the thought of an unfulfilled, probably unsatisfied urge triggers a certain fear and insecurity, which is probably compensated outwardly with anger and aggression. Linked to the idea of the Kinsey scale, a comparison of cultures can also be shown. In fact, from a relatively statistical point of view, there should be as many homosexual people in Saudi Arabia as there are in Austria, since one cannot assume that “biologically different” people live in the Arab world than in Europe – Mankind is one race. It is not for nothing that the persecution of sexual minorities is also one of the main reasons for migrants to flee.
Even at Kinsey, the proportion of homosexuality in the “overall instinctual pacification” was not a fixed one, but depended to a large extent on the respective class affiliation. During this time, members of the lower classes had far more homosexual contacts than the bourgeoisie and the elite. (Alfred C. Kinsey: The Sexual Behavior of Men. S. Fischer, Berlin 1964, p. 327.)
More recent studies also show how much these numbers can be subject to historical change. In a study on youth sexuality carried out by the Hamburg Institute for Sexual Research in 1970, 18 percent of the 16- and 17-year-old boys surveyed stated that they had had same-sex sexual experiences. Twenty years later it was only two percent – without this having significantly increased the proportion of boys with heterosexual contacts. (Gunter Schmidt (Ed.): Youth sexuality: social change, group differences, areas of conflict. Enke, Stuttgart 1993, p. 35.)
The actual frequency of homosexual experiences cannot be determined over time and uniformly for all social classes. Social and cultural framework conditions influence the self-assessment on the subject of homosexuality determined in surveys, so that a direct reference to the facts is difficult. But it can be assumed with a high probability that many more people have had homosexual experiences, are dedicated to them or wish to have them than there are people who would admit it. According to this, a further work can be considered based on the knowledge gained here, which deals with the actual numerical values of potential homosexuality in the population and also determines possible solutions for an easier “coming-out”.
Part II including scientific work will follow with the next issue.
literary comparison by Tibor Spath / October 2021