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4 myths of asexuality: Understanding the spectrum

2023-05-05T13:00:06+00:00
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  • About 1% of the world’s population identifies as asexual. 
  • Ignorance of asexuality has resulted in prejudice. 
  • Four common myths about asexuality.

Asexuality means a person does not experience sexual attraction towards other people, or experiences it in a very limited way or only in specific circumstances. Asexuals may feel romantic, affectionate, or emotional attraction to other people, but they do not necessarily want to have sex.

Most scientists and people who study human sexuality say that asexuality is rare and that only around 1% of the population identifies with this spectrum of sexuality. However, it is not a new sexual orientation, so it is important to dispel some myths about it.

Myths of asexuality: It is a lifestyle

myths of asexuality
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The general ignorance of what asexuality is has generated confusion, since many believe that it’s not a sexual orientation but is a lifestyle choice in which people decide to abstain from having sexual relations. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Unlike celibacy, which is a decision made based on a conviction, asexuality means that people have no interest in relating sexually with other people. Like homosexual or transgender people, asexuals do not choose this orientation. It is not possible to change it and trying to do so could create a greater stigma on this spectrum of sexuality.

Asexuals just haven’t ‘found the right person’

asexual flag
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Asexuality, is often considered ‘weird’ and leads to confusion among the non-LGBTQIA+ population. For some people, this includes believing that asexuals are incapable of relating romantically with other people.

For asexual people, it is important to be recognized as full beings who can develop in all areas without having to have a partner if they wish. However, many people who identify as asexual do have romantic and intimate relationships, either with asexual or sexual people.

Myths about asexuality: It is a disorder

myths of asexuality
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The lack of sexual desire is often confused with asexuality, cataloging both in the same category. The difference between the two is that the lack of sexual desire is a physical or mental affectation that generates severe discomfort in those who suffer from it, while asexual people do not have sexual desire and do not suffer psychologically or physically due to their sexual orientation.

Asexual people are made uncomfortable by the belief that their sexual orientation can be ‘remedied’ with medication or psychological therapy. The lack of acceptance or understanding continues to be an issue that affects the asexual community, whose orientation is not the result of a hormonal imbalance or syndrome that can or should be ‘cured’.

Asexual people don’t have sex

lgbtqia+
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An asexual could make the decision to have sex for various reasons, including having children, making their partner happy, experiencing the pleasure of having sex or showing affection. Although their sexual desire may be minimal, in some asexual people it is present, although not all the time.

Asexual people can feel physical or romantic attraction to those of the opposite sex or the same gender. If they find a romantic partner doesn’t share their orientation, they can find ways of meeting each other’s needs and have a healthy relationship.

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