I can’t believe that I got an e – mail with a link on a tumblr post about the sociological and scientific research that has occurred on asexuality. I find it exciting!
Since 1980, academics have (slowly) grasped the concept of asexuailty as a genuine orientation. However, academic research into the topic has been complicated for most researchers, and quite frankly, inadequate. For definition, all academics that acknowledge asexuality have defined it as someone who lacks sexual attraction and/ or desire.
According to a study by Bogaert (2004), 1% of people identify as asexual. The problem with the research was the restrictive nature in the answers that people who identify as asexual could give while answering closed questions. When partcipants in studies were asked a closed question regarding to sexual orientation (e.g. homosexual, heterosexual, bisexual or asexual), participants who identified as asexual chose asexual. However, when given more of a chance to explain their attractions, about a quarter still fully identified as “asexual” in the strictest sense.
Participants in such studies, when given the option, have also included their romantic orientation, which created less homogenity among asexual participants. Only roughly 2% in one study said they felt no attraction at all; neither romantic or sexual (that’ll be classed as aromantic).
Interestingly, they’ve also done arousal tests on asexual women and compared them to straight women and lesbians. It showed that asexual women do experience less arousal when shown images of coupled sexual activity as compared to gay/ straight/ bisexual identified. This excites me, because it’s a start of asexuality really being recognised as a genuine biological orientation rather than just a psychological one.
I can’t wait until more research is published on the topic, particularly scientific research. It’s getting out there! Finally, people who identify as asexual can do so with a degree of confidence and recognition. We exist and it seems like it’s going to stay that way.