• Announcements

    • Kelly

      New Team members Needed--Moderator, Project Team, and Declass Team: Voting   12/10/13

      See:   http://www.asexuality.org/en/topic/164659-new-declass-team-member-needed-voting/   http://www.asexuality.org/en/topic/164657-new-moderator-member-needed-qa-co-mod-and-world-watch-mod-voting/   http://www.asexuality.org/en/topic/164656-new-project-team-member-needed-resources-and-education-director-voting/  
    • Kelly

      AVENues Holiday Special Edition is now live   08/17/17

      The new edition of AVENues is done!   See:        
    • Lady Girl

      Ace Community Census   11/06/17

      It’s time for the 2017 Ace Community Census!   see:   http://www.asexuality.org/en/topic/162675-announcing-the-2017-ace-community-census/  
    • Heart

      Help fund AVEN's servers!   11/06/17

      AVEN is doing its annual fundraiser to raise donations for server costs! See http://www.asexuality.org/en/topic/163251-aven-server-fundraiser/ for more details.  
The Christmas Lemon

Request for ideas for a class project: Is Asexuality a Culture?

Recommended Posts

The Christmas Lemon

 

Quote

I am writing a research paper for my Health Issues in a Multicultural Society class on the cultures I identify with. Personal data from from AVEN members is not necessary.

 

 

Title: Should I consider asexuality as a culture?

 

I am doing a research paper on my cultural identity for my Health Issues in a Multicultural Society Class. The paper needs to be about 6.5 pages and in APA format.

 

Not only do I hope to mention growing up in a Ashkenazi Jewish household, dabbling in hippie culture, and how I'm still in the midst of my goth phase; I was hoping to include asexuality as an aspect of my culture. I view asexuality as a culture because it matches the following definition “The complex whole which includes beliefs, art, knowledge, morals, law, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by [man] as a member of society” (Tylor, 1871)." If you see asexuality as a culture, I'd highly appreciate your input to spark some writing ideas and/or recommendations for scholarly peer reviewed articles on asexuality. If you do not see asexuality as a culture, I would appreciate your input as well so I do not come off as offensive in my paper.

 

This request has been approved by the Research Approval Board for advertising on AVEN. Please post responses in the thread below.

 

sea-lemon 

Dedicated Research Contact 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lichley

Hmm, it can certainly be described as a culture. I mean we have cake and dragon memes, meetups for those involved, and awareness campaigns, and try to get our message out vie social media, the internet, and the news. So there are definitely at least a few ways how asexuality has evolved as a culture from people who were being oppressed due to their sexual attractions and desires, or lack therof.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Maks9090

It is true that I've always considered the LGBTQ more as a symbol to rally under and not a culture... Hm... In contrast I never felt asexuality was just a symbol or label... I feel like people on AVEN, and honestly just people who identify as ace, are more like my family though than a culture...

 

Maybe this helped you some ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Carson:)

I wouldn't call it a culture. A lifestyle maybe, but not a culture.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Grinchmer

Hmmm... this might come across as nitpicking, but I think that it's important to distinguish between asexuality and the asexual community.

 

Asexuality itself isn't a culture. It's an orientation (or the lack of one, depending on your POV). IMO the actual culture is what developed around that; things shared by the asexual community like cakes, meetups and awareness campaigns. The culture is what the community built for itself, things they bond over, things they relate to, how they recognize each other...

 

Culture does change over time. Just watch a fifty year old movie. People were smoking everywhere, women were portrayed as "assets" much more often than they are today... things that nobody gave a shit about in 1955 would cause an outrage today and vice versa. A sexual orientation is what it is. A heterosexual man will be sexually attracted to women, no matter if people are allowed to smoke like chimneys in movies or not.

 

So yes, a certain kind of unique culture has developed among the asexual community, but asexuality itself isn't a culture.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
YourCaptaiin

Asexuality is a trait. The asexual community does have a sort of culture surrounding it, but it doesn't impact asexuals who don't engage in the community, so I'd say it's not a culture in and of itself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
borkfork

One can be asexual and not care to participate in the community. Someone might not care about cake (pie forever) or black rings or purple stuff. So I call it a community not a culture. I've heard terms like "gay culture" thrown around, and I'm not sure how accurate it is; but I think the ace community is far too young to have developed anything of that magnitude either way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The Gnat (Natalie)

I think you could talk about ace community culture, but I agree that asexuality itself is not a culture.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
TopHatCat

Well someone of-say Mexican descent-can grow up in a family/location with no ties to Mexican culture. Nothing straight up manifests as a culture, it's how a group of people (a society) sharing something in common come to interact with each other. To a lesser extent, it's like being a part of another family.

 

I think we have created a culture here, but I would take care to specify it as the "asexual community," which it wasn't in the OP's question. However, I think it's reasonable to assume that that's what sea-lemon meant, she obviously has been studying this stuff.

 

I mean, an entire area of the forums is called "Tea and Sympathy," which seems fairly indicative of a shared custom to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
thylacine

No, it's really not a culture.  It really should be considered an orientation, definitely not a culture...  maybe there is a "community" here at Aven, but asexuality itself is not a culture.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dragon_nerd

Asexuality in and of itself isn't a culture, it's an orientation. But the asexual community (this tends to include asexuals, ace-spec and to a small degree aromantic and aro-spec people) could be called a culture. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Verbosoul

I would state outright that no, asexuality is not a culture. You could at best ask the question as to whether it is a subculture, which I assume is what you meant. It's a pedantic point, perhaps, but a significant one if you're going to pose the question ;) 

 

Quote

“The complex whole which includes beliefs, art, knowledge, morals, law, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by [man] as a member of society” (Tylor, 1871)."

To the best of my knowledge, there are no universally held asexual beliefs, asexual customs, asexual habits, certainly not any asexual laws. A subculture, on the other hand, is "a cultural group within a larger culture, often having beliefs or interests at variance with those of the larger culture." ( Source )

 

Even so, you would struggle to convincingly place Asexuality under the umbrella of subculture, because it is an orientation. The Asexual Community, on the other hand, would be a much better subject for subculture research in this sense, and I would certainly argue that it has indicators of being an emerging subculture identity. Cake, the Ace of Spades symbol, the black ring worn by some asexuals as a means of recognising one another...there are common themes running throughout.

 

In the age of sexual freedom, the idea of asexuals may at first appearance seem to be counter to the convictions of wider society, even flying straight in its face. However, I would argue that the asexual community represents a development of this freedom yet further, being that we are free to not engage in such activities if we don't so choose. That, regardless of the expectations and preconceptions of society, we do not need to fall in line with their movements if such actions would be contrary to our own selves, against our own desires or lack thereof. And within our community, we stand in solidarity with one another until such time as the wider society is ready to accept it into the mainstream.

 

Just my two cents :P 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OpenAce
On 10/18/2017 at 7:55 AM, Homer said:

Hmmm... this might come across as nitpicking, but I think that it's important to distinguish between asexuality and the asexual community

I agree with Homer: asexuality isn't a culture but us aces do have our own culture that is different from others (e.g. straight, other LGBT+ groups). We have our own flag, symbols (eg. ace rings, cake, dragons).

We have culture, but we are not culture.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sally

I think the gay community became a culture because they were so oppressed for so long, and the only place they could feel comfortable being themselves is with each other.  That's still somewhat the case; in my city, there is a gay district, just as there is in many large cities in America. But asexuals have not had the history of oppression by the larger community, and except for places like AVEN, don't really get together.   I don't think cake and a ring make a culture.  We're an orientation.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Cryss2013

Now that others have established the whole asexual vs asexual community, which I agree with, I will add a few things.

I do believe the Asexual Community has a culture. And just like Mexican culture or gay culture, each individual is free to opt-in or opt-out or pick and choose. In a class I took (don't ask me which) culture was referred to as a kind of glue that holds things together. Nobody IS culture, but culture holds some people together.

So yes, even if there are not many in person gatherings of aces around the world, I think there is a culture, of not only cake and dragons and black rings and our flags, but also a shared quest for visibility and representation, of ace and ace-supporting youtubers, of reserach and education, of ace puns and memes, of the handful of songs people are writing about being ace, of AVEN, our blogs, etc. We are developing certain ideas together about how to talk about and educate people about asexuality, of how we define our terms, etc. Just as any workplace, family, or even group of friends can have a culture, we have a culture - one that promotes liberty and choice and individuality and support. Honestly, we have a beautiful culture that encourages and embraces the idea that we are all different. So we differ from cultures that promote homogeny, sameness, doing as we all do. We have a beautiful culture and I hope the world get's to hear about it someday. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now