Asexual Identity in a New Zealand National Sample: Demographics, Well-Being, and Health

  • Lara M. Greaves
  • Fiona Kate Barlow
  • Yanshu Huang
  • Samantha Stronge
  • Gloria Fraser
  • Chris G. Sibley
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10508-017-0977-6

Cite this article as:
Greaves, L.M., Barlow, F.K., Huang, Y. et al. Arch Sex Behav (2017). doi:10.1007/s10508-017-0977-6

Abstract

Academic interest in asexuality has increased in recent years; however, there is yet to be a national probability study exploring the correlates of self-identifying as asexual. Here, we utilized data from the 2014/15 New Zealand Attitudes and Values Study. Past research has typically used attraction-based measures; however, we asked participants to describe their sexual orientation using a self-generated, open-ended item, and 0.4% (n = 44) self-identified as asexual. We then compared self-identified asexual participants with a heterosexual reference group (n = 11,822) across a large number of demographic, psychological, and health variables. Relative to heterosexuals, self-identified asexual participants were (1) more likely to be women, and (2) substantially less likely to be cisgender, (3) in a serious romantic relationship, or (4) a parent. No deleterious mental or physical health effects were associated with asexuality when compared to heterosexuality. This study provides the first attempt at measuring self-identification as asexual in a national sample and highlights core similarities and differences between those who identify as asexual and heterosexual.

Keywords

Asexuality Sexual orientation Sexual identity 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lara M. Greaves
    • 1
  • Fiona Kate Barlow
    • 2
  • Yanshu Huang
    • 1
  • Samantha Stronge
    • 1
  • Gloria Fraser
    • 3
  • Chris G. Sibley
    • 1
  1. 1.School of PsychologyUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand
  2. 2.School of PsychologyThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  3. 3.School of PsychologyVictoria University of WellingtonWellingtonNew Zealand

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