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Toward a Conceptual Understanding of Asexuality

Toward a Conceptual Understanding of Asexuality,10.1037/1089-2680.10.3.241,Review of General Psychology,Anthony F. Bogaert

Toward a Conceptual Understanding of Asexuality   (Citations: 8)
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Asexuality has been the subject of recent academic (A. F. Bogaert, 2004) and public (e.g., New Scientist; CNN) discourse. This has raised questions about the conceptualization and definition of asexuality. Here the author reviews some of these issues, discusses asexuality from a sexual orientation point of view (i.e., as a lack of sexual attraction), and reviews the similarities and differences between this definition and related phenomena (e.g., hypoactive sexual desire disorder). Finally, the author concludes that the term asexuality should not necessarily be used to describe a pathological or health-compromised state.
Journal: Review of General Psychology - REV GEN PSYCHOL , vol. 10, no. 3, pp. 241-250, 2006
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    • ...Our findings lend support to the speculation (Bogaert, 2006; Brotto et al., 2010; Pagan Westfall, 2004) that asexuality is not a sexual dysfunction—or perhaps, more precisely, it is not a disorder of sexual arousal .I n studies exploring VPA differences with regard to sexual orientation, heterosexual and homosexual women did not differ, regardless of the stimulus type shown (Chivers & Bailey, 2005; Chivers...
    • ...For asexuals, our data support the speculations of Bogaert (2006), which suggest intact arousability to sexual cues; however, there are likely problems in how this experienced arousability is translated into sexual activity...

    Lori A. BrottoMoraget al. Physiological and Subjective Sexual Arousal in Self-Identified Asexual...

    • ...In the only published conceptual consideration of asexuality, Bogaert (2006) discussed arguments in favor of understanding asexuality as a sexual orientation, as well as objections to this perspective which were largely based in doubting the genuine existence of asexual people...
    • ...2 Bogaert (2006) addressed asexuality as theoretically distinct from hypo-...
    • ...4 Bogaert (2006) addressed arguments speculating that so-called asex-...
    • ...Bogaert (2006), Brotto et al. (2010), Diamond (2003, 2008), and Hinderliter (2009 )h ad all picked up on the sexual/romantic distinction previously...
    • ...Bogaert (2006) argued specifically that lacking sexual attraction, even according to Storms’ model, does not entail also lacking romantic or affectional attraction...
    • ...Bogaert (2006) briefly contemplated how some self-identified asexual people experience notable levels of undirected sexual desire in the absence of sexual attraction, while others may have the capacity to experience attraction but happen not to because of their utter lack of desire...
    • ...Bogaert (2006) discussed more thoroughly the importance of considering psychological and subjective aspects of sexual orientation (e.g., subjective sense of sexual attraction), noting how the psychological aspects and not the physiological ones are related to people’s relationships, behaviors, and identities...
    • ...Bogaert (2006) distinguished conceptually between asexuality and (lifelong) HSDD, suggesting that nonasexual people with HSDD experience sexual attraction but merely lack the desire to act on this...

    CJ DeLuzio Chasin. Theoretical Issues in the Study of Asexuality

    • ...Respondents (n = 71) who identified as homosexuals (“100% homosexual” or “mostly homosexual, but somewhat attracted to people of the opposite sex”) or asexuals (“not sexually attracted to either males or females”; for a comprehensive overview, see Bogaert, 2004, 2006, 2008) were removed from analyses...

    Luanne K. Jamiesonet al. Early Age of First Sexual Intercourse and Depressive Symptomatology am...

    • ...For example, there is a small but growing body of literature on the phenomenon of human asexuality (Bogaert, 2004, 2006; Brotto, Knudson, Inskip, Rhodes, & Erskine, 2008; Prause & Graham, 2007; Scherrer, 2008), defined as lifelong lack of sexual attraction...
    • ...Asexuality has been described as a sexual identity (Bogaert, 2006; Brotto et al., 2008) as opposed to a sexual dysfunction on the basis of finding that the only distress experienced by asexual persons is in reaction to sociocultural pressures to be sexual, and pathologizing those who do not wish to be sexual...

    Lori A. Brotto. The DSM Diagnostic Criteria for Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder in W...

    • ...This definition is most closely aligned with that described by Bogaert (2006) in his conceptual analysis of asexuality...
    • ...In a recent conceptual analysis of asexuality, Bogaert (2006) acknowledged that by using a more general definition of asexuality, this may overcome the problem of investigator-derived operational definitions...
    • ...Based on the conclusion by Bogaert (2006) that definitions of asexuality in research should be kept more general, and because there is no consensus among researchers on the definition, we allowed participants to self-identify as asexual...
    • ...In order to control for the possibility that asexuals might provide exaggerated socially desirable responses, and to reduce additional stigma associated with the term asexual (Bogaert, 2006), we also included a measure of social desir-...
    • ...Whereas it has been speculated that asexuality might overlap with sexual desire disorder (Prause & Graham, 2007), our findings support the speculation by Bogaert (2006) that asexuality and desire disorder can be differentiated on the basis that the person with low desire experiences distress whereas the asexual does not...
    • ...asexuals lack interest in sexual activity, and the defining feature of HSDD is a distressing lack of desire (American Psychiatric Association, 2000), Bogaert (2006) noted that there might be a subgroup of asexuals who are at the lower polar end of the desire continuum...
    • ...He also noted that there is likely another subgroup of asexuals who have normal, or even high, desire, despite the lack of sexual attraction (Bogaert, 2006)...
    • ...The results from our two studies supported the definition, which characterized asexuality as a lack of sexual attraction, as proposed by Bogaert (2004, 2006)...
    • ...Our study also replicated and expanded upon several of the findings from Prause and Graham (2007) and provided an empirical test of some of the conceptual points raised by Bogaert (2006)...
    • ...There was also the very strong sentiment that it should be conceptualized as a sexual orientation, as suggested also by Bogaert (2006)...
    • ...Overall, this study illustrated a number of personal and sexual characteristics of asexuals (Study 1) and illuminated these characteristics in more depth using detailed interviews (Study 2). Similar to the proposition by Bogaert (2006), the findings suggested that asexuals are a mentally healthy group who continue to seek out and engage in rewarding, emotionally connected relationships...

    Lori A. Brottoet al. Asexuality: A Mixed-Methods Approach

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