You might’ve heard the saying “Sexuality is a spectrum” before. The sexuality spectrum is the idea that all sexuality exists on a spectrum with binary “absolutes” on each end, explains sexologist Tanya M. Bass, Ph.D. The spectrum most often referenced is the Kinsey scale, which describes sexuality as existing on a spectrum from exclusively heterosexual to exclusively homosexual. Any individual can fall anywhere on this spectrum.
Here’s every stop on the Kinsey scale:
0 – Exclusively heterosexual
1 – Predominantly heterosexual, only incidentally homosexual
2 – Predominantly heterosexual but more than incidentally homosexual
3 – Equally heterosexual and homosexual
4 – Predominantly homosexual but more than incidentally heterosexual
5 – Predominantly homosexual, only incidentally heterosexual
6 – Exclusively homosexual
X – No socio-sexual contacts or reactions
Bass points out that there are other spectrums of identity as well, such as the gender spectrum, which views gender identity as existing on a spectrum from maleness to femaleness. Any individual can fall anywhere on this spectrum. Asexuality is considered another spectrum, where people can experience varying degrees of asexuality or fall somewhere on a spectrum from asexual to allosexual.
“Spectrums describe sexuality as fluid related to gender, orientation, attraction, and expression,” Bass explains. “It can often challenge the binary for both orientation, expression, and identity.”