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Klein Sexual Orientation Grid


Klein Sexual Orientation Grid

The Klein Sexual Orientation Grid (KSOG) developed by Fritz Klein attempts to measure sexual orientation by expanding upon the earlier Kinsey scale. Klein first described the KSOG in his 1978 book The Bisexual Option.[1][2][3][4]

In response to the criticism of the Kinsey scale only measuring two dimensions of sexual orientation, Klein developed a multidimensional grid for describing sexual orientation. Unlike the Kinsey Scale, the Klein grid investigates sexual orientation in the past, the present and in the idealized future with respect to seven factors each, for a total of twenty-one values. The KSOG uses values of 1–7, rather than the 0–6 scale of the Kinsey Scale, to describe a continuum from exclusively opposite-sex to exclusively same-sex attraction.[1]

The KSOG is often used as a tool in research.[5][6] Studies using the KSOG have used cluster analysis to investigate patterns within the KSOG's twenty-one parameters, in one case suggesting a five-label (straight, bi-straight, bi-bi, bi-gay, gay) model of orientation.[7][8] The KSOG has also been used in studies of conversion therapy.[9]


  • Overview 1
  • Shortcomings 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • Further reading 5


Introduced in Klein's book The Bisexual Option the KSOG uses a seven-point scale to assess seven different dimensions of sexuality at three different points in an individual's life: past (from early adolescence up to one year ago), present (within the last 12 months), and ideal (what would be choose if it were voluntary).[10]

Variable Past Present Ideal
A. Sexual Attraction. To whom are you sexually attracted?
B. Sexual Behaviour. With whom have you had sex?
C. Sexual Fantasies. About whom are your sexual fantasies?
D. Emotional Preference. Who do you feel more drawn to or close to emotionally?
E. Social Preference. Which gender do you socialize with?
F. Lifestyle Preference. In which community do you like to spend your time? In which do you feel most comfortable?
G. Self Identification. How do you label or identify yourself?

Scale to measure variables A, B, C, D and E of the KSOG

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
other sex only other sex mostly other sex somewhat more both sexes equally same sex somewhat more same sex mostly same sex only

Scale to measure variables F and G of the KSOG

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
heterosexual only heterosexual mostly heterosexual somewhat more heterosexual/homosexual equally homosexual somewhat more homosexual mostly homosexual only


Klein, while recognizing that the grid explored many more dimensions of sexual orientation than previous scales, acknowledged that it omitted the following aspects of sexual orientation:[11]

  • Age of partner
  • Differentiation of love and friendship in the emotional preference variable
  • Sexual attraction being distinguished between sexual desire and limerence
  • Whether sexual activity referred to number of partners or number of occurrences
  • Sex roles as well as masculine and feminine roles

While Klein held the belief that including more dimensions of sexual orientation was better, Weinrich et al. (1993) found that all of the dimensions of the KSOG seemed to be measuring the same construct.[12] The study conducted a factor analysis of the KSOG to see how many factors emerged in two different samples. In both groups, the first factor to emerge loaded substantially on all of the grid's 21 items, indicating that this factor accounted for a majority of the variance. They further found that a second factor emerged containing time dimensions of social and emotional preferences suggesting that those dimensions may have also been measuring something other than sexual orientation. Therefore, despite the scale being helpful in promoting the concept of sexual orientation as being multidimensional and dynamic, the additional dimensions measured do not necessarily reveal any more of an accurate description of one's overall sexual orientation than the Kinsey Scale.

Another concern with the KSOG is that different dimensions of sexual orientation may not identify all people of a certain orientation in the same way. Measures of sexual attraction, sexual activity, and sexual identity identify different (though often overlapping) populations. Laumann et al. (1994) found that of the 8.6% of women reporting some same gender sexuality, 88% reported same gender sexual attraction, 41% reported some same gender sexual behaviour and 16% reported a lesbian or gay identity.[13] Thus, it is not clear what exactly the scale may be measuring as depending on which aspect is taken into consideration, sexual orientation may or not be revealed.

See also


  1. ^ a b Coleman, Edmond J (1987-09-10). Integrated Identity for Gay Men and Lesbians: Psychotherapeutic Approaches for Emotional Well-Being. Psychology Press. pp. 13–.  
  2. ^ The Bad Subjects Production Team (1997-11-01). Bad Subjects: Political Education for Everyday Life. NYU Press. pp. 108–.  
  3. ^ Bancroft, John (2009). Human Sexuality And It Problems. Elsevier Health Sciences. pp. 262–.  
  4. ^ Klein, Fritz; Barry Sepekoff; Timothy J. Wolf (1985). "Sexual Orientation:". Journal of Homosexuality 11 (1–2): 35–49.  
  5. ^ Hammack, Phillip L.; Cohler, Bertram J. (2009-03-06). The Story of Sexual Identity: Narrative Perspectives on the Gay and Lesbian Life Course. Oxford University Press. pp. 114–.  
  6. ^ Bohan, Janis; Russell, Glenda (1999-08-01). Conversations about Psychology and Sexual Orientation. NYU Press. pp. 197–.  
  7. ^ Roberts, B. C. (1997). "The Many Faces of Bisexuality". International Journal of Sexuality and Gender Studies 2 (1): 65–76.  
  8. ^ Weinrich, James D.; Fritz Klein (2002). "Bi-Gay, Bi-Straight, and Bi-Bi". Journal of Bisexuality 2 (4): 109–139.  
  9. ^ Jones, Stanton L.; Yarhouse, Mark A. (2007-08-24). Ex-Gays?: A Longitudinal Study of Religiously Mediated Change in Sexual Orientation. InterVarsity Press. pp. 8–.  
  10. ^ Klein, Fritz (1993). The Bisexual Option. The Haworth Press. p. 19.  
  11. ^ Klein, Fritz (1993). The Bisexual Option. p. 20. 
  12. ^ J. Weinrich; et al. (1993). "A factor analysis of the Klein Sexual Orientation Grid in two disparate samples.". Archives of Sexual Behaviour 22: 157–168.  
  13. ^ Laumann; et al. (1994). The Social Organization of Sexuality. The University of Chicago Press. p. 303.  

Further reading

  • Klein, Fritz, MD. The Bisexual Option, Second Edition. Binghamton, NY: The Haworth Press, 1993. ISBN 1560230339 OCLC 27187013.
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