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Caphyra

Journal article: Asexuality: Sexual Orientation, Paraphilia, Sexual Dysfunction, or None of the Above?

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Caphyra

Arch Sex Behav (2017) 46:619–627

first online in 2016 but published April 2017

DOI 10.1007/s10508-016-0802-7

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10508-016-0802-7

By 

 Lori A. Brotto and Morag Yule

 

PDF available from the publisher at the link above

Abstract

 Although lack of sexual attraction was first quantified by Kinsey, large-scale and systematic research on the prevalence and correlates of asexuality has only emerged over the past decade. Several theories have been posited to account for the nature of asexuality. The goal of this review was to consider the evidence for whether asexuality is best classified as a psychiatric syndrome (or a symptom of one), a sexual dysfunction, or a paraphilia. Based on the available science, we believe there is not sufficient evidence to support the categorization of asexuality as a psychiatric condition (or symptom of one) or as a disorder of sexual desire. There is some evidence that a subset of self-identified asexuals have a paraphilia. We also considered evidence supporting the classification of asexuality as a unique sexual orientation. We conclude that asexuality is a heterogeneous entity that likely meets conditions for a sexual orientation, and that researchers should further explore evidence for such a categorization.

Edited by Caphyra
to clarify the year it was published online vs in print

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funfetti

Cool study. Thanks for sharing.

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Mermaidy

"wondered whether asexuality is a form of paraphilia. The finding that asexual individuals masturbate—albeit at a lower frequency than sexual individuals—with approximately half of asexual individuals masturbating monthly and over 80 % of sexually identified individuals masturbating at least monthly (Yule, Brotto, & Gorzalka, 2014a, but see Yule, Brotto, & Gorzalka, in press for an exception for men), suggests that asexual individuals may possess a non-partner-oriented sexual desire underlying their masturbatory behaviors. "

 

ok so I'm gonna be honest, I was only really curious about the paraphilia part so I skipped to there and only read this, but I really don't understand this kind of thing.  I guess I don't understand the confusion behind asexuals masturbating even if they have sexual fantasies (I also don't understand the feeling that asexuals masturbating doesn't make sense, because by that logic ALL heteros/homos would masturbate half as much as bisexuals, ALL bisexuals have to masturbate twice as much as heteros/homos).  I don't know if my thoughts would be considered fantasies, but I need to think/focus on orgasm when I'm trying to achieve it.  They do point out that a lot of asexuals essentially see it as this ("cleaning out the plumbing"), but they also say

 

" the presence of masturbation plus sexual fantasies, which may characterize at least half of asexual individuals, raises the possibility that there may be a great deal of variability across asexual individuals in their motives for masturbation, with some having a paraphilic component."

 

don't non-asexuals also have their own fantasies that go along with masturbation too? so wouldn't non-asexual orientations also be considered paraphilia? (I see that the study concludes asexuality is likely a sexual orientation, but yeah).  

Maybe I'm misunderstanding paraphilia or I'm misunderstanding what the study is trying to say here

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Pramana
4 hours ago, Mermaidy said:

ok so I'm gonna be honest, I was only really curious about the paraphilia part so I skipped to there and only read this, but I really don't understand this kind of thing.

Here is some elaboration on the paraphilia idea, from another article:


"Given that some masturbating asexuals seek out stimulation through fantasy or pornography, arousal/pleasure mechanisms of their nervous system are engaged by this sexual stimulation. Yet, this stimulation is disconnected from their identities: It is, at least in part, an identity-less sexual arousal. Thus, these individuals still seem to retain a lack of subjective sexual attraction to others (or anything), despite physical arousal and seeking out persistent themes in fantasy and pornography. Subjective in this case refers to the I or the me in one’s identity as a person. Moreover, it might be argued that asexual people’s bodies (or more correctly, aspects of their nervous systems related to arousal) have a “sexual orientation” of sorts, but they themselves, or their identities, do not (see Bogaert, 2006, in press-b).
 

The clinical literature on paraphilias contains examples of similar forms of sexuality disconnected from one’s identity. These paraphilias often reflect alterations in the typical targeting process in human sexual attraction. Target processes can be argued to comprise part of a mate recognition system that animals use to seek out and choose reproductive partners (Bakker, 2003). A typical target sequence in humans can be summarized by the following sentence: “I am attracted to him/her.” In those who have alterations in typical target processing, the I and/or the him/her in this sentence do not operate in traditional ways.
 

An example is automonosexualism, in which one targets his or her sexual interests inward to oneself instead outward toward others (Rohleder, 1907). Thus, one is sexually attracted to oneself. Automonosexualism is linked to some forms of transgenderism (Blanchard, 1989, 1991; Hirshfeld, 1948). For example, a type of automonosexualism is autogynephilia, where a man is sexually attracted to himself but as a woman (Blanchard, 1989; Lawrence, 2011). I have discussed the possibility that some people who report a lack of sexual attraction have a form of automonosexualism (Bogaert, 2008, in press-b) or attraction to oneself. Autochorissexualism may be an additional target-oriented variation that occurs in people who report a lack of attraction for others. Thus, these types of target-oriented paraphilias may occur with some frequency in those who report no sexual attraction for others."

(Anthony F. Bogaert, Asexuality and Autochorissexualism (Identity-Less Sexuality), Archives of Sexual Behavior, December 2012, Volume 41, Issue 6, pages 1513–1514)

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Pramana

I thought I'd add this paper on gray-asexuality, which so far is the only publication I'm aware of that is dedicated to the topic, and it happens to be publicly available at the following link:
 

https://academiccommons.columbia.edu/catalog/ac:162382
 

Caroline McClave, Asexuality as a Spectrum: A National Probability Sample Comparison to the Sexual Community in the UK, 2013

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Chasin
On 27/08/2017 at 4:36 AM, Caphyra said:

Arch Sex Behav (2017) 46:619–627

first online in 2016 but published April 2017

DOI 10.1007/s10508-016-0802-7

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10508-016-0802-7

By 

 Lori A. Brotto and Morag Yule

 

PDF available from the publisher at the link above

Abstract

 Although lack of sexual attraction was first quantified by Kinsey, large-scale and systematic research on the prevalence and correlates of asexuality has only emerged over the past decade. Several theories have been posited to account for the nature of asexuality. The goal of this review was to consider the evidence for whether asexuality is best classified as a psychiatric syndrome (or a symptom of one), a sexual dysfunction, or a paraphilia. Based on the available science, we believe there is not sufficient evidence to support the categorization of asexuality as a psychiatric condition (or symptom of one) or as a disorder of sexual desire. There is some evidence that a subset of self-identified asexuals have a paraphilia. We also considered evidence supporting the classification of asexuality as a unique sexual orientation. We conclude that asexuality is a heterogeneous entity that likely meets conditions for a sexual orientation, and that researchers should further explore evidence for such a categorization.

That article is actually a "target article" and there are a number of commentaries on it and a response by Brotto and Yule-- all in the same issue: https://link.springer.com/journal/10508/46/3/page/1

 

So there are actually 8 articles about asexuality in that issue of the journal!

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scarletlatitude
On 9/4/2017 at 0:43 AM, Chasin said:

So there are actually 8 articles about asexuality in that issue of the journal!

:o Woah! The articles do tend to go together from what I have seen. Thanks for the links! 

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