To promote discourse on asexual theory, a number of papers written about asexuality are hosted here. Through this, a variety of ideas and perspectives on asexuality can be promoted and diffused. Some of the articles are also linked to on pages elsewhere on the site. If you have written a paper on asexuality, whether for class, as a part of a degree requirement, or just because you wanted to, and you would like to have it included here, please see the contact page for more information. All papers are used with the permission of their respective authors.
This paper takes an ecological community psychology approach to exploring the online asexual community. The Asexuality Visibility & Education Network (AVEN) English language message board serves as a case study to illustrate what it means to be part of an asexual community, or to self-identify as asexual, in a social context that does not account for asexuality. Since online asexual community interactions exist in textual form, asexual language and discourses are discussed and situated within a broader (largely North American) cultural tradition. Theoretical considerations are given to the meaning of an asexual identity.
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Reflections on Defining Asexuality. A. C. Hinderliter
This paper examines the main definitions of asexuality used on AVEN, namely that asexuals can be defined as “people who do not experience sexual attraction” or as “people who call themselves asexual.” The motivations and politics for these definitions are examined, including both simultaneous drives for a narrow and for a broad definition. Other possible ways of defining asexuality are examined as well.
Asexuality: The History of a Definition A. C. Hinderliter
The definition given on AVEN’s front page is “Asexual: A person who does not experience sexual attraction.” How this definition developed in the early asexual community, how it came to be the definition on AVEN, and reasons that it has remained the primary definition are discussed, along with a more general history of the early asexual community. How understandings of this definition have changed and this definition’s relationship to the Collective Identity Model of asexuality are also considered along with unintended impacts of this definition.