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EGAD!

Asexuality: Classification and Characterization

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EGAD!

I got the impulse today to surf through some of the online databases I have access to at my university. Found the article about us in Bitch magazine, but I also found something new.

Asexuality: Classification and Characterization by Nicole Prause and Cynthia A. Graham
Archives of Sexual Behavior (2007) Vol. 36 pages 341-356.

I'll read it sometime within the next few days.

Here is the abstract:

The term "asexual" has been defined in many different ways and asexuality has recieved very little research attention. In a small qualitative study (N = 4), individuals who self-identify as asexual were interviewed to help formulate hypotheses for a larger study. The second larger study was an online survey drawn from a convenience sample designed to better characterize asexuality and to test predictors of asexual identity. A convenience sample of 1,146 individuals (N = 41 self-identifed asexual) completed online questionaires assessing sexual history, sexual inhibition and excitation, sexual desire, and an open-response questionaire concerning asexual identity. Asexuals reported significantly less desire for sex with a partner, lower sexual arousability, and lower sexual excitation but did not differ consistently from non-asexuals in their sexual inhibition scores or their desire to masturbate. Content analyses supported the idea that low sexual desire is the primary feature predicting asexual identity.

2014 Mod Edit: Post #11 of this same thread links to the whole paper.

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Jibun

Do you know how they got the subjects for their interviews?

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Coleslaw

Yea, this was published a while ago. The original thread is here: http://www.asexuality.org/en/index.php?sho...0&hl=prause It's an interesting read...

I believe Cynthia Graham is also on the DSM subcommittee review board thing as well, which is pretty awesome.

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Lord Happy Toast

In the paper, they explain how they got the volunteers for the interviews. If memory serves correctly, they put up some fliers around some unnamed town in the midwestern part of the United States, though I'd be very surprised if that anonymous town wasn't Bloomington, Indiana.

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Guest Heligan
I got the impulse today to surf through some of the online databases I have access to at my university. Found the article about us in Bitch magazine, but I also found something new.

Asexuality: Classification and Characterization by Nicole Prause and Cynthia A. Graham

Archives of Sexual Behavior (2007) Vol. 36 pages 341-356.

I'll read it sometime within the next few days.

Here is the abstract:

The term "asexual" has been defined in many different ways and asexuality has recieved very little research attention. In a small qualitative study (N = 4), individuals who self-identify as asexual were interviewed to help formulate hypotheses for a larger study. The second larger study was an online survey drawn from a convenience sample designed to better characterize asexuality and to test predictors of asexual identity. A convenience sample of 1,146 individuals (N = 41 self-identifed asexual) completed online questionaires assessing sexual history, sexual inhibition and excitation, sexual desire, and an open-response questionaire concerning asexual identity. Asexuals reported significantly less desire for sex with a partner, lower sexual arousability, and lower sexual excitation but did not differ consistently from non-asexuals in their sexual inhibition scores or their desire to masturbate. Content analyses supported the idea that low sexual desire is the primary feature predicting asexual identity.

Kind of difficult to know if low sexual desire really predicts asexually though- its a correlation. It would be helpful if we knew whatthey meant by low sexual desire- are they talkig libido itself or desire for sexual interactions (excluding masturbation)

Its also slightly ambiguious as to if 'lower sexual excitation' is with a partner or during masturbation, or generally... and either way, Im not sure it says anything that significant. I mean its bound to be hard to sustain excitation without attraction, and long term reliance on just masturbation has its own tendiences to boredom even for sexuals.

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Sally
Asexuals reported significantly less desire for sex with a partner

That's kind of funny. It's like stating that people who dislike peanut butter report that they dislike peanut butter.

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jakubcookies
Asexuals reported significantly less desire for sex with a partner

That's kind of funny. It's like stating that people who dislike peanut butter report that they dislike peanut butter.

Reporting that I dislike the Doritos bag, I have nearly finished eating all of the chips.

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Sally

I see your point.

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Guest Heligan
Asexuals reported significantly less desire for sex with a partner

That's kind of funny. It's like stating that people who dislike peanut butter report that they dislike peanut butter.

Reporting that I dislike the Doritos bag, I have nearly finished eating all of the chips.

Well that made me laugh and quite a dirty laugh at that...make of that what you will.

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santanico
Asexuals reported significantly less desire for sex with a partner

That's kind of funny. It's like stating that people who dislike peanut butter report that they dislike peanut butter.

Yeah, this is also very surprising:

Content analyses supported the idea that low sexual desire is the primary feature predicting asexual identity.

At least that suggests that we are no celibates.

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Lord Happy Toast
Kind of difficult to know if low sexual desire really predicts asexually though- its a correlation.

From what I understand, "predict" is technical term in some psychology literature that simply means "is correlated to." It kind of surprised me at first, but it seems to be pretty standard to mean it in that way, rather than the normal sense of the word that has temporal connotations.

I think that the paper is important in that it provides more visibility for asexuality in (some) academic contexts, and it raises important question concerning asexuality and hypoactive sexual desire disorder. Also, the whole thing is available on line. Asexuality: Classification and Clarification

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Jibun

Hmm, I remember actually reading that paper come to think of it... I read it last year, quite a while before I joined AVEN.

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mad_scientist

They'd have to be REALLY careful interpreting the data. I'd imagine that at least most nonlibidoists would identify as asexual (what the hell would their desire grow around?!), so if they're lumping asexuals with a sex drive and without a sex drive together and taking averages for things like sexual desire then that's going to throw their results way out when applied both to nonlibidoists and to other asexuals. It's like comparing the average height of sixteen-year-olds from two schools in different districts that happen to be a co-ed school and an all boys' school. Asexuals with no sex drive at all and asexuals with sex drive should be treated as separate groups for this sort of study.

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Lord Happy Toast

In terms of doing research on asexuality, the question of how to subdivide asexuals is a serious question that researchers are going to have to deal with. However, this was an "exploratory study" and very little was known about asexuals at the time. At an intuitive level, it makes sense that asexuals with a sex drive and those without one should be considered separately. However, for research purposes, the distinction between asexuals with a sex drive and those without is a very problematic one: there is a sizable minority of sexual people who have never masturbated.

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