Saturday, October 25, 2014

Asexuality: Biological Markers and Older Adults (Research, Video 2:16)

Asexuality has only become scientifically researched as a sexual orientation in recent years. For those who are not familiar with the term, it refers to people who intrinsically have never had any interest in sex or sexual attraction to others. Several biological markers of asexuality have been determined through an Internet research study investigating the relationship between self-identification as asexual and specific biological markers. This study is important because it is one of the first studies to test and provide preliminary empirical support for an underlying neurodevelopmental basis to account for the lack of sexual attraction characteristic of asexuality.

A total of 325 asexuals (60 men and 265 women), 690 heterosexuals (190 men and 500 women), and 268 non-heterosexuals (homosexual and bisexual; 64 men and 204 women) completed online questionnaires with these results:

1)   Asexual men and women were 2.4 and 2.5 times more likely to be non-right-handed than their heterosexual counterparts.
2)   Asexual and non-heterosexual men were more likely to be later-born than heterosexual men.
3)   Asexual women were more likely to be earlier-born than non-heterosexual women.

Regarding older adult asexuals, the media focus is predominantly on younger asexuals. These older adults have a more difficult time finding support and resources they need. They have unique issues adjusting to a predominantly heterosexual sex-oriented society. Some have the need to “come out of the closet” and explain their identity in order for others to understand them better. Others may feel ashamed, isolated, or confused because they are different from what society conveys as normal sexuality. They are a diverse community with people experiencing relationships in various ways. For example, some may experience close relationships with sexual or asexual partners, although the asexual partners have no sexual attraction. Emotional or romantic attraction is not the same as sexual attraction.

Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN) hosts the world's largest online asexual community and a large archive of resources on asexuality. This video features asexuals sharing their experiences:

Frances Shani Parker, Author
Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes is available in paperback and e-book editions in America and other countries at online and offline booksellers.

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