Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 47, Issue 4, pp 1241–1250 | Cite as

Face Validity Ratings of Sexual Orientation Scales by Sexual Minority Adults: Effects of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

  • M. Paz GalupoEmail author
  • Renae C. Mitchell
  • Kyle S. Davis
Original Paper


The present research explored sexual minority individuals’ ratings of two traditional (Kinsey and Klein Sexual Orientation Grid [KSOG]) and two novel (Sexual-Romantic and Gender Inclusive) sexual orientation scales with regard to how well they capture their sexuality. Participants included 363 sexual minority individuals who identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, pansexual, or queer, and included individuals who identified as transgender (n = 85) and cisgender (n = 278). The findings indicated clear patterns of responses across both sexual orientation and gender identity, where participants differed in the degree to which they felt the scales captured their sexuality. A main effect of sexual orientation was found for all four scales, where participants endorsing monosexual (lesbian/gay) identities rated the scales more positively than did participants endorsing plurisexual (bisexual and pansexual/queer) identities. Bisexual individuals had a unique pattern of ratings, which sometimes aligned with those of lesbian/gay participants and sometimes aligned with pansexual/queer participants. A main effect of gender identity was found for the Kinsey, KSOG, and Sexual-Romantic (but not Gender Inclusive) scales, where cisgender individuals rated the scales more positively than did transgender individuals. There were no significant interaction effects between sexual orientation and gender identity for any of the four scales. The present findings can be used to understand sexual minority individuals’ assessment of the face validity of four sexual orientation measures. Discussion focused on the implications for using traditional measures of sexual orientation in research as well as for the development of new measures that better capture the range of sexual minority experience.


Cisgender Intersectionality Monosexual Plurisexual Sexual orientation Transgender 



This study was funded by the American Institute of Bisexuality awarded to M. Paz Galupo.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Paz Galupo
    • 1
    Email author
  • Renae C. Mitchell
    • 1
  • Kyle S. Davis
    • 1
  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentTowson UniversityTowsonUSA

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