Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Department of Psychology
Although asexuality is a vastly understudied sexual orientation, some researchers have explored how asexual people navigate romantic and intimate relationships in order to see how and why they vary from typical cultural norms. There is a consistent lack of comparisons between sexual and asexual people, and no research has explored the frequencies of sexual attitude subgroups (i.e., sex-positive, sex-neutral, and sex-averse). Little quantitative data has been gathered on romantic partner label usage, as well as views on polyamory. The current study asked participants to complete the Experiences and Attitudes about Sexual and Intimate Behaviors questionnaire, the Engagement in Sexual Intimacy Attitude Scale, and the Romantic Partner Label questionnaire. These measures were developed for the current study to more accurately assess participant's attitudes and behaviors, as there was a lack of appropriate existing measures. My research questions focused on two major comparisons: sexual vs. asexual people, and sex-neutral vs. sex-averse asexual people. Results showed asexual people labeled behaviors as less sexual, were less likely to have participated in past behaviors, and were less likely to participate in the behaviors in the future. Asexual people were more likely to have a sex-neutral or sex-averse attitude, and used certain partner labels more or less. Also, asexual people had less relationship and sexual experience and were less likely to currently be in a romantic partner relationship. Further analyses indicated sex-averse asexual people were less willing to partake in physical behaviors in the future and used the partner label Boyfriend/girlfriend less. Additional results of these questions and a discussion of their possible implications for future research are considered.
Clark, Alyssa N., "Labeling Intimacy: Examining Attitude Differences about Romantic and Sexual Intimacy in Sexual and Asexual People" (2019). Theses and Dissertations. 1052.