Asexual: Beyond Gay, Straight, and Bisexual

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

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