A sample of 1,784 individuals responded to an online survey advertised on the Facebook social networking website. We explored the sexual orientation continuum by focusing on three components: self-reported sexual orientation identity, sexual attraction, and sexual partners. Results supported a 5-category classification of identity (heterosexual, mostly heterosexual, bisexual, mostly gay/lesbian, gay/lesbian) in that two added identity labels (mostly heterosexual and mostly gay/lesbian) were frequently chosen by participants and/or showed unique patterns of attraction and partners, distinct from their adjacent identities (heterosexual and bisexual, and bisexual and gay/lesbian, respectively). Those who reported an exclusive label (heterosexual, gay/lesbian) were not necessarily exclusive in other components; a significant minority of heterosexuals and the majority of gays/lesbians reported some attraction and/or partners toward their nonpreferred sex. The five identity groups differed in attraction and partners in a manner consistent with a continuous, rather than a categorical, distribution of sexual orientation. Findings also supported a sexual orientation continuum as consisting of two, rather than one, distinct dimensions (same- and other-sex sexuality). Having more same-sex sexuality did not necessarily imply having less other-sex sexuality, and vice versa. More men than women were at the exclusive ends of the continuum; however, men were not bimodally distributed in that a significant minority reported nonexclusivity in their sexuality.
So add MG and ML (mostly gay and mostly lesbian) to the queer alphabet soup acronym.
Here's my beef: if we can't rely on people to accurately identify whether they are exclusively gay or lesbian, why should we trust people who will identify as mostly gay or lesbian? Or exclusively heterosexual for that matter. Are we going to start dividing attraction, to make it even more accurate? (I'm one quarter gay, but three quarters straight).
Arch Sex Behav. 2012 Feb 11. [Epub ahead of print]
Mostly Heterosexual and Mostly Gay/Lesbian: Evidence for New Sexual Orientation Identities.
Vrangalova Z, Savin-Williams RC.
Department of Human Development, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 14853-4401, USA, firstname.lastname@example.org.