Asexuality: A Study on Knowledge and Perceptions

Aidan Carey, Alexis Austin, Kristen Metcalf, Taylor Wootten

Abstract


As individuals have become more aware of the range of sexual identification, research has become more widely available. We have, over the years, learned a great deal concerning opinions and factual knowledge from heterosexual individuals concerning what homosexuality means, where it lies on the sexuality spectrum, as well as the negative/positive attitudes towards lesbians and gay men. The current study focuses on asexuality, which is a part of the sexual identification spectrum. Asexuality is defined as individuals who “do not experience sexual attraction,” who have never felt sexual attraction to “anyone at all,” or who have no “sexual interest.” Conducting this research provided the measurement of knowledge, perceptions, attitudes, and biases towards asexuality in comparison to other sexual orientations. Participants were asked to answer an anonymous demographic survey developed by the experimenters. In a two part study, participants in study one completed a demographic survey as well as a questionnaire about sexual orientation and awareness from the Miami University Diversity Awareness Scale (MUDAS). Ultimately, the data collected provides an estimate of knowledge concerning asexuality. The results indicated that the majority of the undergraduate sample was able to accurately define asexuality. Individuals who were not aware of this sexual orientation tended to confuse asexuality with pansexuality or other sexual orientations, believed the term was related to reproducing without a partner, or had no ability to define the term. The second study focuses on the attitudes of a general population sample towards asexuality based on their responses to an adaptation of the Riddle Scale and a demographic survey. The data indicated heterosexuals would have a negative attitude or perception of asexuality. Overall, the goal of this research is to broaden the knowledge of asexuality while assessing the attitudes towards asexuality from the population sample.

Keywords


Gender and Sexuality; perceptions; knowledge; asexuality; sexual orientation

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