Asexuality and the Brain

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Despite the large collection of literature of sexuality that has been accumulating, human asexuality has been largely ignored. Asexuality is controversially considered to be a sexual orientation and people who identify as asexual are people who typically do not experience sexual attraction (Asexuality Visibility and Education Network, 2013). Though research on sex and sexual orientations has been done for centuries, the first real suggestion that there might be people who fall outside of the heterosexual – homosexual orientation spectrum came from Kinsey and colleagues in 1948. These individuals were put into a separate category and were identified as having no erotic response to hetero- or homosexual stimuli, but otherwise they were…show more content…
An example of a romantic asexual would be an individual who identifies as hetero-romantic. These individuals are interested in romantic relationships with the opposite sex, but would prefer not to have a sexual aspect to that relationship (Scherrer, 2008). Another difference within the community involves masturbatory practices. Some Aces do masturbate for a variety of reasons, including tension relief or to experience an orgasm. Others, however, have absolutely no motivation or desire to masturbate. Many asexuals do not see masturbation as a sexual event for them, however (Scherrer, 2008). There is even variation in how asexuals view sex. Some Aces understand sex but are not interested in having it themselves, while others are disgusted by the act (Carrigan, 2011). There are asexuals who will have sexual intercourse with a romantic partner who identifies as sexual because it makes their partner happy, and there are others who would never consent to sex (Carrigan, 2011). To date, no clear cause of asexuality has been discovered. Bogaert provided some guesses that may be related to asexuality, such as possible alteration of the hypothalamus (Bogaert, 2006). He also believed that Aces were usually in poorer health, weighed less, and were shorter than individuals who identified as some type of sexual. Because these characteristics can identify many types of people, not just asexuals, relying on them for identification means would be pointless. Brotto

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