The “School’s Out: Asexy Teens” presents an interesting perspective that I have little consideration to in the past, and it even convinced me to give thought to the subject matter of asexual persons in the world. During my thoughts, I found myself asking to whom have I known that this could apply to? I then brought the subject up to a couple of people that I was in the room with to ask their opinion and about their experiences with this. After a couple of minutes of contemplation, they were as empty for answers as I was. The only potential person we could think of was an acquaintance who claimed to be unsure of whether he liked guys or girls, which we concluded to perceive his response to make him bisexual. This brought of the theory we have discussed about sexuality being on a continuum. We discussed the continuum as homosexuality on one end and heterosexuality on the other, but there was no discussion of asexuality. So after reading this article, it begged to question where does asexuality fit in?

Toward the end of the article, my thoughts began to reach conclusion on the topic as the author Sharday Mosurinjohn wrote the final section of the article. Mosurinjohn’s posting on sex education and the lack of mentioning about asexuality reached a point that made me understand why it is never mentioned in sex education. It is not a “sexual orientation”; it is more like a lack of sexual orientation that is a part of a whole other spectrum.

I guess because I cannot fully grasp the concept of not having any sexual desires or needs, the idea of asexuality seems so foreign and unrealistic. This is not to say I do not believe it is not possible for someone to be this way, but when considering the spectrum for asexuality ranges from “people who prefer no physicality with others, or only some forms, or only self-gratification, as well as people who don’t experience themselves as having sexual “needs” or “desires” but will have and enjoy sex with their sexual partners,” it all comes across as contradictory to the term sexual orientation. An additional problematic area concerning this comes from the last part of that quote. If they do not have needs or desires for sex, then where does the arousal emanate from? From my understanding, in order for one to be aroused their must be some stimulation which would be derived from a fantasy, desire or need. Therefore, there exists a lack of accuracy dealing with this, or maybe it needs to be better clarified.


While to some, Disney’s animated children movies may seem innocent and harmless, but when looked into, may not be so G-rated. Sharday Mosurinjohn states in his article “we constantly feed them narratives that give them a narrow sense of their options when it comes to forming social, romantic, and sexual attachments.” It is true that clever plot twists can keep us glued to the screen for hours. However, for impressionable young and adolescent viewers, these movies can send a message that heterosexual love is superior to all other types, as well as the norm in society. Surrounded with music, flowers, fireflies, and dancing, these movies can depict a heterosexual landscape fairly persuasively. Being that, in 2002, 97.84 percent of households in United States owned at least one television, and most Disney G-rated movies grossed over 100 million in U.S, one can say that these movies have the ability to mold many young minds.


Before this weeks reading, I never thought of asexuality as an actual sexual orientation. The first thing that came to my mind was whether or not asexuality is a biological phenomenon, or a social label. An environmental assault such as a traumatic childhood experience (e.g. rape) could be a possible reason for a transition to asexuality. Chromosomal mutations could also be a biological factor for the lack of sexual desire in an individual. There is a similar acquired vs. situational debate for other types of sexual orientation, such as homosexuality; the only difference is that homosexuality has a stronger presence in today’s society.


In Nicole Prause and Cynthia A. Graham’s study, they mention the pros and cons of asexuality based off questionnaires. The one advantage that drew my attention was the higher amount of free time. All I could think about when I read this was how much time people actually spend thinking about and chasing sexual desires. Dr. Brian Mustanski of Psychology today did a study on exactly that. She collected data by giving a tally counter to 283 students to click whenever they think about sex. The results were 34.2 for men, and 18.6 for women. The one problem with this study is the method and possibly audience. If someone were to tell me to click whenever I think about sex, I would think about sex more often. I would expect that an asexual would be far more productive than individuals with sexual desires, assuming the asexual individual isn’t lazy.









The less talked about sexualities…

Never have I been acquainted with the term, “asexual.” I always just assumed that everyone had desires and attractions whether it to be people of the same gender, opposite gender, or both. Asexuality represents a whole new category of people “who prefer no physicality with others, or only some forms, or only self-gratification, as well as people who don’t experience themselves as having sexual “needs” or “desires” but will have and enjoy sex with their sexual partners.” Biologically speaking, wouldn’t this be the worst when it comes to reproductive fitness? The desire for physical sexuality comes from the innate sense to reproduce and pass on genetic material; where asexual people claim that there are people who either don’t have this physical desire and/or only want the pleasure.

Mosurinjohn’s article, “School’s Out: Asexy Teens” talks about how children are perceived as lacking sexuality but then are sexually targeted and marketed to. This is quite the paradox. Everyone’s been a child / pre-teen and experienced the sex questions, sexual frustrations, lust, desire, confusion, etc. Quite clearly, most kids are not asexual, so why do we treat them as so? They’re being targeted by seemingly innocent companies like Disney. The comic mocking disney princesses really nails it – describing Cinderella, “If you’re beautiful enough, you may be able to escape your terrible living conditions by getting a wealthy man to fall for you.” There is something to be said about the condition of the princesses and beauty being used for Disney. I’m pretty sure that all little girls grow up watching most, if not all these Disney movies. And what is Disney teaching these little girls? It enforces heterosexuality, shows what “beauty” should look like, and a maybe even throw in a little racism. Oh Disney, you put these thoughts in my head before I even knew what they meant. No one’s really teaching kids about the spectrum of sexuality, or letting them being sexually free of societies constraints because they’re being looked at very asexually.

Now on to bisexuality. Angelide’s A History of Bisexuality: “…the nature of sexuality is fluid not fixed..the erotic discovery of bisexuality is the fact that it reveals sexuality to be a process of growth, transformation, and surprise, not a stable, knowable state of being…” (page 3). I completely agree with this statement. There have been times where I have questioned my own sexuality (and I know I’m not the only one) thinking that maybe I could be attracted to other girls… but what I never really figured out whether it was attraction, adoration, desire, or something in between. It really brings up the question, where do we draw the line? Perhaps we can’t. The fluidity of sexuality makes it nearly impossible to say which category a person truly falls in to – heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, (don’t forget about asexual!) Even though sexuality is very fluid, society still looks at it as being very rigid. Anything other than the “norm” of being attracted to the opposite sex is looked at as being wrong (except maybe when two girls are looking for some attention at a party). So why is this fluidity so wrong?

Changing Views on Sexual Identity

People’s reactions to sexuality have been changing throughout our history drastically. Especially with new terms of sexual identity coming into play such as bisexuals, asexuals and transgenders. There are boundaries between the terms lesbian, bisexual, and unlabeled women, but these boundaries are “relatively fluid” [2]. Bisexuality has been labeled as a third type of sexual orientation. On the other hand, some researchers characterized asexuality as negative. [1] It’s not the norm. The confusion about sexual identity has always been apparent in America.
It seems like people who have different sexual identities have been facing discrimination even since the 1980s. In 1981, it seems people were not as open to homosexuals as shown during the “Homosexual Holocaust”. Homophobic violence used to be prevalent as people would throw eggs at gay people and their cars in gay bars. Homosexuals also had to deal with taunts and jeers from from passing motorists’ windows. Also the police would fail to respond promptly to calls in gay neighborhoods. In present day, just 31 years later, this type of behavior seems completely unacceptable to most Americans. It still may happen but not as frequently. Later on that year in 1981, Emory starts to acknowledge sex where Wilson Bryan Key speaks about “Subliminal Seduction. He dissects numerous ads while pointing out hidden cues and symbols, which show perverted images of sex and death. This changing notion of sexuality associated with negative things was slowly taking place.
But it seems now that people are opening up more to the idea of different categories of sexuality. In Berkeley, California on September 23, 2012 celebrated “Bisexual Pride and Bi Visibility Day”. This day was created to acknowledge bisexuals separately from gays and lesbians. Some Bisexual individuals claim they feel overlooked or misunderstood. Some feel they just get pushed to the side in the LGBT group. [3] Even Google is acknowledged bisexuals as they recently unlock the term ‘Bisexual’ from auto complete in Google search. In the past this word had been blocked from Google’s Auto Complete but after BiNet USA, a bisexual advocacy group, protected. This was a big step in terms of bisexuals gaining the respect of being accepted into society. [4]
In addition to bisexuals, transgenders also have been more accepted in society and are definitely well involved in the entertainment industry. In 2005, in the Emory Wheel a restaurant, Nickiemoto’s, was featured that has sushi and drag queens. Every Monday evenings, they have a drag queen performance where the performers took turns lip-syncing and erotically flirting with customers while singing the song “I Touch Myself”. The writer of that Emory Wheel article started that “frankly they were more beautiful than some female models I’ve seen…drag queens are an entertaining addition to a deliciously trendy meal”.
These changing views on sexual identity are making America a more acceptable place. Can every single person be open to these new sexual categories? No. But they are definitely becoming more a part of normal American society.

[1] Asexuality: Classification and Characterization by Nicole Prause and Cynthia A. Graham
[2] Female Bisexuality from Adolescence to Adulthood: Results from a 10-Year Longitudinal Study by Lisa M. Diamond

Falling out side the norms

So we have arrived to a time when being gay or lesbian, while certainly not 100% approved, has become at the very least, recognized. The existence of same sex attraction has at least been acknowledged as real.

Now we face the next step of accepting the alternatives. Gay, lesbian, or straight are not the only options. Many people who consider themselves accepting of varying sexualities say we know this, yet often we don’t really have a complete understanding of the meaning of these alternate labels.

This weeks readings introduced me to the concept of asexuality. While I had heard the term before, I really had no idea what it encompassed before now. It’s sort of a broad term and I will admit to still being relatively ignorant of all that it could be applied to, but the strongest point that struck me was the idea that some people simply aren’t attracted to anyone.
We put children in a bubble excluding them from exposure to sexual references and experiences for years, but we eventually expect them all to find their sexuality. Some people mature faster than others, but it’s an unspoken expectation that eventually they will have their first crush and at some point, (hopefully) slowly explore the sexual desires they experience. I think it was common when I was in high school to joke about being asexual when you felt awkward or ugly, but I never thought there was a state of being that lacked the desire to be intimate. And obviously that’s not everyone, but I think it’s important to spread the knowledge of this possibility. There are not many asexual people in the public eye to reference but if we had a model to promote (perhaps singer/song writer Emily Autumn), maybe we wouldn’t be pushing (by expectation) young people into the sexualities in which they will some day chose to identify.

We were also learned more about bisexuality this week. There were a few things I thought were interesting that I had never thought of before. I had no idea that bisexual people were thought of so differently even within the gay/lesbian population. As Ellen Ruthstrom of the Bisexual Resource Center in Boston stated, “We’re [bisexual people] told all the time by the gay community, ‘Come out and be gay,’ as if we’re not out.” That’s interesting to me because that is exactly what I thought when a friend told me in high school that she was bisexual. I thought she was keeping her boyfriend around to hide her attraction to women from her parents. I realize my ignorance now, but it has to be frustrating for individuals who get that kind of response even from people they expect to support them.
It’s become much more accepted to be bisexual in recent years in the entertainment industry. Artists like Lady Gaga, Fergie, and Billy Joe Armstrong (of Green Day) have lead the way by coming out as “bi.”
Unfortunately, it’s still not considered a positive by most of the community. When former governor of New Jersey Jim McGreevey’s wife came on the Oprah Winfrey show and told the world her husband was bisexual, he publicly proclaimed that he was not, and that he was a “proud GAY AMERICAN.”
The backlash of his divorce and resignation from office could have influenced his desire to argue against anything his ex-wife was reporting, but he was accused at the time of having ‘biphobia.’

There is still plenty of work to do to promote acceptance of gay and lesbian individuals, but I think it’s important to recognize that even as individual differences become more accepted, promoting universal tolerance should be our goal. The LGBTQ community and everyone who identifies outside of it should be given the same respect and acceptance.

Sexuality and Asexuality


I knew the word “sex” from a young age (I thought it was taboo to say that word out loud), but wouldn’t have been able to explain “the birds and the bees” until around 9th grade. My parents were also too self conscious and conservative to explain concepts like that to me and my siblings. At this age, I would have been considered asexual according to the bitchmagazine article. Prause and Graham define asexuality as a deficiency in sexual desire.

I don’t know if I would necessarily agree that kids are asexual because they don’t have an understanding of the “mechanics of life”. Rather, they are just ignorant, and that doesn’t correlate with asexuality. There are many arguments about which category children fall under. Of course, it is very difficult to quantify results like this when you don’t have a definitive explanation for the meaning of “sexuality” or results will vary based off the age of puberty and other biological/ environmental effects.

When reading the articles, the main thing that  I got was that people (I’m focusing on the media in this case) can’t decide on the sexual or asexual nature of children. So they do the most logical thing, they bombard children with highly variable commercials. For instance we might see a steamy ad about cologne (which apparently needs topless men and women to get the point across) alongside a commercial about baby milk formula while showing a baby and the mother’s bosom.

Children are confused about sex. The media is like that ex that sends you mixed signals. I don’t know if the confusion is ever cleared, but after reading the 1986 Emory Report, I feel that Emory was very practical about teaching this. They were trying to remove the ignorance. RAs and coordinators were coached on appropriate discussions.

As awkward as talks can be, this is important. Some people can go their whole lives without being exposed to a natural biological process- reproduction is a way of maintaing the population, I think societies view on this topic needs to be reevaluated. Even the people who do have an understanding may not have been introduced to safe sex methods. Obviously Emory starting this program and the articles we read weren’t related, but it’s interesting seeing that our university had the foresight to see a problem (the articles were written in 2007 and 2012, Emory implemented the program in 1986).

Hanky Panky?

Hanky panky. The sugar coated term for sex. In 1980s Emory, there was plenty of it happening, but only talked about behind closed doors. Or was it? In the 1982 Emory yearbook publication, there was a picture of a female student proudly standing in her daisy dukes, with a sticker on her bottom that read “I Heart Hanky Panky.” To me, this is somewhat alarming that she is displaying her feelings of sex to the public. This shows a large comfortability on her part to be able to do this. It makes one wonder the state of Emory in 1982. Was sex a very outward part of the community? If it was, heterosexuality was the only one accepted in everyday conversation.  Student Action for Human Rights was the name of the group that discussed “gay and lesbian concerns.” It is interesting to realize that bisexual and transgender were not part of the terms they used in the Emory Wheel. Even the SAHR printed that ads that specifically said “gay and lesbian.” During these times, it seems that there were only three sexualities: Heterosexual, gay, or lesbian.

What if that student with “I Heart Hanky Panky” was not talking about with the opposite sex? What if she was a lesbian? Would this be acknowledged or still only take the sticker at face value? What if she was bisexual? Would only her attraction to males be acknowledged in the community? Looking at another article in the yearbook about Emory love and relationships seemed to be the most obvious display of the social norm: a white male and white female sitting and laughing with one another with small pecks as kisses. Although I am sure there were many couples at the university that did not fit this norm, it is interesting that the yearbook committee chose to use this type of relationship as a basic embodiment of the university’s student relationships. They could have had multiple pictures of different, diverse couples to show a look into Emory’s relationships.

This seems to say something about the sexual identity of Emory’s campus in the 1980s. Emory accepted those of different sexualities, but when it came to displaying sexualities of the campus, heterosexuality always won out. This is very interesting compared to today. Emory is very outward with their acceptance of LGBT. In fact it is the only southern school on the “Top 25 LGBT-Friendly Campuses” this year. But does this say anything about what is really happening inside the university? I remember my freshman year there was an incident where a transgender male was using the woman’s bathroom and was arrested. These types of actions do not seem like an LGBT-friendly campus.

To me, Emory loves to talk the talk, but not always walk the walk.

What We Know About What We Want

It is interesting to look at the study of sexual desire. One may ask just how you measure a person’s yearning for sex but at the same time, don’t we always try to quantify behavior? In particular, this question gets messy when taking into account not just how much a person may desire but what a person may desire. From heterosexuality to homosexuality to bisexuality to asexuality, there are a plethora of choices when it comes to sexual preference.

In particular, asexuality seems to be a tabooed topic in our society. And by tabooed, I suppose I mean misunderstood. Nicole Prause and Cynthia A. Graham listed advantages and disadvantages of asexuality according to their study. This provokes thought regarding just how society and different populations of society may view individual sexual preferences and the advantages and disadvantages presumably associated with each. It is interesting to note the variation of these opinions that would rise across different cultures, lifestyles, and levels of understanding.

In addition to the opinions regarding sexuality and the levels of understanding an individual may possess, time also plays a role. Looking back on the understanding we have already gained regarding the environment of Emory in the old days, it is safe to assert that sex was not an openly discussed topic. This raises the question of whether people really did not desire sex as much back then or was the desire the same but the social acceptance different. In this case, perhaps there were advantages to asexuality. As seen in the “Schools Out: Asexy Teens” piece, family and sex do not mix. It’s just not right. I’m not sure I want to think about a breastfeeding mother at the same time I am watching the Victoria Secret fashion show. Now this is a little extreme, but the point remains the same. Perhaps in these times back in the day, the focus was more on family. Just like water and oil, there can’t be a smooth mix of priority in terms of sex and family.

Whatever the case for the older times, the here and now shows that sex is a big deal. Although not thoroughly understood, sexual desire and preference seems to be an undertone of our society.

Black voter turnout increased for 2008 election

Although there was not a mass exodus of black people to the voting booths when Obama was on the ballot in 2008, there was an increase in minority voter turnout that hasn’t been seen in years. I think there would be an equally significant rise in voter interest if the issues of same-sex marriage or gay-couple’s rights were introduced for public vote. It’s not the same as the reaction that occurred in San Francisco, but I don’t think that’s a valid reason to not advocate the promotion of more rights.

for voter statistics: