Common occurance amongst asexuals.

For discussion of general issues pertaining to asexuality.
User avatar
FalconEagle
Established Member
Posts: 55
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 10:18 am

Common occurance amongst asexuals.

Postby FalconEagle » Sat Nov 19, 2011 11:09 pm

*pokes at the forums*

I have raised this subject on AVEN before, back in Spring, but it didn't get much of a response. I thought it would be best to raise the subject here, since we've all had long-term experience with AVEN and the asexual community.

So yes, gender dysphoria and asexuality, gender dysphoria definitely seems to be a common occurrence amongst the asexual community (aka. AVEN and the prevailing Tumblr community).
Of course, this is all purely observational. I'm not going to make a concrete conclusion on the subject myself, considering that I've done no extensive research or studying of this.
Only problem is, I don't think there has been any research that focuses solely on gender dysphoria in the asexual community.

So I guess...what do you guys think? Do you think that there is an actual correlation here?

User avatar
KAGU143
Administrator
Posts: 1302
Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2008 1:09 pm

Re: Common occurance amongst asexuals.

Postby KAGU143 » Sun Nov 20, 2011 10:37 am

I believe that there is a very strong corelation between gender dysphoria and asexuality. I don't know of any research that has focused on that particular aspect but I think it would be an interesting study if someone were to undertake it.
In fact, if asexuality could be said to have causes, I think that gender dysphoria would probably be one of the biggest ones. I think GD is a lot more common that people realize, especially in its milder forms, but there seems to be a huge resistance against admitting to it. For some people, it's easier to pretend that it doesn't exist.

I think that the currently popular idea that gender roles are purely an outmoded social construct is partly fueled by gender dysphoria.

I'm probably gong to get yelled at ... Image ... but I have GD, too.
I'm not criticizing anybody - 'just trying to be objective.
If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.

apsaf
New Member
Posts: 47
Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2009 8:28 am

Re: Common occurance amongst asexuals.

Postby apsaf » Sun Nov 20, 2011 11:33 am

Never heard the term gender dysphoria before and when I read about it just now, I think I might be categorized as having it!

gender roles are purely an outmoded social construct

I don't think I have trouble accepting my biological gender. However, I totally believe that gender roles are a useless, constraining social construct and I don't feel I fit in either box (I'm perceived as "feminine" and as "masculine" and everything in between by different people on different occasions... maybe it depends on my mood? lol). My problem is I couldn't care less what my gender is (I just abide by what feels comfortable to me) and I WISH people would stop categorizing me based on something I don't "use" and don't want... my sexual organs. It doesn't make sense to me and I don't make sense to people when I tell them that, lol.

I get the impression that many asexuals don't care about fitting in one of the 2 gender binary boxes but I could be wrong as well.
Last edited by apsaf on Sun Nov 20, 2011 12:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Olivier
Regular Member
Posts: 139
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 11:19 am

Re: Common occurance amongst asexuals.

Postby Olivier » Sun Nov 20, 2011 12:11 pm

KAGU143 wrote:In fact, if asexuality could be said to have causes, I think that gender dysphoria would probably be one of the biggest ones.

A case could very easily be made for the causation to work in the other direction, as well.

User avatar
Dargon
Mega Member
Posts: 516
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2008 7:34 pm

Re: Common occurance amongst asexuals.

Postby Dargon » Sun Nov 20, 2011 12:44 pm

In AVEN there seems to be a large amount of it, but I cannot help but wonder how much of that is due to cisgendered asexuals not having much to say about the matter. There really isn't much to say regarding how your gender fits into society when you are cis. Those furthest from the norm (norm not necessarily being something good nor bad) tend to speak the loudest.

In my own personal experience, what seems more common amongst asexuals I know (admittedly a small, biased sample set) is apathy or lack of opinion with regards to gender identity. apsaf seems to have noticed this as well.

Now perhaps I am not the best to speak of this, as I have made it no secret that the whole notion of gender identity makes no sense to me. I've gotten flack for this, but no matter how hard I try, every explanation of gender identity I come across pretty much comes down to which socially constructed gender roles one likes more for themselves, and thus, gender identity itself seems like a social construct to me.

As for gender disphoria causing asexuality, this, again relying on personal anecdote, is something I doubt. I have not personally met a transgendered person who was NOT sexual. Again, it is a small sample set, but it contradicts the notion that gender disphoria causes asexuality.

PiF
Apositive Star
Posts: 2270
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2011 1:47 am

Re: Common occurance amongst asexuals.

Postby PiF » Sun Nov 20, 2011 1:34 pm

This is one of those areas I have traditionally avoided in the past because not having it but having an opinion on it seems to get you attacked quite quickly but I will plug on

Gender dis and trans as well I have often in end result .. Questioned wether asexuality is not what they are but through life events they align with asexuality

I personally have trouble relating disphoria to asexuality because I feel many with truly emotional situations have sex very much at the bottom of the list if on the list at all

User avatar
hexaquark
New Member
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:46 pm

Re: Common occurance amongst asexuals.

Postby hexaquark » Sun Nov 20, 2011 2:39 pm

I wonder sometimes… how much this has to do with more awareness of trans*, non-binary options, etc. in the asexual community. And maybe (I have no idea about this one) more awareness of asexuality in the trans* community? This is anecdata, but it does seem like there are many people who question their gender after being introduced to the community.

Some numbers:
Asexual Community Census 2011 (n = 3,436)
Asexual Community Census 2011 wrote:What is your gender identity?*
Female 64.1%
Male 14.1%
Gender neutral 12.0%
Androgynous 11.4%
Gender queer or gender variant 11.1%
Gender fluid 8.0%
Unsure/confused 7.5%
Questioning 6.6%
I don't have a gender identity 6.2%
Other 4.3%

*this doesn’t add up to 100% because you could choose more than one, and from the looks of it, many did.

It would have been interesting to see a question like: “How did you identify prior to finding the asexual community?” with all those gender options.

From the same survey:
Do you consider yourself transgender?
Yes 10.2%
No 80.4%
Unsure 9.4%

10% transgender seems really high, but are any solid-ish numbers known for transgender people in the general population?

9% unsure! Questioning, slightly dysphoric, no gender identity, gender ambivalent… there’s a possibility for lots of things, because some people classify certain identities as transgender where others don’t.

If everyone in the world lived in an environment where conformance to gender roles and identities was neither encouraged nor discouraged, but awareness of gender dysphoria and transgender identities was widespread, would more people in the general population identify as transgender, or question their gender, etc.?

Here is an AVEN survey from 2008 (n=288?)
Genderedness:
Respondents had a write-in box to describe the gender with which they currently identified.

137 (80.1%) of asexuals assigned female at birth currently identify as female.
17 (9.9%) currently identify as something other than male or female (such as androgynous, neutrois, agender, bigender, or genderqueer)
9 (5.3%) currently identify as male
8 (4.7%) currently identify as female, but with some reservations (such as “nominally female” or “female... reluctantly”)

56 (81.2%) of asexuals assigned male at birth currently identify as male.
9 (13%) currently identify as something other than male or female
2 (2.9%) currently identify as female
2 (2.9%) currently identify as male, but with some reservations

3 asexuals who did not provide a birth gender currently identify as male.
2 asexuals who did not provide a birth gender currently identify as something other than male or female.

1 born female and 1 asexual who did not provide a birth gender did not answer.

Obviously all we know about is the community (the people in the community that take surveys to be weirdly specific), not about asexual people in general…

michaels
Super Member
Posts: 251
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2011 8:11 am

Re: Common occurance amongst asexuals.

Postby michaels » Mon Nov 21, 2011 4:12 am

Dargon wrote:In AVEN there seems to be a large amount of it, but I cannot help but wonder how much of that is due to cisgendered asexuals not having much to say about the matter. There really isn't much to say regarding how your gender fits into society when you are cis. Those furthest from the norm (norm not necessarily being something good nor bad) tend to speak the loudest.

In my own personal experience, what seems more common amongst asexuals I know (admittedly a small, biased sample set) is apathy or lack of opinion with regards to gender identity.


The vast majority of members on both Apositive and AVEN (back when I was on AVEN) show up suddenly, make one or two posts asking a few basic questions, and then disappear forever. Those people have always struck me as being cisgendered and not particularly confused about anything except their own lack of sexual attraction. The members who continue posting on asexual fora tend to have other issues, including gender dysphoria, but I believe that they represent a minority of asexuals. We shouldn't let the fact that a minority of people is vocal mislead us into believing that they are the majority.

Gender dysphoria is probably one contributing factor to asexuality, but being asexual does not necessitate that someone suffers from gender dysphoria, and very few asexuals do. The "apathy and lack of opinion" that Dargon notes is likely caused by the fact that gender is not an issue for them. In fact, only a tiny minority of sexuals give their own gender much conscious thought for the same reason.

fridayoak
Regular Member
Posts: 110
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 8:45 am

Re: Common occurance amongst asexuals.

Postby fridayoak » Mon Nov 21, 2011 9:35 am

Yep the ones with big gender issues are going to be the ones going on about it most and so it will be noticeable that a lot of posts (on AVEN/tumblr etc) will be about gender stuff. If I think of real life experiences I've met over 50 asexuals and only one that I can think of identified as trangendered, so it was a non-issue to me and the people I met.

I do think though that if you get to the point of being able to identify as an asexual you will usually have to have been capable of doing some thinking outside the box to some degree in terms of rejecting the social norm, so there may be a high percent of asexuals who realise that gender roles are outdated social constructs etc but that's obviously not the same thing as gender dysphoria.

Birdwing
New Member
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2011 7:13 pm

Re: Common occurance amongst asexuals.

Postby Birdwing » Tue Nov 22, 2011 10:27 pm

x
Last edited by Birdwing on Sat Dec 29, 2012 11:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
(I no longer visit this site or AVEN, and I've blocked private messages. Just FYI.)

michaels
Super Member
Posts: 251
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2011 8:11 am

Re: Common occurance amongst asexuals.

Postby michaels » Fri Nov 25, 2011 8:13 am

I think the concept of gender issues has been broadened so much by some people as to have become almost meaningless. No doubt many of us have had the experience of staring at our own hand and feeling as if it were a foreign object not belonging to us. Should we therefore be identified as having "hand issues?" No. And people who feel uncertainty or confusion about gender roles or a certain amount of alienation from their physical parts aren't necessarily transgendered, either. I've known people with genuine honest-to-goodness GID and they would be offended by some of the statements made in this thread.

We have to watch the tendency to seek to expand the power base of our political movement by watering down its definition until it's broad enough to include the entire planet, because that does a disservice to everyone who has real problems and could realistically benefit from a solid, sensible definition of what they're experiencing.

User avatar
Olivier
Regular Member
Posts: 139
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 11:19 am

Re: Common occurance amongst asexuals.

Postby Olivier » Sat Nov 26, 2011 2:31 pm

Excluding people who regularly experience sexual attraction should stop the definition including the whole planet. Excluding those who identify as asexual but whom you deem not "true asexuals" is just elitism, dressed up as concern.

michaels
Super Member
Posts: 251
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2011 8:11 am

Re: Common occurance amongst asexuals.

Postby michaels » Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:16 am

Put away your hatchet, Olivier. You're getting tiresome.

PiF
Apositive Star
Posts: 2270
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2011 1:47 am

Re: Common occurance amongst asexuals.

Postby PiF » Sun Nov 27, 2011 7:31 am

annnnddd sleep :lol:

true i would be entirely against asexual elitists

as long as some don't confuse clarifying what an asexual is and isn't ...and being proud to be an asexual with elitism

flergalwit
Mega Member
Posts: 547
Joined: Fri Sep 03, 2010 12:02 pm

Re: Common occurance amongst asexuals.

Postby flergalwit » Sun Nov 27, 2011 8:30 am

Olivier is correct though. The definition of asexuality remains in terms of sexual attraction. While a lot of asexuals are "gender-interesting", many - probably most - aren't, and not all "gender-interesting" people are asexual.

User avatar
Olivier
Regular Member
Posts: 139
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 11:19 am

Re: Common occurance amongst asexuals.

Postby Olivier » Sun Nov 27, 2011 12:49 pm

The definition of asexuality, in all the asexual spaces being discussed, is not experiencing sexual attraction. I don't see that being watered down, and it's remained the same at AVEN for the entire decade of AVEN's existence.

There are people - greys, demis and what have you - who experience sexual attraction, but in limited ways, that share with asexuals the experiences of not experiencing sexual attraction at times when it would expected by the sexual majority. That shared experience means that they have experience in common with asexuals, and as such they find things to discuss in asexual spaces. Whether greys and demis come under the term "asexual" given that they share the experience of not experiencing sexual attraction in contexts where it's expected is a question that people take both sides of (with most saying that such people are not asexual, but have much in common with asexuals, or taking a spectrum view of asexuality), but almost all seem to think that discussing that common experience in asexual spaces is appropriate, understandable, and indeed desirable and worthwhile.

User avatar
KAGU143
Administrator
Posts: 1302
Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2008 1:09 pm

Re: Common occurance amongst asexuals.

Postby KAGU143 » Sun Nov 27, 2011 1:13 pm

I think that in the overall scheme of things, grey-As are to asexuals as bisexuals are to homosexuals. Not *precisely* the same, but having enough in common that they are able to share ideas and experiences in a productive manner.

Are bisexuals not welcome to join gay or lesbian websites? That would seem odd to me, although I would not put it past some people to prefer that they stay away.
If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.

PiF
Apositive Star
Posts: 2270
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2011 1:47 am

Re: Common occurance amongst asexuals.

Postby PiF » Sun Nov 27, 2011 2:40 pm

I think you would have to look incredibly hard and almost harder than the states looking for wmd's before you would find anyone saying demis/semis/ greys are not welcome in asexuality..to be honest I've never seen it

two things on this if i may

Olivier wrote:The definition of asexuality, in all the asexual spaces being discussed, is not experiencing sexual attraction. I don't see that being watered down, and it's remained the same at AVEN for the entire decade of AVEN's existence.

There are people - greys, demis and what have you - who experience sexual attraction, but in limited ways, that share with asexuals the experiences of not experiencing sexual attraction at times when it would expected by the sexual majority. That shared experience means that they have experience in common with asexuals, and as such they find things to discuss in asexual spaces. Whether greys and demis come under the term "asexual" given that they share the experience of not experiencing sexual attraction in contexts where it's expected is a question that people take both sides of (with most saying that such people are not asexual, but have much in common with asexuals, or taking a spectrum view of asexuality), but almost all seem to think that discussing that common experience in asexual spaces is appropriate, understandable, and indeed desirable and worthwhile.


again i don't think I've ever seen anyone saying watered down..i have seen and I will admit to doing it..said..it is incredibly difficult to hold our definition if we have people claiming to be asexual whilst at the same time claiming to have sexual attraction

I personally don't hold with this asexual till "you meet someone special then you feel sexual" because it gives the impression that all sexuals just want to f*ck all the time which i''m pretty sure isn't the case..it also gives the impression that asexuality is a flick of the switch kinda fickle thing

for me..greys/semis/demis are sexuals who through life events align some parts of thier life with asexuality but are not asexual

and back to the original question of the thread..i wonder also just how many others identify with asexuality despite not being so and just how much that creates several more layers of confusion when people look at asexuality as a serious orientation

User avatar
Olivier
Regular Member
Posts: 139
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 11:19 am

Re: Common occurance amongst asexuals.

Postby Olivier » Sun Nov 27, 2011 8:12 pm

PiF wrote:I think you would have to look incredibly hard and almost harder than the states looking for wmd's before you would find anyone saying demis/semis/ greys are not welcome in asexuality..to be honest I've never seen it

I never said they weren't. In fact, I gave reasons why it's inevitable that they are.

PiF wrote:again i don't think I've ever seen anyone saying watered down..i have seen and I will admit to doing it..said..it is incredibly difficult to hold our definition if we have people claiming to be asexual whilst at the same time claiming to have sexual attraction

michael reckons it's part of the activist conspiracy, and used the phrase "watered down" in this thread :roll: I think the number of people claiming to experience sexual attraction and be asexual is vanishingly small, though. Most demi's and greys identify as demi or grey, not simply as asexual. I think this is more of a strawman, or a baseless fear, than a real problem.

PiF wrote:and back to the original question of the thread..i wonder also just how many others identify with asexuality despite not being so and just how much that creates several more layers of confusion when people look at asexuality as a serious orientation

This sounds a lot like the objections of bisexuals to straights claiming to be "bi-curious". It's a legitimate concern at some level, but I'm not sure that there's much that can be done about it.

PiF
Apositive Star
Posts: 2270
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2011 1:47 am

Re: Common occurance amongst asexuals.

Postby PiF » Mon Nov 28, 2011 2:11 am

michael's conspiracy theorism is a valid point in michaels own mind..but i would disagree on the watering down theory mostly because it does seem to take us down the "pure blood" sillyness that I do not feel exists

I would agree on some points however of the impact..certianly having sexuals identify as asexuals on the flick of the swtitch does cause those being asked to understand asexuality..a great deal of doubt

i don't think it's any coincidence this confusional status is mostly from those finding thier path in life and as most call it..the phase of teenager to young adult..i personally don't or have ever had a problem with the phase title as it is just that..a phase of your life at one particular point

were it does damage is add to the already confused world of asexuality..and dare i suggest..it isn't just the obvious sexuals causing confusion issues..some with mental health, some going through transition, some with low libido... maybe registering thier selves as asexual due to the last thing on thier mind being sex..this i feel gives the constant barrage of silly polls and threads based on..asexuality is caused by..yawn :shhh:

I do agree with you oliver in that there is very little we can do about it..but f*ck it's frustrating