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(Nightlight)

Asexuality induced by emotional trauma

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(Nightlight)

Assuming it is possible to become asexual, do you think it is possible that perhaps some people have become asexual as the result of emotional trauma?

For instance, perhaps the emotional trauma of being sexually abused at a young age could result in one becoming asexual?

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BadKarma

Yes.

It's possible to be conditioned into any sexuality, depending on the circumstances and the persons involved. It wouldn't happen often, and most people would be "born that way", but I'm definitely of the belief that at least a rare minority of people can adopt a sexual orientation based on life events. Or, rather, they'd adopt something so close to the "inherent" orientation of natural-born whatevers that there's hardly a difference in behavior or manifestation.

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Guest member25959

I have no extensive knowledge of the subject (sexology, psychology) so I can't really outright deny or agree with it. At least, I can't validly outright deny or agree with it.

So.........I'm not sure what to think of it. But I'm leaning more towards 'Yes, it is possible' here.

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Skullery Maid

I think a person's psychology factors into their sexuality... to what extent, and how much effect it has on altering an orientation, I don't know, but I'm pretty sure that it can.

It can't be a coincidence that, for example, a larger percentage of lesbians have been sexually assaulted than straight women. I know that some people find the idea insulting, as if its saying that being gay is the same thing as being damaged... but I see no reason why we can't acknowledge cause and effect without placing moral value on it.

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Murmur

Raped in high school, PTSD, flashbacks... don't need any more of that.

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Mismatched

To be honest, at between the ages of four or five, there have been two instances of inappropriate touching. But to be honest I don't think it determined my asexuality. The only thing I think it affected was how I relate to women, since the first instance was just a female cousin like only four years older than me. And I wasn't so much traumatized, as I just really didn't like her, so to get back at her I stole some of her doll clothes and called it even. And the second even was a female day care worker, and it was only one inappropriate touch. Which just made me confused at the time. But other than that, nothing really. I haven't experienced any pain or felt a strong sense of humiliation.

I think my asexuality and innate inability to connect it to sexuality at the time made it less of a big deal to me. As a kid from my prospective, they just did a weird thing and I didn't understand their mindset. And for years I never thought of those two events as life events to analyze. If I was sexual, I think on some level I might have actually felt dirty, which I never did. They did weird things, not me.

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Sally

It can't be a coincidence that, for example, a larger percentage of lesbians have been sexually assaulted than straight women.

As is my wont of late (or always), I wonder where you got those stats, if they are such rather than anecdotes or polls/surveys.

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Skullery Maid

It can't be a coincidence that, for example, a larger percentage of lesbians have been sexually assaulted than straight women.

As is my wont of late (or always), I wonder where you got those stats, if they are such rather than anecdotes or polls/surveys.

I could be wrong, but wouldn't it have to be a poll/ survey? Its all self-reported, right?

As with most things, there's the causation/correlation question. Is it because lesbians are more likely to report? Is it because lesbians are more likely to be victimized?

We don't know what causes these things, is my point.

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BadKarma

It can't be a coincidence that, for example, a larger percentage of lesbians have been sexually assaulted than straight women.

As is my wont of late (or always), I wonder where you got those stats, if they are such rather than anecdotes or polls/surveys.

Yeah. I'd like to see that statistic as well. As I made clear on my first post, I do definitely think that there are extenuating circumstances in particular peoples' lives that may artificially alter their "inherent" orientation, but those are anomalies at best from anything I've seen. I've never seen or heard of this study you're talking about...

I mean, like I said, I'd love to see those statistics. They don't necessarily infer a particular explanation (for instance, one could argue that more lesbians are assaulted than straight women because men who assault lesbians are doing it out of rebellion for being shut down or because they don't believe the lesbians and are trying the whole "corrective" shit that Ugandans do), but they'd still be interesting to look at. So please link the study or scientific journal or research theses or whatever. :)

I could be wrong, but wouldn't it have to be a poll/ survey? Its all self-reported, right?

Not necessarily. There are plenty of ways to do controlled experiments about something even as specific about that, and they wouldn't have to rely at all on subjective bias or survey errors.

But even an inaccurate word-of-mouth survey would be better than a random anecdote. Anyway, I must be getting to bed now. We'll talk later about this... And I definitely do want you to find whatever information source you got that statement from, as does Sally. So go ahead and link it while I'm sleeping!

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Skullery Maid

Not necessarily. There are plenty of ways to do controlled experiments about something even as specific about that, and they wouldn't have to rely at all on subjective bias or survey errors.

No, there's not. There literally isn't. If someone never reported a sexual assault, there's no way to know that.

EDIT: I'll do some google searches for ya, but that's about the best I can do. I'm not calling up old classmates and shit over this... but the rest of you should also feel free to link...

Alright smartasses. This says the same thing everything else says... do they experience more assaults, or do they just report more assaults? Because one thing is clear, they ARE reporting more. A lifetime sexual assault rating of 85%. http://tva.sagepub.com/content/12/2/55.abstract

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BadKarma

Not necessarily. There are plenty of ways to do controlled experiments about something even as specific about that, and they wouldn't have to rely at all on subjective bias or survey errors.

No, there's not. There literally isn't. If someone never reported a sexual assault, there's no way to know that.

EDIT: I'll do some google searches for ya, but that's about the best I can do. I'm not calling up old classmates and shit over this... but the rest of you should also feel free to link...

No. What I meant to say was that there are better ways to study reported sexual assaults and their effects on victims than to ask people directly whether or not they're both a lesbian and a sexual assault victim.

And I would feel free to link, if I had ever heard of this survey. But it's the same kind of thing I hear about people going "men who have been raped have a higher chance of turning gay". It begs the question that one CAN "turn gay", which, while theoretically possible, is not supported by any good evidence, and adheres to shaky, unverified claims and pseudologic.

I'm not blaming you for coming up with this, btw. I'm sure you probably heard it in passing from someone else and went "yeah, that seems reasonable enough possibly". But that alone is not good enough to treat something as fact. The larger and more astounding the claim, the more evidence is needed for it, and the claim that sexual assault turns women into lesbians would need quite a lot of evidence before the scientific community could actually accept it as a truism.

Edit: Ah. Thank you, New. Helpful links.

I still think there needs to be more studying to determine the cause here. Like I said, the cause of increased assault could very well be that they were assaulted for "playing tough to get" or "not being right" or the like. Do either of you have a link to a psychological study where sexual assault victims identify as gay only AFTER they have been assaulted/raped, or studies identifying the genders of the attackers? That would be more conclusive for me.

To sum up, while I don't want to just go throw statistics out the window, I should make this clear. Statistics showing the increased rates of violence and assault against sexual minorities does not surprise me, considering the institutionalized hatred and mistrust of those minorities. But to assert a correlation between BECOMING a lesbian and being assaulted, you must provide studies/statistics of women who used to identify as straight and only "became gay" AFTER being assaulted. Women who were already gay and were then assaulted by prospective and unwanted male partners are hardly a surprising group. It's sad, yes, and somewhat despicable, but it's not surprising, and there are other valid reasons behind those statistics, and making an assertion that rape/assault causes homosexuality is much different than making an assertion that homosexuals are raped/assaulted more often than heterosexuals.

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Skullery Maid

Hahahahaha whatever. You thought you called me out on some bullshit, and I knew what I was talking about. Apology accepted. :lol:

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BadKarma

Hahahahaha whatever. You thought you called me out on some bullshit, and I knew what I was talking about. Apology accepted. :lol:

:)

While I did chuckle, my point stands. And I really should have been more clear on this (so I apologize for that)... But the way you phrased your original post was in the form of a loaded question, and I responded in turn to the loaded question specifically. "I doubt it's coincidental..." in a thread describing adopted sexual orientations after trauma insinuates that you have a belief that sexual assault itself causes people to become gay. All I see with these statistics are that gay people are assaulted more often than straight people, and I have no problem believing or accepting that. I do have a problem believing that sexual assault turns large numbers of people gay, and it necessarily requires more in-depth surveys than what I've been shown to prove such a correlation. I don't reject the possibility, and I think it may well happen some times, but the studies I've been given only show me that many people are homophobic and that sexual assaulters don't know the concept of boundaries: two things I have known for a long time.

But srsly, I really do need to go to bed now. I'm being a massive idiot for staying up this late, so I must bid you all adieu!

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BadKarma

I have read a lot of reports and know a lot of women, gay and straight, who have been raped. I know some of them are with women because of assault at a young age, I know some of them have been targeted for being a lesbian as an adult, I know some who just were raped cos that's what rapists do. I'm not doing the research for you. Google it, there's a lot of information out there. I'm not being a smartass, but if you want to know, find out.

I haven't figured out how to do quotes yet. I apologize in advance.

It's alright.

A. You simply do a quote by clicking on "Reply" on whatever message you want to quote (or you can use the speech bubble in the editing tab).

B. I only asked for statistics because a claim was made that didn't have sufficient evidence and still doesn't.

C. I may well look more into this later. I had looked into it before and found no provable correlation, which is why I was intrigued, because I thought I may have missed some important study that would change my worldview.

D. I believe all of those womens' stories and I see nothing inherently fallacious with any individual one of them.

E. Really, truly, have a good night.

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PiF

weird one

despite saying we are fed up with..asexuality is caused by..emotional supression, sexual abuse, low libido etc it appears some do feel that has been the case ...and then gives validity to opinions that asexuality is for some a response to abuse or an inability to get it up

so then the most obvious question follows..are they actually asexual..or have they wrongly identified as asexual but due to events ..feel they are

very much a can o worms...i'll think on this one a bit longer

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Frankentan

Moving to Q&A.

Please remember to keep this polite.

Tanwen

Hot Box Mod

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Nomad in Stasis

I'm not sure if I was born asexual or not, but I believe that I am due to my friend being raped. I am repulsed by the idea of sex now.

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Mismatched

But if asexuality is caused by emotional trauma or not, it doesn't change the fact that you are asexual right now. If those events have formed you into who you are right now, you can't change them and you can't act like because you have pin pointed a reason that the asexuality isn't a reality. If someone almost died in a plane crash, so they never want to ride a plane again, preferring the train. They now have a reason to dislike planes, a legitimate reason. That reason may not apply to other people, but it is not "other people" living your life. It is you. And the problem with finding a cause is t hat once a cause is found people try to use it as a way to "fix" people. If an event has given you a reason to hate something, just someone else trying to convince you that it is really okay, doesn't erase the event. What does it really accomplish to make them ride a plane again? Or to try to make them feel okay riding a plane again when it doesn't hurt their life being who they are right now fears and all. If asexuality is not detrimental to your life, why try to change it? whatever the cause.

Who we are is a culmination of all of our past events, and how those events effect us or how we act despite those events happening to us. Who we are is built up of chemical and electrical signals in our brains and bodies. Who were are is so complicated and interconnected to everything. How we are now is how we are and to try to mold people into something different from their learned, inherent, or developed natural, just for the sake of conformity or for people to feel less uneasy around you, is unnatural, cruel, and doesn't really fix the person or make them feel better, it just teaches them how to mask their differences.

Also to jump in a bit about the whole lesbian rape thing. One thing is that they might be more likely to report the rape. Also they might be raped BECAUSE they were lesbian, and not necessarily the other way around. I like to watch 1 Girl 5 Gays and the last four episodes have been all lesbians, and one stated that she was physically assaulted because the aggressor saw that she was a lesbian with her girlfriend, and became enraged that they didn't want to "perform" for him or have sex with him. He didn't rape her but he knocked out half of her teeth. It is like saying homosexual boys in high school are homosexual because they got beaten up a lot, when it is really the other way around. It is not unheard of even for straight girls to be assaulted because they rejected a guy's sexual advances, and lesbians are at the top of the list to reject a man's advances.

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PiF

But if asexuality is caused by emotional trauma or not, it doesn't change the fact that you are asexual right now.

And that is the question surely?

Has some one who has suffered abuse realised it has led to them identifying as an asexual

Or have they wrongly identified as asexual because of the abuse

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Mismatched

But if asexuality is caused by emotional trauma or not, it doesn't change the fact that you are asexual right now.

And that is the question surely?

Has some one who has suffered abuse realized it has led to them identifying as an asexual

Or have they wrongly identified as asexual because of the abuse

Well I was going off of the original post. They are assuming that you can become asexual. That may or may not be true. But I hope they aren't inferring that everyone has the potential to be sexual and needs to become asexual. But I think that is what the original poster's inquiry, or they are trying to find a connection. And I think that there might be a few people who are mislabeling themselves so that they don't have to face their problems. Some people might be afraid of sex, or super prudish and feel dirty at the thought, and they might confuse adverse feelings towards sex as no desire for sex. Which the two aren't the same.

I know I don't have any adverse feelings about sex, I just don't want to do it. Like I don't want to drink alcohol. But I don't think badly of people who do.

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corvalis

I think, by and large, sexuality is something predetermined and genetic. That being said, it's been proven sexuality isn't entirely heritable (it's quite possible to have identical twins in which one is gay and the other is not), so yes, I think that experiences do affect one's sexual orientation to some degree.

I would imagine most of the non-genetic factors are probably uncontrollable environmental ones, though.

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Sally

I think, by and large, sexuality is something predetermined and genetic. That being said, it's been proven sexuality isn't entirely heritable (it's quite possible to have identical twins in which one is gay and the other is not), so yes, I think that experiences do affect one's sexual orientation to some degree.

New research shows it's a more complex situation re identical twins.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/11/health/11real.html

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Skullery Maid

But if asexuality is caused by emotional trauma or not, it doesn't change the fact that you are asexual right now.

And that is the question surely?

Has some one who has suffered abuse realised it has led to them identifying as an asexual

Or have they wrongly identified as asexual because of the abuse

I guess it depends upon how you view sexuality. Do you think there's some predetermined orientation for everyone? At your birth, there was a list somewhere that read "PiF=asexual, SkulleryMaid=sexual". Or do you think that sexuality is determined by our physical and mental development, as we develop?

I think it's 2. I think that a combination of genetics, environment, personality, experiential history, etc, all coalesce into what we later call our sexual identity. Me personally, I was never abused in any way. I'm a lesbian. I don't think that sexual abuse is a prerequisite for being gay. I do think, based on experiences of enough people I know, to say that for some people, it does affect their sexual identity.

I don't see anything wrong with being asexual. I don't see anything wrong with being gay. I don't think the "why" matters, and I don't think that "fixing" should even enter into the equation.

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Heart

I tentatively identify as asexual, and the worst experience I've ever had with sex was when I tried, completely consentually and unsuccessfully, to try having sex. It hurt and was all in all an unpleasant experience, but I feel wouldn't say it was traumatising; I trusted the guy and we parted on cordial terms, or at least as coridal as a break up can be ;)

My asexuality may be partly a product of my environment, but if it is, it's not trauma. Of course, I was never sexual, so perhaps this doesn't even apply to me, since I never "became" asexual, I just never became sexual :P

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