This Re-Imagining of the Kinsey Scale Tries To Account For Asexuality, Is Still Limiting

Oh boy. People really do not want to let go of the Kinsey scale. But it's time, you guys. It's really, really time. The latest foray into using it in the name of bad science involves a re-imagining of the scale, originally developed by Alfred Kinsey & Co. in the late 1940s to measure sexual orientation on a scale from 0 to 6, with 0 being exclusively heterosexual and 6 being exclusively homosexual. This re-imagining, called the Purple-Red Scale of Human Attraction, attempts to take expressions of asexuality into account, and apply them to Kinsey's scale. At face value, that sounds great! The Kinsey scale has widely been critiqued for leaving out folks of asexual orientation, and the person who developed the Purple-Red Scale is inclusive of aromantic asexuals, as well as romantic asexuals, plus folks who experience tertiary sexuality, and secondary sexuality. Folks who experience sexual desire are represented by the attraction types "primary sexuality" and "hyper sexuality." A breakdown of what those identities mean, if you need a refresher, and their placement on the Purple-Red Scale follows:

So nuanced! So inclusive!

So the way you're identified on the Purple-Red Scale is with the letter that corresponds to your attraction type, plus the Kinsey scale number from 0-6 that describes your sexual orientation. If you identify as a homoflexible, romantic asexual, then you would be a B5. If you identify as an exclusively straight, hypersexual person, then you would be an F0. Except there's still one giant problem with the Kinsey scale that not even this admirable attempt at updating it tackles: gender isn't binary.

At the risk of repeating myself, I'm going to quote myself from the last time a sex study using the Kinsey scale forced me to address this:

As the way people define their gender identity grows more complex, so, too, will the way people define their sexual orientation. It's impossible to measure attraction to a gender identity on a binary scale, even with the extra accounting of asexual identities.

To paraphrase my close personal friend Regina George in this matter: "Stop trying to make the Kinsey Scale happen. It's not going to happen.

Images: stasenso/Fotolia; Giphy