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Asexual: Beyond Gay, Straight, and Bisexual

 by Bennett Gordon


Tags: Science and Technology, sexuality, gay, straight, bisexual, asexual, Scientific American,

People aren’t all straight, gay, or bisexual. Scientists have begun taking notice of a significant number of people who identify as asexual. Writing for the Scientific American, Jesse Bering descries asexuality as, “the absence of desire and no sexual interest in males or females, only a complete and lifelong lacuna of sexual attraction toward any human being (or non-human being).”

An estimated 1 percent of British residents describe themselves as “never having a sexual attraction to anymore,” according to a 2004 study cited by Bering. That’s just slightly lower than the 3 percent of people who identified themselves as attracted to the same sex. An aversion to sex can stem from childhood trauma or chemical imbalances, but some research points to asexuality as being a true fourth sexual orientation that’s “due neither to genetic anomaly or environmental assault.”

One 18-year-old asexual described her feelings to the University of Michigan saying:

I just don’t feel sexual attraction to people. I love the human form and can regard individuals as works of art and find people aesthetically pleasing, but I don’t ever want to come into sexual contact with even the most beautiful of people.

Source: The Scientific American

annie ory
11/4/2009 6:26:15 AM

I wonder why this would surprise us so much? We have all been shocked by behavior or tendencies that are very different from our own, or from those we are familiar with, but at some point we should cease to be surprised that all people are not exactly the same, don't you think? People, their behaviors, their motivations, their states of being, all exist on a continuum from one end to the other. Sexuality is no different. Somehow, particularly in the area of human sexuality, we as a society have developed a way of seeing "how people are" that doesn't leave any room for the simple truth that humans are varied and unique. We are each unique and personally I can think of nothing more disturbing or demeaning as a human being than being labeled "normal"...


annie ory
11/4/2009 6:26:12 AM

I wonder why this would surprise us so much? We have all been shocked by behavior or tendencies that are very different from our own, or from those we are familiar with, but at some point we should cease to be surprised that all people are not exactly the same, don't you think? People, their behaviors, their motivations, their states of being, all exist on a continuum from one end to the other. Sexuality is no different. Somehow, particularly in the area of human sexuality, we as a society have developed a way of seeing "how people are" that doesn't leave any room for the simple truth that humans are varied and unique. We are each unique and personally I can think of nothing more disturbing or demeaning as a human being than being labeled "normal"...