1st Edition

Asexuality and Sexual Normativity An Anthology

Edited By Mark Carrigan, Kristina Gupta, Todd Morrison Copyright 2014

    The last decade has seen the emergence of an increasingly high profile and politically active asexual community, united around a common identity as 'people who do not experience sexual attraction'. This unique volume collects a diverse range of interdisciplinary empirical and theoretical work which addresses this emergence, raising important and timely questions about asexuality and its broader implications for sexual culture. One of the most pressing and contentious issues within academic and public debates about asexuality is what relationship, if any, it has to sexual dysfunction. As well as collecting cutting edge scholarship in the emerging field of asexuality studies, rendering it indispensable to any sexualities course across the range of disciplines, this anthology also addresses this urgent debate, offering a variety of perspectives on how and why some have pathologised asexuality. This includes a range of chapters addressing the broader issues of sexual normativity within which these contemporary debates about asexuality are taking place.

    This book was originally published as a special issue of Psychology and Sexuality.

    Introduction Mark Carrigan, Kristina Gupta and Todd G. Morrison

    1. Who reports absence of sexual attraction in Britain? Evidence from national probability surveys Catherine R.H. Aicken, Catherine H. Mercer and Jackie A. Cassell

    2. Mental health and interpersonal functioning in self-identified asexual men and women Morag A. Yule, Lori A. Brotto and Boris B. Gorzalka

    3. HSDD and asexuality: a question of instruments Jacinthe Flore

    4. How is asexuality different from hypoactive sexual desire disorder? Andrew Hinderliter

    5. Asexuality: from pathology to identity and beyond Randi Gressgård

    6. Sex as a normalising technology: early-twentieth-century public sex education campaigns Elizabeth Stephens

    7. The average and the normal in nineteenth-century French medical discourse Peter Cryle

    8. From pre-normal to abnormal: the emergence of a concept in late eighteenth-century France Caroline Warman

    9. Afterword: some thoughts on asexuality as an interdisciplinary method Ela Przybylo

    10. A mystery wrapped in an enigma – asexuality: a virtual discussion C. J. Bishop


    Mark Carrigan is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Warwick, UK. For his dissertation, he is developing a critical realist approach to longitudinal qualitative research through an empirical case study of undergraduate students. His other research interests include asexuality, sexual culture and digital sociology.

    Kristina Gupta is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Emory University, USA. For her dissertation, she is researching the intersections of feminist theory, asexuality, and scientific and medical research on sexual desire.

    Todd G. Morrison is Associate Professor in the College of Arts & Science at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada. His primary research interests include gay and lesbian psychology; body image; stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination; psychometrics; and human sexuality (in particular, pornography and sex work).