What is ‘asexuality’? While answers to this question would once have predominantly involved references to biological processes, it is increasingly likely that someone asking this question will receive a rather different response: an asexual person is someone who does not experience sexual attraction.Bogaert (2004) was an early and influential contribution to the literature on asexuality reporting on a secondary analysis of the National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (NATSAL), in which 1.05% of participants reported never having experienced sexual attraction towards anyone. Follow-up studies on the next generation of NATSAL found 0.5% of respondents falling into this category (Bogaert, 2012, p. 45). While asexual people are numerous, it is still difficult to be clear about how numerous they are. First, these results do not indicate identificationas asexual, but only experiences which have, in other instances, led people to identify as such. Second, there are important questions which can be raised about the criterion of having neverexperienced sexual attraction, reflecting different orientations to how we understand something like ‘asexuality’. The question “what is asexuality?” is much more complicated than it can initially seem.
KeywordsSexual Orientation Sexual Minority Sexual Attraction Hate Crime Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder
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