Asexuality in men and women

, medical expert
Last reviewed: 18.10.2021

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Among the definitions of lack of sexual desire, as well as interest in sex and the desire to engage in the most disputes in the last fifteen years, causes asexuality.

If one starts from the definition of a person's sexuality, then its opposite should be defined as the lack of a physiological and emotional need for sexual intercourse.

Medical aspects of asexuality

According to some experts, asexuality is a kind of sexual orientation and fits in one line with heterosexuality, homosexuality and bisexuality, especially since there are entire "asexual" communities.

Researchers from the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, Canada) concluded that asexuality is neither a psychiatric condition nor a symptom of a psychological disorder of a sexual nature. And the classification criteria give grounds to refer this state to a special sexual orientation.

On the other hand, according to DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), sexual desire disorders - hypoactive sexual desire disorder and inhibited sexual desire - are classified under "Sexual and gender personality disorders", which are characterized as the absence of sexual fantasies and the desire for sexual activity.

But already in DSM-V5 there were made changes and comments, which boil down to the following. For sexual desire disorders to be regarded as dysfunction, they must be accompanied by clinically significant mental and physiological changes and cause severe anxiety and serious interpersonal difficulties. However, these disorders should not be explained by any other mental disorders, the effects of medications, some other diseases or asexuality.

Thus, the main difference between these sexual dysfunctions and asexuality is that patients with impairments suffer from a lack of sexual desire, and people who consider themselves asexuals do not care.

Practically inferring this state beyond the bounds of medical problems, experts recommend not introducing confusion by associating a low threshold of sexual excitability in women with a lack of physiological and emotional need for sexual intercourse, that is, frigidity and asexuality. Although  frigidity  is considered a hypoactive disorder of sexual desire, very often - idiopathic.


Fresh data on the prevalence of asexuality are not published, and statistics more than a decade ago ranked asexuals almost 70 million adults around the world.

According to the information of Sex Research, at the end of 2004, 0.4-1% of UK residents (out of 39 million adults) considered themselves asexuals.

That 3.3% of Finnish women and about 1.6% of French people, and almost 2% of high school students from New Zealand colleges, never admitted to anybody else's sexual attraction to anyone.

trusted-source[1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6], [7], [8], [9], [10], [11]

Causes of the asexuality

The study of a persistent lack of sex drive continues to engage specialists in psychiatry, sexopathology, psychology, but the general view of the causes of asexuality did not come, despite a broad discussion of this problem in medical circles.

Many believe that possible risk factors for this condition include anxiety, anxiety and depression; aversive sexual experiences or other traumas; various health problems (psychosomatics, the level of sex hormones, sexual dysfunction). For example, asexuality in men is most often associated with a low level of testosterone (although no clinical studies have been conducted on this issue).

Lack of desire for sexual intercourse, perhaps, is the result of the difficulties associated with their implementation, or the problems of relationships between sexual partners?

Some try to connect the pathogenesis of asexuality with the imbalance of the exciting and inhibitory neurotransmitters - dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin, acting on the hypothalamus and pituitary gland (which produce and release into the blood such sex hormones as oxytocin, prolactin, follicle-stimulating and luteinizing hormone).

And biologists have the assumption that, perhaps, the transformation of the sexual instinct of the human population begins. In fact, unlike animals (with their instinctive desire to mate and multiply for the survival of a species), the sexual instinct of people has long been not directed at reproduction. Remember Freud, who unconditionally believed in the primacy of sexual instinct in the behavior of people and claimed that only bodily pleasure obtained during sexual intercourse gives a psychological detente.

trusted-source[12], [13], [14], [15]

Symptoms of the asexuality

How to understand that a person has the symptoms of asexuality? This is not sexual abstinence, not a synonym for celibacy, not low libido (which may be caused by health problems), not a consequence of hormonal imbalance or fear of sexual relations.

Moreover, asexuals can get acquainted, experience emotional affection (platonic love), acquire children. Even excitement or orgasm does not contradict this state, and some asexuals have sex if they have a romantic partner who wants it.

By the way, different types of asexuality are distinguished: romantic - non-sexual relations, which are often associated with sympathy and affection, and non-romantic - a deep emotional-psychological attachment without sex.

A romantic attraction devoid of sexual desire can be heteromorphic-that is, to a person of the opposite sex, or, accordingly, homomorphic.

Members of the world's largest online community of asexuals AVEN say that in a world where everything revolves around sex, many people with a lack of sexual desire may feel marginalized - because of labeling a sexual disorder. Why can there be low self-esteem, anxiety, and a tendency to depression.

Although scientists who study the physiology of asexuality assume that under this condition the ability to genital stimulation does not disappear, but there may be difficulties with so-called subjective excitation - at the level of reason and emotions.

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Complications and consequences

The main consequences and complications of asexuality concern relationships with people who have a normal (normal) level of need for sexual intercourse.

Therefore, asexuals should communicate better with their own kind, and some of them wear a black ring on the middle finger of their right hand - as a form of identification.

In modern Western societies, sexual experience is considered a defining feature of a good life. It's great for people who like to have sex. But the asexuality of those who do not like it, should not be given out for an anomaly.

trusted-source[20], [21], [22]

Diagnostics of the asexuality

The proposed diagnosis of asexuality consists in revealing the absence of sexual attraction. For this, there is a very simple test for asexuality, which makes it possible to understand how much a person is asexual.

The test consists of such questions

  • Sex can be attributed to something dirty, forbidden?
  • Do you feel embarrassed or uncomfortable when others talk about sex?
  • Do you think it's possible to live without sex?
  • Can there be a relationship between people without sexual intimacy?
  • Is it possible to have a full life with a man or a woman without intimacy?
  • How do you feel about having sex?
  • Have you ever felt uncomfortable that you do not experience sexual feelings like those around you?

trusted-source[23], [24], [25]

Asexuality of modern youth

Adolescents are experiencing an "identity crisis" with the onset of puberty, and their sexuality and interest in the sexual side of life is part of the natural process of growing up.

Sexual interest among young people, as well as among adults, can vary greatly and depends on cultural norms and social mores, sexual orientation, social control and level of sex education. It should be borne in mind that until the age of 25 the brain is not completely ripe, and partly because of this many young men and women do not know how to make informed decisions and anticipate the consequences of sexual behavior: unwanted pregnancy; infection with sexually transmitted infections, including HIV / AIDS.

Asexuality of modern youth, in particular American, psychologists tend to see in the problems of sexual education. According to studies conducted in several educational institutions (among students over 17) during the "sexual situation", 81.2% of the respondents did not feel sexual interest, and 75.8% experienced anxiety and fear during sexual intercourse.

According to The Journal of Marriage and Family, studies show that after 10 years of age, between 10% and 40% of young people in the United States and other countries of the West do not have sexual intercourse. And at the age of 25-29 years - 5%.

But all records on asexuality seem to have been beaten by the Japanese: according to 2012, 61.4% of unmarried men aged 18-34 years did not have a girlfriend, and more than 49% of women of the same age are sexual partners. At the same time, more than 25% of unmarried young men and women under the age of 30 never had sex.

"Unloyal lifestyle" has become popular among young people in China, most often asexuality is shown by girls living in megacities.

trusted-source[26], [27]

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