Are You Asexual? Here’s How Scientists Measure Asexuality

Are You Asexual? Here’s How Scientists Measure Asexuality

Sex scientists have become increasingly interested in the topic of asexuality in the last few years. For example, they’ve published studies on everything from the genital arousal patterns of asexual individuals, to the biological correlates of asexuality, to the masturbation practices of asexuals. However, all of this research has generated some controversy over how best to measure asexuality because different researchers have used different definitions and measurement techniques. For example, some have focused on self-identification as asexual, while others have focused on a self-reported lack of attraction and/or behavior. If the broader literature on sexual orientation has taught us anything, it’s that identity, attraction, and behavior don’t always line up in the way that you might expect and shouldn’t be used interchangeably.

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How Do Scientists Measure Whether Someone Is Asexual?

How Do Scientists Measure Whether Someone Is Asexual?

Asexuality is a topic that has received an increasing amount of attention from sex researchers in recent years. For instance, studies have been published on the genital arousal patterns of asexual individuals in response to sexually explicit stimuli, the biological correlates of asexuality, as well as the masturbation practices of asexuals. However, the research in this area has generated some controversy over how to best measure asexuality because not all researchers have used consistent definitions and measurement techniques. A new paper just published in the journal Psychological Assessment describes the first attempt at establishing a valid measure of asexuality, the Asexuality Identification Scale. 

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