Tag Archives: asexuality

Sex Ed Not Intended for Adolescents with Physical Disabilities?

10 May

There are already numerous problems with sex ed in schools: abstinence-only, heteronormative, penis-centered, etc, but what about adolescents who don’t even receive sex ed because of their ability? When discussing asexuality, one of the main themes that comes up is disability and asexuality, specifically assuming that people with disabilities are asexual and either can’t find anyone who would be interested in them or simply do not have sexual desires. Recognizing that there are people with disabilities who are also asexual, these general assumptions are completely invalid and unfair to those who actually are sexual, especially when it comes to learning about safer sex practices and techniques.

Two articles I found look at this issue of completely disregarding adolescents with physical disabilities in these conversations and academic programs focused on safer sex practices. Both articles, “The sexual behavior of physically disabled adolescents,” by Maart and Jelsma and “Should issues of sexuality and HIV and AIDS be a rehabilitation concern? The voices of young South Africans with physical disabilities,” by Wazakili, Mpofu, and Devlieger, look at how adolescents with disabilities are often deprived from learning about safer sex measures and their risk for contracting HIV. Maart and Jelsma’s study examines risky sexual behavior in adolescents by comparing sexual behavior of adolescents with physical disabilities to those without and work to disprove claims that adolescents with disabilities are not at risk for HIV infection, which is a common misconception around the world. Stemming from this misconception, Wazakili et al. interview adolescents with disabilities about their rehabilitation process and specifically, how sex education was missing; even further, these adolescents admitted to knowing about HIV and AIDS issues, but not being influenced to take preventative measures against contracting HIV infection.

Again, this issue of people with disabilities being deems asexual comes up; this recurring problem needs to be addressed, especially with rehabilitation, in order to educate people to combat HIV infection and other STI’s and unwanted complications associated with unprotected sex.

Sources: Maart and Jelsma.The sexual behavior of physically disabled adolescents, Disability and Rehabilitation (2010); 32(6): 438-443
Wazakili, Mpofu, and Devlieger. Should issues of sexuality and HIV and AIDS be a rehabilitation concern? The voices of young South Africans with physical disabilities (2009), Disability and Rehabilitation, 31 (1): 32-41

Photo credit to http://thecsph.org/ 
Post by Kelsey Nelson
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ASEXY: Part 2.2

4 May

Miss E and Caity Stardust finally finish installment 2.2 of A Fireside Chat where the discussion focuses on asexuality representation in ABC Family’s Huge.

I’m Not Really Attracted To Anyone…

2 May

  I remember the first time I had the courage to ask my best friend, indirectly, if he liked anyone. Obviously that was my way of finding out his preference. I remember feeling  guilty for wanting to ask, but at the same time, wanting to know after our six year  friendship so I could be that support he needed – like he was for me – without him  having to worry about negative reactions he thought I would have. I felt like keeping his romantic life out of our relationship was not fair to him. It was tiring how obsessed people were to find out what he identified as, it started to affect me, making me become hot tempered with anyone who asked. “I’m not really attracted to anyone,” was his response. I remember questioning him more, “really? Not even someone in high school dude, come on, we’ve known each other for six years.” Yet, he insisted that he never felt an attraction to anyone. I had never heard of this or discussed this topic growing up or in any of my classes at that time. This was the first time I looked up on the internet, or any reference book, what it meant to not be attracted to anyone. 

Asexuality was the termed that popped up and until the day he came out to me as gay, I always believed he identified as asexual. Yet, when we discussed the conversation mentioned above, we came up with different conclusions. Despite it being years, I still remember his response vividly, yet for him, being a first generation Latino male student and insinuating he was asexual was his way of assuring that his identity was not outed. It was an identity he was willing to use in order to express his identity to others, and served as assurance that he would stop being questioned. He and I spoke about it for a while, he explained he did not know how to explain his lack of a female relationships to impatient family members who constantly asked him about his romantic life or as he said, “trying to find out if I’m gay.” This temporary identity he took, was viewed as less detrimental to his overall well-being because he was not acknowledging an attraction to men nor was he acknowledging an attraction to women, thus still ensuring connections were kept with his family back home if anyone were to hear about his asexual identity.

I never realized how this identity could be used in instances such as these, and how it really helped my best friend incorporate it into an identity that helped him progress/survive through his own personal experience as a first generation gay male Latino college student. I am reading more into this and seeing if I find scholarly research on it, but what do you all think? My friend did not identify as asexual yet related to the identity whenever he wanted to give that impression in order to keep himself safe; can one say that is being selfish/claiming a word that is not yours? I know it’s up to the person and how they identify as, but I am asking this in comparison to the debate of the missing “b” and what does it means to have that identity and how you value it, versus how other people perceive you to be and question those individuals they may feel aren’t really bisexual; Lady Gaga being one of them as mentioned by Kelsey. Does asexuality have the fluidity that we acknowledged existed within the bisexual identity?  

Posted by Maria L”

Last Stop on the Train to Gay Town?

28 Apr

The following is an introduction to a set of conversations about Bisexuality and Asexuality, featuring GWS 642 members and friends.

This is the first installment of a video blog discussion series and our first time using this medium to discuss academic endeavors. The awkwardness of the set up and conversation is intentional. We took no measure to hide our own inexperience with asexuality and bisexuality as points of discussion. Our project aims to explore the exclusion of these identities from mainstream discourse. The erasure of these identities leads to our lack of familiarity with these topics.

Enjoy!

ASEXY: A Fireside Chat, Part 2.1

24 Apr

The Big Bang Theory G-Chat  

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A Rambling on Asexuality

18 Apr

Asexuality is generally defined as a lack of sexual attraction. Like Miss E & Caity Stardust mentioned in part 1 of their video blog, this definition is overly simplified.

I think that in LGBTQ Studies, we’re pretty used to making distinctions between desire, behavior and identity. In discussions about asexuality, it’s often broken-down even further and distinctions are made between sexual attraction, romantic attraction, and other aspects of attraction/sexuality that are often conflated. There’s something I really like about breaking it down like that.
Obviously no group is ever entirely heterogeneous, but there’s something I really like about the idea that asexuality, defined by a “lack” of something, is so, so extremely diverse. And to say something is “lacking” carries a negative connotation, and considering the many ways of being asexual, it seems strange to say something is lacking because there’s really a lot going on.
I know we’ve mentioned AVEN a few times on our blog, and I just discovered is that AVEN has it’s own Wiki. I’m sure other people might’ve discovered this already, but for anyone who is curious like I am, I’d recommend just looking around at AVENwiki. I read about a lot of different terms and aspects of asexuality which caused my “whoaaa I never thought about it like that before” moment to snowball, including “squishes” and demisexuality. Sooo check it out!
Posted by: Rachel

Asexual? Not a problem!

14 Apr

Unfortunately I think that asexuality is often considered a “curse,” or something that must be dealt with, medically, therapeutically, or viewed as a barrier to intimate relationships. However, I adamantly believe that asexuality is not a problem unless a specific individual considers it to be a problem.

This week I had the honor of interviewing a dear friend of mine, who found asexuality to be the solution. Asexuality was able to answer the questions she had asked herself for most of her life: why do I “flip between ‘I like boys’ and ‘I must be a lesbian because to be honest, I don’t really like like boys’ and ‘but wait! I don’t like girls either!’ and ‘therefore I must like boys because girls like boys and I just don’t know what it feels like to like boys yet’.” Along with solving the “mystery” of her sexual orientation, she was also able to come into her own, embrace her body and herself, and actually found true love (sounds cheesy I know, but I’m so happy for her!).

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A Ignorance Hurts

11 Apr

(Source: luliicattaneo)

If You Can See The Invisible Elephant, Please Describe It (via Writing From Factor X)

11 Apr

An incredible piece of work from Factor X.

Sam posted a piece last week about the limits of "sexual attraction" as a term, and I've been feeling confused and ranty ever since. It's a good piece, and you should read it, but mostly what it's done is remind me why I get frustrated a lot by discussions like this. See, I'm one of those really analytical people who likes to quantify things. I like to have certainty. I like to have operational definitions for my terms so I'm sure what we're all … Read More

via Writing From Factor X

ASEXY: A Fireside Chat, Part 1

7 Apr

This “Fireside Chat” is the first in a multi-part series exploring asexuality in contemporary society, brought to you by Caity Stardust and Miss E.

We hope you enjoy!