It may be Bisexual Awareness Week, but asexuals the world over say they want to be noticed as well. They are demanding greater visibility, saying they want asexuality to be recognized as an official sexual orientation by the government, the National Post reports.
In a new review published by the University of British Columbia, Canadian sex academics are insisting that asexuality isn’t some bizarre form of “psychopathology” or the result an extremely low libido as famously diagnosed by zoologist and sex researcher Alfred Kinsey in the 1940s. Instead, they say, “we surmise that the available evidence points to asexuality being best conceptualized as a unique sexual orientation.”
In other words: Having no sexual orientation is itself a sexual orientation. Just like being gay, straight, bisexual, etc. So start treating it as such!
But the movement isn’t just happening in Canada. In the U.K., asexual activists are seeking to have “asexual” added to the list of options around sexual identity in the upcoming 2021 census questionnaire, arguing that “around one per cent of the population is asexual” and should therefore be counted.
“It is most likely that the best part of a million British residents is asexual,” the sex academics write, “yet we have almost no data that sheds light on the causes of asexuality, its correlates or the implications of identifying as asexual.”
Activists and researchers alike argue that making “asexual” an official sexual orientation on government census forms “would challenge much of the stigma and myths that suggest asexual individuals are just celibate, or that this is some kind of manifestation of psychopathology or trauma.”
Indeed, a study published by Yale University back in April documented the “coming out” experiences of over 150 asexuals. Many reported being met with disbelief and dismissiveness. One woman reported being called “ridiculous” by a friend. Another said the person she told responded by saying, “You’re not a tree.” Similarly, a 2012 study found asexuals were met with significant bias and negative attitudes, particularly be heterosexuals.