Klein Sexual Orientation Grid


This grid is very similar to the Kinsey scale except that it measures sexuality over time and defines each sexuality in terms of an integral instead of a number (though the integrals are numbered). There is limited information on this integral because it is not as widely used or well known.

Klein has made a large contribution to the study of sexuality and created the American Institute on Bisexuality. He is definitely one of my heroes.

About Fritz Klein

December 27, 1932 – May 24, 2006

“Dr. Fritz Klein was born in Vienna, Austria in 1932. While still a small boy, he fled with his family to New York City to escape anti-Semitism and the impending war. He later studied medicine in Switzerland at Bern University and received an MBA from Columbia University. Dr. Klein was a board-certified psychiatrist for 30 years in New York and San Diego until his retirement. Early in his career, he realized that there was a void in knowledge about sexual orientation, specifically in the area of bisexuality. He placed an ad in the Village Voice for a meeting that resulted in the creation in New York of the “Bisexual Forum,” which recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. During this period he wrote The Bisexual Option, 1978, and co-authored: Man, His Body, His Sex (Doubleday & Co.) in 1978.

Fritz Klein

After moving to San Diego , Dr. Klein founded the “Bisexual Forum” for that city in 1982, wrote several books, and founded and became Editor of The Journal of Bisexuality.

Dr. Fritz Klein is best known for his pioneering sex research and the development of the multi-dimensional Klein Sexual Orientation Grid, which measures the complexity and fluidity of sexual orientation.

The Klein Grid, first published in 1978, expanded on the “zero to six” Kinsey scale. The Klein Grid measures actual sexual experiences, but also sexual attractions, fantasies, emotional preference, social preference, lifestyle and self-identification as they relate to a person’s past, present and ideal future. Klein’s research showed that these factors can change over time for an individual, and vary not just between but also within groups of straight, gay and bisexual people. He concluded that people generalize from their own experiences and feelings to assume, often wrongly, that other people must experience their own sexual orientations the same way.

As a result, Klein concluded sexual orientations are too complex to be broken into simple, well-defined categories. Nonetheless, he was a tireless activist especially concerning bisexual issues and community. He was known all over the world for his groundbreaking research and writing, ranging from the academic publication of the Klein Grid in the Journal of Homosexuality in 1985 to popular books and articles concerning bisexuality, as well as a novel, Life, Sex and the Pursuit of Happiness published in 2005 by Harrington Park Press.

Dr. Klein founded the American Institute of Bisexuality (AIB), a public benefit charity, in 1998 to encourage, support and assist research and education about bisexuality, and served as Chairman of the Board up until his death. He was known for being outspoken, controversial and compassionate, and for his love and support of theater and the arts.

AIB (also known as the Bisexual Foundation) encourages, supports and assists research and education about bisexuality, through programs likely to make a material difference and enhance public knowledge and awareness.” (http://www.bisexual.org/klein.html)

Klein Grid

Klein Sexual Orientation Grid attempts to further measure sexual orientation by expanding upon the earlier Kinsey scale which categorizes sexual history from 0 (exclusively heterosexual) to 6 (exclusively homosexual). As a person travels on the scale, they are determined to be “Predominantly heterosexual, more than incidentally homosexual” at interval 2, “Predominantly homosexual, only incidentally heterosexual” at interval 5 and anywhere in between. At the centre, Interval 3 is “Equally Heterosexual and Homosexual”.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Klein_Sexual_Orientation_Grid)

The grid itself can be viewed on the site listed above.

A more comprehensive explanation and grid can be seen on this website (http://www.bisexual.org/kleingrid.html)

The Klein Sexual Orientation Grid

The Klein Sexual Orientation Grid (or KSOG) is a system for describing a person’s sexual proclivities in a way more detailed and informative than previous methods. It was introduced by Dr. Fritz Klein (1932-2006) in his book The Bisexual Option.

The Klein Sexual Orientation Grid is shown in the table below. For each person, it sets out the seven component variables of sexual orientation, listed as A through G down the left side. The three columns indicate three different points at which sexual orientation is assessed: the person’s past, their present, and their ideal. The person then receives a rating from 1 to 7 for each of the 21 resulting combinations, one rating for each empty box in the chart below. The meanings of the ratings are indicated just below the grid itself.

The Klein Sexuality Grid
Variable Past Present Ideal
A Sexual Attraction
B Sexual Behavior
C Sexual Fantasies
D Emotional Preference
E Social Preference
F Heterosexual/Homosexual Lifestyle
G Self Identification

For variables A to E:

1 = Other sex only
2 = Other sex mostly
3 = Other sex somewhat more
4 = Both sexes
5 = Same sex somewhat more
6 = Same sex mostly
7 = Same sex only

For variables F and G:

1 = Heterosexual only
2 = Heterosexual mostly
3 = Heterosexual somewhat more
4 = Hetero/Gay-Lesbian equally
5 = Gay/Lesbian somewhat more
6 = Gay/Lesbian mostly
7 = Gay/Lesbian only

Definitions helpful in using the Klein scale*:

Past: Your life up to 12 months ago.
Present: The most recent 12 months
Ideal: What do you think you would eventually like?

The Variables:

Sexual Attraction: To whom are you sexually attracted?

Sexual Behavior: With whom have you actually had sex?

Sexual Fantasies: Whom are your sexual fantasies about? (They may occur during masturbation, daydreaming, as part of real life, or purely in your imagination.)

Emotional Preference: Emotions influence, if not define, the actual physical act of love. Do you love and like only members of the same sex, only members of the other sex, or members of both sexes?

Social Preference: Social preference is closely allied with but often different from emotional preference. With members of which sex do you socialize?

Lifestyle Preference: What is the sexual identity of the people with whom you socialize?

Sexual Identity: How do you think of yourself?

Political Identity: Some people describe their relationship to the rest of society differently than their personal sexual identity. For instance, a woman may have a heterosexual sexual identity, but a lesbian political identity. How do you think of yourself politically?

Note that the Klein Grid takes into consideration the fact that many people change their orientation over time. Where a person is today is not necessarily where she or he was in the past — or, for that matter, where he or she will be or would like to be in the future. The concept of sexual orientation as an ongoing dynamic process is necessary if we are to understand a person’s orientation properly in its entirety. A more detailed explanation is found in Chapter 2 of Dr. Klein’s book The Bisexual Option.

The Bisexual Option

The Bisexual Option, by Fritz Klein, MD, was the first psychological publication specifically devoted to bisexuality.[citation needed] It was first published in 1978, with a second edition printed in 1993.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bisexual_Option)

To see the extended version/summary/break up of the book you can view the wikipedia site and you can also view reviews on this website (as well as many others): http://gaybookreviews.info/review/2496/552


As a finishing note, you can take the Klein Grid quiz and see where you score in terms of Klein’s determined integrals. You can take the quiz here: http://www.youthnetsouthampton.org.uk/breakout/kleingrid.php


1 Comment

Filed under Sexuality

One response to “Klein Sexual Orientation Grid

  1. Happen to be surfing online a lot more than three hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It’s pretty worth enough for me. For me, if all webmasters and bloggers made good content just like you did, the world wide web is going to be considerably more useful than ever.

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