The J curve
According to the book "A Separate Creation", if you make a plot of how many people are gay, bi, or straight, with flaming fruit bar on the left (appropriately enough) and straight as an arrow on the right, you end up with a curve that looks like a "J". That is, a few people are gay, a lot of people are straight, and very very few people are shades in between.
This doesn't count all the people who say they are bisexual for kicks on MySpace. Francine 22:49, 6 October 2008 (EDT)
I have found that the opposite seems to be true. Most of my friends are varying degrees of bi. In my "research" I've found that a lot of people seem to assume that once you're attracted to the same sex, you're gay. Bisexuality isn't really talked about as an option. So it might just be that the Kinsey 4s and 5s are reporting themselves as 6s, and the 1s and 2s are reporting themselves as 0s... Personally, I call myself straight, though I'm a 1, because it's simpler that way. Wazza (Not Wazzock, Wazza)Approach the Presence 10:20, 28 October 2008 (EDT)
- Should also be mentioned that a lot of homosexuals are hostile to bi people because they feel they're just saying that to make themselves more acceptable, that they're denying their true nature... I think that perception is dying down, but I read an article last year by a bi girl who had experienced that sort of discrimination. Wazza (Not Wazzock, Wazza)Approach the Presence 10:22, 28 October 2008 (EDT)
- I'm sticking my neck out a bit here, but I think the J-curve idea is probably fairly accurate, though not 100%. Everyone has some slight elements of bisexuality, but the majority of people are largely either straight or gay. Anyway, I think it should be mentioned in the article as it presents a counterpoint to the other views there. weaseLOId~ 10:31, 28 October 2008 (EDT)
If everyone has some slight elements of bisexuality, it should look more like a bimodal normal distribution with the mode closer to the straight end a lot larger than the one at the gay end. Not like a J. Wazza (Not Wazzock, Wazza)Approach the Presence 10:34, 28 October 2008 (EDT)
- OK, that sounds like I'm picking hairs, but my point is that the J curve makes it sound like there are hardly any bisexuals, whereas in my personal experience at least some level of bisexuality is far more likely than straight-out homosexuality. Wazza (Not Wazzock, Wazza)Approach the Presence 10:37, 28 October 2008 (EDT)
- I'm trying to find a picture of what I imagine the J-curve to look like. I don't think it would be an upright "J", more like a J stretched out a bit at both ends. I think the point is that, as you say, some extent of bisexuality is common to both (mostly)straight & (mostly)gay people, but there are relatively few people are genuinely equally attracted to both men & women (3 on the Kinsey scale). Anyway, I don't have any stats to prove this, so maybe it's just my own prejudices on the subject. weaseLOId~
It depends when you test them... one of my ex-girlfriends would have times when she only wanted guys and times when she only wanted girls. I imagined the J curve as something like a nike swoosh, whereas I suspect the actual curve is more like a curve which starts at 0, swoops gently up, down a little in the middle, and then up higher again before diving back down to 0 at the straight end. Wazza (Not Wazzock, Wazza)Approach the Presence 10:57, 28 October 2008 (EDT)
- I have no authoritative evidence but here are two anecdotal points.
- Firstly a gay friend claims that most men he knows who identify as straight have had, at some point in their lives a homosexual experience. I have no idea how true this is except in my case where I can confirm it.
- Secondly It is quite apparent that two of my friends, both of whom would identify themselves as 100% straight and would be insulted if you said otherwise, have some sort of thing about each other. Their constant homophobic bickering over our weekly poker game comes under the 'they do protest too much' heading.
- So, here's my point. Counting 'bisexuals' is inherently problematic. I would call myself straight, I haven't slept with a man for thirty five years or so and have no desire to do so. However I have had a homosexual experience in the past. What am I? Straight? Bisexual? Was bisexual, now straight? Confused? Furthermore how would you count my two friends. They would definitely self identify as 100% straight and would be deeply offended by any other rating. However my pop psychology points otherwise. Indeed Quentin Crisp theorized that most queer bashers are repressed homosexuals. In conclusion any attempt to put people on some sort of 0-5 scale is doomed by oversimplification and inaccurate reporting/measurement. Silver Sloth 11:01, 28 October 2008 (EDT)
Kinsey's 0-6 scale was based purely on actual experience, if I remember correctly. Personally I think it's just a handy way to tell people how you feel about your personal desires and/or experience. Nothing's set in stone, people change, people deny things... categorising yourself is probably a bad thing to do, because that category will almost certainly not fit. Wazza (Not Wazzock, Wazza)Approach the Presence 11:05, 28 October 2008 (EDT)
- I have always been of the (unfounded) opinion that the culture heavily affects how these self-identifications are "processed" by the individual. In today's world, homosexuality is still largely reviled, and even quite dangerous, bisexuality is likewise considered a bit "strange". So most people ID as "straight" since they have "some" straight in them (enough?) to do so and then they don't have to worry about it. I posit that in a culture where teh gay was admired and desired, most people woudl be able to get there and ID that way, since they'd have "enough" gay in them to do so, and a few truly "opposite sex only" attracted people would be "stuck" being heterosexual pariahs. In an orientation-neutral culture I think we'd see something more like a fairly flat bell curve - very few exclusively gay or straight, most people in that 1-5 range. I also think that the real difference is not between "gay" and "straight", but between those to whom sex is important and those to whom it isn't so much (especially after those few fevered years of post-adolescence). That it becomes less important to many people is why it's easy for them to identify with the "cultural demands". Anyway, that's my take on one or two aspects of this issue. ħuman 16:03, 28 October 2008 (EDT)
For your consideration...
While the discussion itself seems to have died off a year and change back (see above), I have a few thoughts which I wanted to run by the Mobocracy before editing in/out.
- First, dealing with the above, Kinsey's data suggested that few males (~11%, I believe he said) were 0s on his scale, and that most people were 1s or 2s. This idea is also presented in the above discussion. It seems like there's a place for such info in the article, but I'm having trouble with where and how, notably when inserting "everyone's bi" is amusingly tempting.
- Second, in the introduction, when it's noted that bisexuals usually have a preference, the example is essentially "some guys just like to do guys for fun, but not relationships". I'm not sure if it's intentional or not, but it seems like that would be an example of the negative attitudes discussed later in the article. Maybe I'm making mountains out of mole hills here, but I think a second example that flips the activity discussed (e.g. women who pursue relationships with men sometimes and women other times, but find more attraction to, or sex more satisfying with, or date more often __). Mind you, said example would also be a suitable place for further joking and links to helpful pages.
- Yes indeed. ħuman 07:34, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
Add a histogram?
This one was posted on Reddit, but is poor quality: http://i.imgur.com/6Yr0G.png https://www.reddit.com/r/askscience/comments/jnz1z/what_is_the_shape_of_the_distribution_of_human/c2dqbv4?context=10000 Get the data and remake it? Hmmph (talk) 18:57, 5 December 2015 (UTC)
Other topics article could cover
- Biological cause/relationship to hormones.
- Are bisexuals more promiscuous?
- Percentage of population and studies showing increasing numbers of bisexuals.