Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wait a minute, this is stupid.

So I was chopping vegetables the other day, and suddenly it struck me: The Kinsey scale is kinda dumb. Why? Because it measures two entirely unrelated variables (attraction to people of your gender and attraction to people of the opposite gender) along the same axis.

That's really dumb! It's like graphing how much people like bananas and melons using the same axis. If you don't see what's wrong with this, imagine that you don't like melons or bananas. Or that you hate melons and like bananas, but don't like bananas as much as everyone else who's all the way over on the not-melon side. There's no way to express those ideas on this scale, because the only way to like melons less is to like bananas more. This is stupid because how much you like bananas is not related to how much you like melons.

To bring it back to sexuality, being less attracted to one gender does not mean that you have to be more attracted to the other gender. Those variables are independent. What the heck are they doing on the same axis? Really the graph should look like more like this: 

What a nice-looking graph. ...Except then this happens:

Dang it, gender binary, things are so much easier to graph if I can just pretend you exist! (But I can't.)


  1. Is there an analogy prize that could be bestowed on you? Because you're epic at them. I've thought of the needs-two-axis thing before myself, but the melons vs. bananas thing is the best way of explaining it I've seen - covering the issues the one axis model has and everything. Thank you!

    1. Hah, thank you. Analogies are how I think about the world.