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New Study: Intergroup bias toward ''Group X'': Evidence of prejudice, dehumanization, avoidance, and discrimination against asexuals


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#1 Cleander

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 02:08 AM

Intergroup bias toward ''Group X'': Evidence of prejudice, dehumanization, avoidance, and discrimination against asexuals
Abstract:

Although biases against homosexuals (and bisexuals) are well established, potential biases against a largely unrecognized sexual minority group, asexuals, has remained uninvestigated. In two studies (university student and community samples) we examined the extent to which those not desiring sexual activity are viewed negatively by heterosexuals. We provide the first empirical evidence of intergroup bias against asexuals (the so-called “Group X”), a social target evaluated more negatively, viewed as less human, and less valued as contact partners, relative to heterosexuals and other sexual minorities. Heterosexuals were also willing to discriminate against asexuals (matching discrimination against homosexuals). Potential confounds (e.g., bias against singles or unfamiliar groups) were ruled out as explanations. We suggest that the boundaries of theorizing about sexual minority prejudice be broadened to incorporate this new target group at this critical period, when interest in and recognition of asexuality is scientifically and culturally expanding.



#2 thylacine

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 02:19 AM

Somehow I already knew that...
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#3 Morphas

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 07:52 AM

I wasn't aware of thet :(, but thanks for the link.
I might have to get hold of a copy of the full text sometime, see how bad they say it is.
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#4 Calinlapin

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 05:26 PM

They say it's kind of bad ...

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#5 Sally

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 05:33 PM

I can understand that. If a group views sexual activity as a "human" activity, someone who didn't want to engage in that wouldn't be viewed well. That group would also not be seen as relationship material -- because people who value sex...well, value sex. We confuse them.

As Thy says, we knew that. But let's not catastrophize it and think "they're out to get us".

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#6 Calinlapin

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 07:12 PM

I can understand that.


You can ? That makes you a very very nice person ! :lol: I'm maybe not this nice with prejudice and hard stuff like dehumanization.


But let's not catastrophize it and think "they're out to get us".


But seriously, you're right, let's not dramatize here. The study is centered on "prejudice" (meaning inside people's heads) and not on "violence" physical or emotional which tends to happen outside people's heads.

This is serious though.

#7 Raccoons & Arca N.H.

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 10:31 PM

Basically they're summarizing what we already knew? (by the way, I love the term ''Group X :lol:) Well, at least someone's focusing on and bringing attention to this.
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#8 Qutenkuddly

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 01:37 AM

Basically they're summarizing what we already knew? (by the way, I love the term ''Group X :lol:) Well, at least someone's focusing on and bringing attention to this.



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#9 Beware The Demopan

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 03:25 AM

Seriously, bro. Discrimination toward others over sex..... (WHAT HAVE WE FECKING BECOME HERE!?)>:evil: What is it with everyone and sex, honestly? (Not that I have anything against hets, heavens no.)>:o
....We came in?



Isn't this where....

#10 Skullery Maid

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 09:53 AM

I understand the importance of all the finding except one... it makes sense that sexuals discriminate against asexuals for the purposes of relationships. I don't really see how that's prejudiced. That's just a matter of compatibility.

** General Disclaimer ** I believe in everyone's right to do, say, and be anything and anyone they want.  None of the opinions expressed by me should be taken to mean that I intend to enforce my views.  I am simply sharing my perspective. 

 
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#11 Cleander

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 10:02 AM

I understand the importance of all the finding except one... it makes sense that sexuals discriminate against asexuals for the purposes of relationships. I don't really see how that's prejudiced. That's just a matter of compatibility.


The study actually didn't look into whether sexuals want sexual/romantic/intimate relationships with aces at all. The "contact partners" part refers to any sort of contact at all (speaking to, being near to, living/working with, etc.) So the study doesn't say anything about whether sexuals would want to date asexuals, nor did it attempt to - probably for the same reasons you stated above.

#12 Calinlapin

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 10:41 AM

The "contact partners" part refers to any sort of contact at all


Exactly.


Future contact intentions :
Overall, participants indicated greater preference for future contact with heterosexuals relative to sexual minorities. Within sexual minority groups, contact with homosexuals was preferred over contact with bisexuals or asexuals (see Table 1). Again, this demonstrates evidence of antisexual minority bias, and contact least desired with bisexuals and asexuals (equivalently). Of particular interest to the present investigation, contact with asexuals was desired significantly less than contact with homosexuals, a frequently studied prejudice target group.



#13 endplusone

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 01:19 AM

Excellent find.
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#14 Schrecken

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 05:12 AM

IMO it's very surprising to me that the religious fundamentalists would be so against asexuals....as usually it seems that they tend to attack those who are "too" into sex or have the "wrong" kind of sex with the "wrong" people. I would think that asexuals, at least those who do not have sex, wouldn't bother them a bit.

#15 endplusone

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 05:30 PM

It's not surprising to me. At its heart asexuality questions what is otherwise presumed to be inherently 'sexual' in terms of human development as well as the boundaries around relationships. Religion (put generally) isn't against sexuality, rather sexuality is to be done or performed in a certain way. When those who are more conservative condemn overt sexuality, the connotation is preference toward heteronormative monogamous relationships with the intent of producing children. What's even more strange is thinking about this in relation to, say, some LGBT attitudes toward asexuality and the concern that it promotes a more conservative sexual politic, and the stereotype of people who identify as asexual as religious fanatics. I find this strange intersection between sexual 'liberty' and 'modesty' that asexuality is caught up in to be really interesting, but also a challenge.
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#16 Skullery Maid

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 06:01 PM


The "contact partners" part refers to any sort of contact at all


Exactly.


Future contact intentions :
Overall, participants indicated greater preference for future contact with heterosexuals relative to sexual minorities. Within sexual minority groups, contact with homosexuals was preferred over contact with bisexuals or asexuals (see Table 1). Again, this demonstrates evidence of antisexual minority bias, and contact least desired with bisexuals and asexuals (equivalently). Of particular interest to the present investigation, contact with asexuals was desired significantly less than contact with homosexuals, a frequently studied prejudice target group.

Well that's weird. I can understand not wanting to be friends with or date an asexual, but who cares if they're in line next to you at the supermarket or in the next cubicle over at work?

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#17 Bye Bye Birdy

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 07:26 PM

x


Nope.


#18 Lord Happy Toast

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 10:29 PM

Basically they're summarizing what we already knew? (by the way, I love the term ''Group X :lol:) Well, at least someone's focusing on and bringing attention to this.

They're saying what we already suspected. What is "common knowledge" is often right, but sometimes wrong.

IMO it's very surprising to me that the religious fundamentalists would be so against asexuals....as usually it seems that they tend to attack those who are "too" into sex or have the "wrong" kind of sex with the "wrong" people. I would think that asexuals, at least those who do not have sex, wouldn't bother them a bit.

The findings of the study are interesting, but should be taken cautiously. The differences between groups often wasn't huge, and we also don't know if/how this will translate into actual behavior. Also, "religious fundamentalism" correlated with "asexual attitude thermometer" at r=−.26 in the first study (Table 2), and r=-.17 in the second study (Table 4). So there is a correlation, but it's not that strong. (For "homosexual attitude thermomoter," the correlations were -.35 and -.45).

#19 Hap2

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 05:32 PM

Well that's weird. I can understand not wanting to be friends with or date an asexual, but who cares if they're in line next to you at the supermarket or in the next cubicle over at work?


I doubt that it has to do with whom or what they are/are not attracted to in such a case, rather it is likely to do with the legitimacy question. In my case, I have met many that have declared bisexuals and asexuals (and now people who refer to themselves as pansexuals), as merely seeking to get attention or wanting to be different from the rest. Or as one lovely person put it, "the hipsters of the sexual world".

I do not doubt that there is a possibility of a few being as such, although such reasoning is definitely fallacious when applying particular people as representative of the general whole. The problem however is not whether or not such a sweeping claim is actually rational (as it clearly is not), but the fact that a lot of people simply believe it to be true. It comes with consequences.

Attention seekers are sometimes looked upon in society as being unstable or potentially destructive (e.g. a bully lashing out at others to get attention, even if may be negative attention), and those looking to be different or are actually different are often seen as being unknown factors, which our instincts often do not agree with (e.g. fear of the dark, fear of change, etc.).

What is at work here may not necessarily be people's rationality by itself, but other factors that affect human life and psychology that are perhaps not always voluntarily controllable.
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#20 Skullery Maid

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 10:18 PM

Or as one lovely person put it, "the hipsters of the sexual world".


That's hilarious.

I can understand not wanting to be friends with or date an asexual, but who cares if they're in line next to you at the supermarket or in the next cubicle over at work?


That's like saying, "I only want friends of the same ethnicity," because they're the only ones who can relate to your culture and upbringing.


And if you look around, don't most people have friends of the same race? Most friends of a straight person are straight, and most friends of a gay person are gay, and most friends of a black person are black... I'm not saying it's right or it's better, but it is common.

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#21 The Bearded One

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 05:08 AM

And if you look around, don't most people have friends of the same race? Most friends of a straight person are straight, and most friends of a gay person are gay, and most friends of a black person are black... I'm not saying it's right or it's better, but it is common.

This why I have no friends. :lol:
I understand why people want to have sex with strangers. But I can't comprehend how they enjoy it.

#22 Bye Bye Birdy

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 07:41 AM

x


Nope.


#23 Faelights

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 11:44 PM



The "contact partners" part refers to any sort of contact at all


Exactly.


Future contact intentions :
Overall, participants indicated greater preference for future contact with heterosexuals relative to sexual minorities. Within sexual minority groups, contact with homosexuals was preferred over contact with bisexuals or asexuals (see Table 1). Again, this demonstrates evidence of antisexual minority bias, and contact least desired with bisexuals and asexuals (equivalently). Of particular interest to the present investigation, contact with asexuals was desired significantly less than contact with homosexuals, a frequently studied prejudice target group.

Well that's weird. I can understand not wanting to be friends with or date an asexual, but who cares if they're in line next to you at the supermarket or in the next cubicle over at work?

It's obviously contagious. :P

#24 Skullery Maid

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 11:52 PM

Thank god you guys can't infect me over the internet! I'm going to start being mighty suspicious of food shoppers buying single-serving items now... they may be... ONE OF YOU.

** General Disclaimer ** I believe in everyone's right to do, say, and be anything and anyone they want.  None of the opinions expressed by me should be taken to mean that I intend to enforce my views.  I am simply sharing my perspective. 

 
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#25 Sally

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 12:58 AM

Thank god you guys can't infect me over the internet!


There are viruses, you know...

I don't have the energy to do PMs.


#26 Cleander

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 09:35 AM


Thank god you guys can't infect me over the internet!


There are viruses, you know...

What do you think the point of all that :cake: was?

:twisted:

#27 honor is all

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 10:27 AM

Well the bisexual and asexual being more strangely looked upon kind of makes sense if one puts themselves into the mind of a narrow-minded person who likes conventionality and stereotypes.

1) People love boxes and categories. They make them feel secure, give them something to identify with and make it easier to blame someone from the other 'box' for something that's usually their own/their boxes fault. Bisexuals straddle both boxes thus confusing the line. This scares people (a bit like biracial children scared people some decades ago). The 'how can you be both' makes people unable to relate. For asexuals this question is the 'how dare you reject categories' or 'how dare you have the best of childhood (free from sexual pressures) and adulthood (being a book buff) :lol:

2) Being able to relate- many friendships come about and survive by 'clicking' i.e. sharing similar life stories, experiences and values/opinions. If you look at most gay-straight friendships it's usually gay man-straight woman or straight man-gay woman. This is because it makes the appeal of having an opposite gender partner and the common points of having a same gendered one merge in one person. E.g.- a camp gay man and a straight woman can chat about which colours match and stare at Brad Pitt for hours (as well as diss patriachy). A (butch) gay woman and a straight man can stare at Megan Fox and be the best beer buddies.

3)Not feeling threatened (and good old steretypes)- a straight woman doesn't feel her gay friend will hit on her or try to steal her husband (supposing the husband is straight :lol: ) and vice versa with with straight men and gay women. This is different with bisexuals. Everyone thinks they are either: going to steal their spouse, hit on them or persuade them to a threesome (because of the promiscous sterotype). For asexuals people will think: they are boring, no chance of having 'benefits' with that one, they may not steal my husband but they totally won't understand how annoying that sideways position my partner insists on is, how my condom broke last night and that's why I am so stressed today (or haven't had had any in a month feeling cranky), they are sissies,etc

4) Subverting conventional relationship models (i.e. monogamy)- bis and aces are more liekly to form polyamorous relationships and thus blur the line of friend vs partner which again makes people uncomfortable and confused about what to do.

PS Read 'The Colour Purple' by Rebecca Walker who was a biracial bisexual woman living at the pinnacle of Civil Rights movment and seuxal revolution and how she had to fight discrimination, misunderstanding and fear from all sides of her own identity. Fascinating!




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