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 

Funding information

Funder NameGrant NumberFunding Note
John Templeton Foundation
  • 0077

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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