Discrimination against asexual people

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Discrimination against asexual people, also known as acephobia or aphobia, encompasses a range of negative attitudes, behaviours, and feelings toward asexuality or people who identify as part of the asexual spectrum. Discrimination against asexual people_sentence_0

Negative feelings or characterisations toward asexuality include dehumanisation, the belief that asexuality is a mental illness, that asexual people cannot feel love, and the refusal to accept asexuality as a genuine sexual orientation. Discrimination against asexual people_sentence_1

Asexuality is sometimes confused with celibacy, abstinence, or hyposexuality. Discrimination against asexual people_sentence_2

Asexual people face hate crimes, and the discrimination against them has been compared to that faced by other sexual minorities. Discrimination against asexual people_sentence_3

There have been efforts to combat anti-asexual discrimination through legislation or education (such as through workshops on asexuality). Discrimination against asexual people_sentence_4

Classification Discrimination against asexual people_section_0

General Discrimination against asexual people_section_1

Behaviours and attitudes that are considered discriminatory include the idea that asexuality is a mental illness, that asexuality is a phase or a choice, the idea that asexual people cannot feel love, and those that make asexual people feel dehumanised. Discrimination against asexual people_sentence_5

Aspects of discrimination experienced can depend on other parts of one's identity. Discrimination against asexual people_sentence_6

Despite an increase in media attention over the years, asexuality remains widely poorly-understood; one Sky News survey found that 53 per cent of 1,119 respondents felt confident in defining asexuality, but that 75 per cent of this group did so incorrectly, or defined asexual people as simply lacking a libido. Discrimination against asexual people_sentence_7

Asexual people sometimes face discriminatory or dismissive attitudes or behaviours both within and beyond the LGBT community. Discrimination against asexual people_sentence_8

In 2011, LGBT activist Dan Savage stated that asexuality was a choice, describing it as "choosing not to have sex" and deeming it unworthy of attention. Discrimination against asexual people_sentence_9

Ruth Westheimer, a sex therapist, also faced criticism for her view that the ability to achieve orgasm would mean that a person could not be asexual, and was further criticised in 2015 for implying that asexuality was a problem in need of solving. Discrimination against asexual people_sentence_10

There have been efforts to stop the exclusion of asexuals from LGBT pride events. Discrimination against asexual people_sentence_11

Asexual people whose asexuality has been accepted only because there is no other explanation for their lack of interest in sexual activity have come to be known as "unassailable asexual[s]". Discrimination against asexual people_sentence_12

Disbelieving attitudes towards asexuality can leave asexual people afraid to come out. Discrimination against asexual people_sentence_13

A 2017 LGBT survey conducted by the Government of the United Kingdom found that despite just two per cent of more than 108,000 respondents identifying as asexual, they had the joint-lowest (alongside pansexual people) average life satisfaction of any sexual orientation amongst cisgender respondents. Discrimination against asexual people_sentence_14

The results of the survey also showed asexual people to be the least comfortable cisgender LGBT group within the United Kingdom, and 89 per cent of cisgender asexual respondents – the highest percentage of any group surveyed – were reluctant to be open with their identity for fear of negative reactions. Discrimination against asexual people_sentence_15

Social discrimination Discrimination against asexual people_section_2

Asexual people may be socially discriminated against due to beliefs of heterosexuality being the default sexuality, or the belief that asexual people are just gay or lesbian people in denial of their "real" identity. Discrimination against asexual people_sentence_16

Spaces designed for asexual people have also been known to internally discriminate based on age, and to centre on whiteness. Discrimination against asexual people_sentence_17

Asexuality has also been used as a tool in anti-blackness to "de-sexualise" some black people through racist stereotypes, such as in the mammy archetype in the United States. Discrimination against asexual people_sentence_18

Two studies found that asexual people are more dehumanised than heterosexuals, homosexuals, and bisexuals, often being compared to animals or robots due to their sexuality. Discrimination against asexual people_sentence_19

Having emerged more recently as an identity, asexual people often have less legal protection than gay, lesbian, and bisexual people, although in New York, the Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act categorises asexuals as a protected class. Discrimination against asexual people_sentence_20

Asexuals have also been known to have been subjected to corrective rape. Discrimination against asexual people_sentence_21

They may be pressured into engaging in sexual activity, and into going to a doctor to have their asexuality "fixed". Discrimination against asexual people_sentence_22

A 2015 survey found that 43.5 per cent of the almost 8000 asexual people polled had encountered sexual violence, despite the misconception that asexual people never encounter or are involved in sexual situations and are therefore unable to be sexually assaulted. Discrimination against asexual people_sentence_23

Some, such as the sociologist Mark Carrigan, believe that discrimination against asexual people has more to do with marginalisation than the typical hatred associated with other forms of sexuality-based discrimination such as homophobia, and that much discrimination against asexual people results from a lack of understanding and awareness of asexuality. Discrimination against asexual people_sentence_24

A study of college students shows that some asexual people do not identify with the LGBT umbrella. Discrimination against asexual people_sentence_25

There is also controversy over the inclusion of asexuality in the LGBT and queer umbrellas for a variety of reasons, including the belief that asexuals do not experience oppression akin to homophobia and transphobia, and the belief that asexuality is not a sexual orientation. Discrimination against asexual people_sentence_26

Sherronda J. Brown of Wear Your Voice stated that some people who oppose the inclusion of asexual people in the LGBT community have been known to argue that asexuals are not discriminated against at all, and that asexual people experience straight privilege. Discrimination against asexual people_sentence_27

Brown criticised this view as erasing the asexual identity on the assumption that asexual people are fraudulent infiltrators of the LGBT community, and because it assumes that everyone is straight unless proven otherwise. Discrimination against asexual people_sentence_28

A study of 148 undergraduates at a Canadian university found evidence to suggest that negative attitudes towards asexuals were higher than that of homosexuals and bisexuals. Discrimination against asexual people_sentence_29

The study also showed that participants were less likely to rent to asexuals than their heterosexual counterparts. Discrimination against asexual people_sentence_30

However, they were more likely to rent to asexuals than bisexuals. Discrimination against asexual people_sentence_31

In addition, the study found a positive correlation between right-wing authoritarian identification and negative attitudes towards asexuality. Discrimination against asexual people_sentence_32

In another study, 101 participants (none of whom belonged to a sexual minority) were asked to complete an online survey on SurveyMonkey. Discrimination against asexual people_sentence_33

To rule out unfamiliarity as the cause of negative attitudes, they included questions on sapiosexuals. Discrimination against asexual people_sentence_34

The study showed that people were less familiar with sapiosexuals. Discrimination against asexual people_sentence_35

However, attitudes towards asexuals were less positive than that of sapiosexuals which suggests that unfamiliarity may not play a significant role in aphobia. Discrimination against asexual people_sentence_36

In March 2018, the Dutch Council of State refused an asylum application by an Algerian national who feared being persecuted due to his asexuality, stating that asexuality does not fall under the LGBT exception to the safe country of origin concept because it is not punishable in Algeria and that asexual people are not discriminated against there. Discrimination against asexual people_sentence_37

The ruling was overturned by the District Court of The Hague, who said that asexuality does fall under the exception because they considered "social discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation" to include "deviation from traditional relationships" as well as sexual acts. Discrimination against asexual people_sentence_38

In the same year, the UK's LGBT Foundation stated that, because of a lack of awareness and apprehension, asexual communities are frequently overlooked in the LGBT community. Discrimination against asexual people_sentence_39

Institutionalised discrimination Discrimination against asexual people_section_3

A study found little evidence of institutional discrimination against asexuals because of their asexuality. Discrimination against asexual people_sentence_40

The authors of the study theorised that this may be because most sexual orientation-based discrimination is religious in nature, while asexuality may be considered "morally justifiable given that a lack of sexual attraction/desires has been considered a desirable state by many religious institutions for hundreds of years." Discrimination against asexual people_sentence_41

In some jurisdictions, marriages can be voided if not legitimised by consummation. Discrimination against asexual people_sentence_42

This has been viewed as discriminatory to asexuals. Discrimination against asexual people_sentence_43

Sex education programmes in schools have also been known to discriminate against asexuals. Discrimination against asexual people_sentence_44

In early 2015, Russia passed a law banning, amongst others, people with "disorders of sexual preference" from obtaining driving licences. Discrimination against asexual people_sentence_45

The Association of Russian Lawyers for Human Rights stated that it effectively banned "all transgender people, bigender, asexuals, transvestites, cross-dressers, and people who need sex reassignment" from driving. Discrimination against asexual people_sentence_46

Media and services Discrimination against asexual people_section_4

Asexuals are less-well represented by mainstream media and services, facilitating hostility and prejudice towards asexuals, and can lead to their rejection from both the straight and LGBT communities. Discrimination against asexual people_sentence_47

Some online dating services, including Bumble, and Match.com lack the option for users to identify as asexual, which obstructs their ability to find romantic partners. Discrimination against asexual people_sentence_48

Asexuality is sometimes represented in media as undesirable. Discrimination against asexual people_sentence_49

In 2012, the TV medical drama House was criticised for its portrayal of asexuality within the medical profession and encouraging scepticism on the legitimacy of asexuality. Discrimination against asexual people_sentence_50

The storyline centred on the assumption that the asexuality of the episode's patients – a married asexual couple – was the result of a medical condition, with one asexual character being described as a "giant pool of algae" and the titular character betting $100 on finding a medical reason behind another's asexuality; the show was criticised by AVEN founder David Jay for its depiction of asexuality as a "problematic and pathological" medical condition. Discrimination against asexual people_sentence_51

In 2017, the decision to turn the character Jughead in Riverdale (a television programme based on Archie Comics) from asexual to heterosexual was met with disapproval, with one branding it "asexual erasure". Discrimination against asexual people_sentence_52

Anti-discrimination endeavours Discrimination against asexual people_section_5

In New York, the Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act categorises asexuals as a protected class. Discrimination against asexual people_sentence_53

The Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN), an organisation founded in 2001 by David Jay, aims to raise awareness of asexuality, through such means as discussions in schools about asexuality and discouraging discriminatory attitudes towards the sexuality. Discrimination against asexual people_sentence_54

Asexual Awareness Week is an annual event formed by Sarah Beth Brooks in 2010, also with the aim of raising asexual awareness and dispelling misconceptions. Discrimination against asexual people_sentence_55

There have been attempts to increase awareness of asexuality in universities. Discrimination against asexual people_sentence_56

A number of community support groups for asexual people have been formed, such as Asexuals of the Mid-Atlantic, a meetup group for asexual people centred in Washington D.C., whose members founded The Asexual Awareness Project, an asexual advocacy organisation. Discrimination against asexual people_sentence_57

In autumn 2014, the book The Invisible Orientation: An Introduction to Asexuality, written by Julie Sondra Decker, was published, with Decker stating that the aim of the book was for it to be used in sex education to increase common knowledge of sexuality. Discrimination against asexual people_sentence_58

In 2015, United Kingdom Labour Party parliamentary candidate George Norman called for Parliament to add asexuality to its existing equality legislation, and to recognise that one per cent of the UK's electorate identified as asexual. Discrimination against asexual people_sentence_59

In 2016, the Asexual Aromantic Alliance was founded at Iowa State University to encourage co-operation between the asexual and aromantic communities, with the aim of "help[ing to] eliminate acephobia." Discrimination against asexual people_sentence_60

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discrimination against asexual people.