Exploring the Epstein Sexual Orientation Inventory: What You Need to Know

Blocksurvey blog author
May 13, 2023 · 5 mins read

A sexual orientation inventory, it is the most commonly used measure of sexual orientation in research and clinical practice. Human nature is to get attracted to what is familiar. Right from pre-puberty to old age, it is common to get attracted to another individual despite caste, creed, race, and gender.

But don’t you think that it is important to find out what actually your sexual orientation is? that is, to find which sex you truly are attracted to. Epstein Sexual orientation Inventory is a test that helps you find your sexual orientation.

What is Sexual Orientation?

Sexual orientation refers to the romantic and sexual attraction of one person towards another. It may be towards

  • The same gender (homosexuality)
  • Opposite gender (heterosexuality)
  • Both men and women (bisexuality)
  • Neither of them (asexuality)
  • All genders (pansexual).

While gender identity is a physiological and internal sense or feeling of yourself either as a man, woman, or both; sexual orientation determines whom you are sexually, romantically, and emotionally attracted to.

types of sexuality

Why should you find your Sexual Orientation?

Like we cannot choose our height, eye color, and most of our external features and internal characteristics, we cannot manually choose our sexual orientation. To avoid any sort of misconception and misinterpretation, it is better to find one’s sexual orientation.

Also, our sexual orientation cannot be changed. It is against the natural process and is said to be harmful to both psychological and physiological health. People tend to change their sexual orientation, which in most cases is involuntary. It is also proven that methods attempted to change the sexual orientation have been ineffective, i.e., voluntary attempts to change have gone only in vain. And also, that will definitely take a toll on one’s mental health.

Parenting styles, upbringing methods, and childhood experiences don’t determine one’s sexual orientation. Coming up with the terms of our sexual orientation may take some time. For some, they will identify in their teens or during adulthood. But for some identifying their sexuality may take more time than expected.

But now, as the world has evolved much and better through digital means, you don’t have to experiment with things to find yours! You don’t need to pile up books from the library and bang your head against them to find about your sexual orientation.

To make it hassle-free and easier for you, there are so many sexual orientation tests.

Out of which, Epstein’s sexual orientation inventory is what we will look more into in detail.

What is the Epstein sexual orientation test?

Robert Epstein, an American psychologist, and professor collected data from 18,000 people through the internet and conducted this study on Sexual orientation. And this test is a measure of flexibility an individual has in expressing their sexual orientation.

It is a well-researched study, and every question is framed to find about an individual’s sexual orientation. And this scale was conducted with more than 600,000 people in 219 countries and territories, which gives detailed findings and information compared to the previous one and is the largest study conducted on sexual orientation.

He stated that the terms ‘gay’, ‘straight’ are problematic, as he found that to be on a continuum. And he also stated that at some time, a person might be equally attracted to both sexes.

But why Epstein’s sexual orientation test?

  • The Epstein sexual orientation inventory is scientifically validated.
  • This scale helps an individual to identify where they are on the sexual orientation continuum.
  • It provides you with a sexual orientation range.
  • And provides an estimated degree of choice on people you tend to express emotionally and romantically.
  • The inventory is available in 12 languages.
  • This scale of 18 questions makes it simple and easier for the user.
  • An individual's response represents their sexuality; for example, the lower the scores, the more it indicates that the person has a heterosexual orientation, and the higher the scores indicate the person has a homosexual orientation.

According to the results of the study, sexual orientation is more like height than eye color. And when people are forced to disconnect from their fantasies, sexual behaviors, and attractions, they only tend to get stronger about their sexual orientation. The greater they are forced to disconnect from their sexuality, the more they are likely to feel about their orientation.

In identifying sexual orientation, many people develop a phenomenon of sexual minority stress; it is common to stress when you identify yourself with a minority group of people. So identifying sexual orientation is important, but you must learn to accept the way you are; putting a mask on yourself will never really help you in any way.

epstein sexual orientation quote

The Epstein sexual orientation also states that Women are mostly attracted to the same sex than men. And have a large sexual orientation range than men.

Understanding Your Orientation: A Brief ESOI Assessment

Please note that this is a simplified version of the ESOI and may not fully capture the complexity of your sexual orientation. For a more accurate assessment, you should take the full ESOI under the guidance of a professional.

To whom are you sexually attracted?

a) Exclusively to the opposite sex

b) Mostly to the opposite sex, but some attraction to the same sex

c) Equally to both sexes

d) Mostly to the same sex, but some attraction to the opposite sex

e) Exclusively to the same sex

With whom do you have sexual encounters?

a) Exclusively with the opposite sex

b) Mostly with the opposite sex, but some encounters with the same sex

c) Equally with both sexes

d) Mostly with the same sex, but some encounters with the opposite sex

e) Exclusively with the same sex

About whom do you fantasize sexually?

a) Exclusively about the opposite sex

b) Mostly about the opposite sex, but some fantasies about the same sex

c) Equally about both sexes

d) Mostly about the same sex, but some fantasies about the opposite sex

e) Exclusively about the same sex

With whom do you form strong emotional bonds?

a) Exclusively with the opposite sex

b) Mostly with the opposite sex, but some bonds with the same sex

c) Equally with both sexes

d) Mostly with the same sex, but some bonds with the opposite sex

e) Exclusively with the same sex

With whom do you prefer to socialize?

a) Exclusively with the opposite sex

b) Mostly with the opposite sex, but some socializing with the same sex

c) Equally with both sexes

d) Mostly with the same sex, but some socializing with the opposite sex

e) Exclusively with the same sex

How do you identify yourself?

a) Exclusively heterosexual

b) Mostly heterosexual, but somewhat homosexual

c) Bisexual

d) Mostly homosexual, but somewhat heterosexual

e) Exclusively homosexual

Scoring: Each answer has a numerical value from 0 to 4. 'a' is 0, 'b' is 1, 'c' is 2, 'd' is 3, and 'e' is 4. Add up your scores. The higher your score, the more you lean towards homosexuality. The lower your score, the more you lean towards heterosexuality. A score in the middle suggests bisexuality.

Remember, this quiz is a simple tool and can't definitively determine your sexual orientation. If you're questioning, consider reaching out to a mental health professional or a trusted person in your life to discuss your feelings.


The Epstein sexual inventory helps in identifying the sexual orientation of a person and makes the identification quite easier. An interesting fact from the study is that most people would be bisexual if their society doesn’t have any stigma over sexual orientations. This inventory is a good predictor of sexual orientation. Many young adults and teens engage in experimenting with things to identify their orientation and sexuality. But this test simplifies those for them.

We still live in an era where sex and relationships are still taboo, and thus a sexual orientation test helps you begin with the early stages of identification. And sexual orientation is neither an abnormality nor a disorder. The next thing you have to do is to go ahead and find yours, too, regardless of the number of factors you are thinking about right now.

Exploring the Epstein Sexual Orientation Inventory: What You Need to Know FAQ

What is the Epstein Sexual Orientation Inventory (ESOI)?

The Epstein Sexual Orientation Inventory (ESOI) is a self-report questionnaire designed to measure an individual's self-reported sexual orientation. It was developed by psychologist Robert Epstein in the late 1990s. The ESOI assesses four areas of sexuality: attraction, behavior, identity and fantasy.

How is the ESOI scored?

The ESOI is scored on a 1-7 scale, with 1 being exclusively heterosexual and 7 being exclusively homosexual. Scores between 3-5 indicate bisexuality and scores of 6-7 indicate homosexuality.

Who can take the ESOI?

The ESOI is designed to be taken by adults 18 and over. It can be taken by people of any gender or sexual orientation.

What are the benefits of taking the ESOI?

The ESOI can be valuable in helping individuals better understand their sexual orientation and identity. Additionally, the ESOI can be useful in providing insight into an individual's sexual behavior and fantasies.

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Vimala Balamurugan

Vimala heads the Content and SEO Team at BlockSurvey. She is the curator of all the content that BlockSurvey puts out into the public domain. Blogging, music, and exploring new places around is how she spends most of her leisure time.


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