Question of the Week: January 19th, 2015.

Do you read academic articles on asexuality? If so, which do you recommend? 

When I was doing my Masters on asexuality I loved that I was constantly reading academic perspectives on asexuality. Many of the articles I read represented the community and asexual people in problematic/unhelpful ways, but I still valued knowing what academics were writing about us. Now that I’m pursuing academic research on a completely different topic I feel sorely out of touch from the academic asexuality loop. Every time I try to dip my toes back in my own reading list looms in the background. I keep saying, this week is too busy! Next week turns out to be more of the same. When discourses are so specialized and narrow, is it possible to have an informed point of view on them if they aren’t your main research area?

I don’t have any academic articles on asexuality that I’d recommend off the top of my head, but I really want to reread Anthony Bogaert’s 2012 article “Asexuality and Autochorissexualism (Identity-Less Sexuality).” The concept of autochorissexualism has had a lot more impact on the asexual community than I thought it would and I can’t wait to critically unpack/work through it.

About Talia

Talia is an asexual, nonbinary, vegan-feminist that drinks a lot of coffee and stays up very late playing Blizzard video games and writing fiction. They are working on a PhD in Environmental Studies where they think a lot about oppression as intersectional and impacting identities differentially. Talia has a particular fondness for asexuality, fandom, and Critical Animal Studies. Their personal blog is
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6 Responses to Question of the Week: January 19th, 2015.

  1. Sennkestra says:

    I try to keep up with recent papers as best I can, but not being a university student anymore means it’s much harder for me to get at papers that are behind paywalls, so I’m not able to read as much as I used to.

    In terms of papers to read, I would say that Bogaert 2004 and MacInnis and Hodson 2012 are some important ones to read, albeit critically (especially in the case of the latter). These aren’t necessarily the “best” articles, but they are probably the most commonly [mis]cited ones in both academia and media, so it’s important to understand each of their findings and weaknesses.

    (Also, if you are interested in autochorissexualism and the whole evolution of that, you might also be interested in this AVEN thread, which was most likely the main source/inspiration for Bogaert’s article:

    Other than those two, I tend to base most of my recommendations on a persons specific areas of interest, so it’s hard to choose just a few general ones.

    (Although, someday, I think it would be a fun project to design a sample syllabi for an asexuality 101 university seminar.)

  2. Siggy says:

    Lately, I haven’t read as many academic articles on asexuality as I used to. There are too many.

    What I liked about reading papers on asexuality was that I got to sample all sorts of different academic disciplines. From psychology, to sociology, to gender studies, to law, I get a sense for the differences between various ivory towers. I particularly enjoyed Elizabeth Emens’ “Compulsory Sexuality“, because legal papers are just so different from physics papers.

  3. Seth says:

    It’s rare that I read an academic article on any subject. Usually, I settle for abstracts and posts about the articles, since it’s generally not worth it to me to deal with paywalls and to take the time to sift through long, dry texts. Coincidentally, though, I have read the one on autochorissexuality in full, and I recommend it as easily accessible and digestible.

  4. Sciatrix says:

    I’m with Siggy on not reading as many as I used to–there’s too many articles in my actual field of specialty that I need to read, so unless I have some kind of pressing reason to read one (like a journal club) I usually don’t bother. Because my field is related but nonhuman in nature, I also tend to find asexuality articles a little irritating in their approaches and frustratingly limited in their methods. But then, I’m interested in variation on a more mechanistic level these days–hard to ethically slice open human brains!

  5. elainexe says:

    Hmmm…most of what I read ends up being about finding asexuality in history/theology. So I can’t say it’s really intended to be about asexuality.

  6. Ploutch says:

    Hi everybody,

    I try also to keep an eye on the academic literature.
    I appreciated the links about legal aspects of asexuality and about thoughts during asexuals masturbation.

    I currently follow the work of Lori A. Brotto. Most of her papers can be downloaded in the following link :

    The paper I read right now is :
    “A Validated Measure of No Sexual Attraction: The Asexuality Identification Scale” (Brotto 2015)

    This questionnaire has a single interest for me: it allows in a sexual practicing population to more easily identify people having low sexual attraction (A or HSDD people), which means a score higher than 40 over 60. I wonder which score a person suffering from hypoactive sexual desire disorder would reach.

    However, this test misses its initial claim, namely a representative sample of asexual population. It is quite clear that a virgin person unconscious of its asexuality will struggle to answer to most of the questions. Ditto for teens whose experience of sexuality is limited.

    Next papers that I intend to read are :
    “HSDD and asexuality: a question of instruments” (Jacinthe Flore – Psychology & Sexuality 4:2, pages 152-166 (2013) )
    “Sexual fantasy and masturbation among asexual individuals” from Brotto & al. (2014).

    I’ll keep following this thread, waiting for your next reading proposals.
    Bye !

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