The Sexuality Spectrum
There are several scales used for research and to help people define their sexuality. The scales rely on different criteria to know where people fall on the spectrum.
The criteria on the scales includes: sexual attraction, sexual behavior, sexual fantasies, emotional preference, social preference, and self identification.
The following are some questions that may be used:
- Sexual attraction: to whom are you sexually attracted?
- Sexual fantasies: who do you have fantasies about?
- Sexual behavior: with whom have you had sex?
- Emotional/relational preferences: who do you feel more drawn to emotionally?
Answers are on a scale from one to seven, with different sex only on one extreme and similar sex only on the other. Of note: people do not always choose to be in a relationship with the people that they may have an attraction, fantasy or preference for.
Is Bisexuality Real?
This is the question that is most asked of a bisexual person.
Bisexual people are questioned about bisexuality because their friends and family think they are lying; that they are not ready to admit that they are gay or lesbian. Questioning a person’s sexuality is a way of denying what they say. Sexuality is a complex mix of attraction, behavior, fantasies, social preferences and self identity.
Is Bisexuality a Phase?
Parents often say, “You are just going through a phase.”
Questions about bisexuality being a phase or being real are damaging because they say, “We don’t believe you.”
You don’t have to be actively engaged with both men and women to be bisexual. Bisexuality is largely invisible because of this inaccurate way of thinking.