I have never read any study that has used a psychometric scale to find out the respondent's gender identity, sexual orientation or both. This makes me wonder if there are such scales or not, or if there can be such scales or not.

I am more interested in scales for gender identity, for a study I am currently doing.

I am not looking for qualitative studies. I would like to know if there are quantitative studies using Psychometrics that have tried to develop scales for gender identity, like we have ones for IQ, Big 5 personality, Political Conservatism etc. using factor analysis for example, or some other appropriate psychometric method? Is there any consensus on which approach/ scale is better, or is there any widely used scale? By approach I mean agreement on the main ideas behind a scale, for example there are many scales/ tests for Big 5 using different questions, but it is widely accepted that there are 5 dimensions. Anything like that for gender identity.

  • $\begingroup$ I am confused. You start by asking about gender then you go into sexual identity (sexuality) which is a completely different concept. What are you trying to ask about? What have you read on the subject? Is there anything you read which is confusing? $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 28, 2021 at 16:39
  • $\begingroup$ @Chris_Rogers Hi, so the first paragraph just sets the context of why I ask this question: which is that I have never read any study that has used a psychometric scale to find out the respondent's gender identity, sexual orientation or both. This made me wonder if such scales exist or not, and if there is any consensus among psychologists about different properties of such scales. But I am more interested about gender identity than sexual orientation in this question, the first paragraph is just to give the context of why this question came to mind. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 28, 2021 at 17:20
  • $\begingroup$ I have edited the question to avoid further confusion, thanks $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 28, 2021 at 17:24

1 Answer 1


While many have tried to tie the 2 concepts together, Gender Identity is an entirely different concept to Sexual Orientation.

While you are more interested in scales for gender identity, as you are asking about both, I will give information on both.

Sexual Orientation Psychometric Scales

There are a few psychometric scales for sexual orientation. The most famous, I would say, is the Kinsey Scale. It was first published in Sexual Behavior in the Human Male (Kinsey et al. 1948), and was also prominent in the complementary work Sexual Behavior in the Human Female (Kinsey et al. 1953).

The Kinsey scale or Kinsey's Heterosexual-Homosexual Rating Scale measures sexual orientation, from 0 (exclusively heterosexual) to 6 (exclusively homosexual).

Rating Description
0 Exclusively heterosexual
1 Predominantly heterosexual, only incidentally homosexual
2 Predominantly heterosexual, but more than incidentally homosexual
3 Equally heterosexual and homosexual
4 Predominantly homosexual, but more than incidentally heterosexual
5 Predominantly homosexual, only incidentally heterosexual
6 Exclusively homosexual

There is the Shively & DeCecco Scale (Shively, & DeCecco, 1977), which examines, what they believed, are the four components of sexual identity:

  • biological sex,
  • gender identity,
  • "social sex-role" — see also, the Bem Sex Role Inventory (Bem, 1974), and
  • sexual orientation.

There is also the Klein Scale — also known as The Klein Sexual Orientation Grid (or KSOG). Introduced by Dr. Fritz Klein in the first edition of his book The Better Option (Klein, 1978), the KSOG is a system for describing a person's sexual orientation in a way that is more detailed and informative than previous methods.

Note that the Klein Grid is not a diagnostic tool intended to test and reveal a person's sexual orientation. Instead, it is a learning tool to help people better understand the nuance and complexity that make up everyone's sexuality.

Then there is Randall Sell's Scale (Sell, 1996).

Sell points out that measures of sexual orientation are categorized as:

  1. dichotomous,
  2. bipolar (such as the Kinsey Scale),
  3. multidimensional (such as the Klein Scale), and/or
  4. orthogonal (such as the scale proposed by Shively and DeCecco).

[T]he Sell Assessment of Sexual Orientation, is proposed based upon this review. Finally, methods of scoring and summarizing the proposed measure are discussed.

Gender Identity Psychometric Scales

Although there was Bem's 1974 characterisation of people as masculine, feminine, or "androgynous" through her BSRI - Bem Sex Role Inventory (Bem 1974); Harry Benjamin's Gender Identity Scale (Benjamin, 1966) was the first attempt to create a psychometric scale for gender identities.

Published in his book The transsexual phenomenon, it was extremely biased for many reasons, covering personal biases of the researcher, biases within society and therefore biases within the law.

As Psychology Wiki points out

Dr. Benjamin's Scale references and uses Dr. Alfred Kinsey's sexual orientation scale to distinguish between "true transsexualism" and "transvestism". But it should be noted that the strict relationship between gender identity (Benjamin's Scale) and sexual orientation (Kinsey's Scale) was just a result of the researcher's biases, not his scientific findings.

At the time when Dr. Benjamin practised, no transsexual could qualify as eligible for transition if he/she wasn't completely homosexual (relative to his/her birth sex), thus, heterosexual after transition. It was just because at the time it was believed that obviously a real, normal female should be completely heterosexual, and a lesbian female was perceived as somewhat deviant, wrong or abnormal.


Bem, S. L. (1974). Bem Sex Role Inventory [Database Record]. APA PsycTests. https://doi.apa.org/doi/10.1037/t00748-000

Benjamin, H. (1966). The transsexual phenomenon. Ace Publishing Company.

Kinsey, A. C., Pomeroy, W. B., Martin, C. E. (1953) Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, Philadelphia, PA: W.B. Saunders

Kinsey, A. C., Pomeroy, W. B., Martin, C. E., & Gebhard, P. H. (1998). Sexual behavior in the human female. Indiana University Press.

Sell, R. L. (1996). The Sell assessment of sexual orientation: Background and scoring. Journal of Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Identity, 1(4), 295-310. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03372244

Shively, M. G., & DeCecco, J. P. (1977). Components of sexual identity. Journal of homosexuality, 3(1), 41-48. https://doi.org/10.1300/J082v03n01_04

  • $\begingroup$ So there's no modern quantitative scale for gender identity? $\endgroup$
    – user6628
    Commented Jun 4, 2022 at 17:10

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