December 8, 2016
The Often Forgotten Asexual Spectrum within the LGBTQ+ Movement
One idea that GSS introduced to me is that equal rights for those who identify as homosexual, and increasingly for those who identify as transgender, has been the primary focus of the “mainstream” LGBTQ+ movement, at the expense of those who eschew marriage, are poor, or are on the asexual spectrum. Part of the reason for why this might be is homonormativity, as there are no legal rights that asexual people are barred from, as opposed to homosexuals that want to marry someone of their same sex/gender, who until very recently were not able to do so or trans people who want to use the restroom that corresponds with their gender identity. The hierarchy of advocating people who identify somewhere on the LGBT spectrum as opposed to those who identify somewhere on the LGBTQ+ but not the LGBT spectrum is rooted in the logic of compulsory heterosexuality, which places the “couples model” above all else and inserts a chronological timeline of when and how one should participate in this model.
To investigate the attitudes of Davidson students regarding this chronology as well as the issues concerning those who identify as either asexual or aromantic, I would conduct a campus-wide online survey through the Davidson Research Initiative or the George L. Abernethy Endowment using the following questions.
1. What would you consider to be the minimum age that someone should be to be dating?
2. What would you consider to be the minimum age for someone to be in a committed relationship?
3. What would you consider to be the minimum age for someone to be having intercourse?
4. What would you consider to be the minimum age for someone to get married for the first time?
5. How many movies/TV shows have you seen/read where there was a character who was explicitly asexual/aromantic?
6. How many people have you met who identify as asexual/aromantic?
7. Approximately how many conversations have you had on the issue of asexuality/aromanticism?
8. Do you believe that sex education sessions at Davidson do a sufficient job at being inclusive of those who identify as asexual/aromantic?
9. If you are/were asexual/aromantic how likely would you come out to those who were closest to you?
10. Have you ever experienced discrimination for being asexual/aromantic or know someone who has been?
Every participant would receive $5 in dining dollars, which would incentivize more people than if they could enter in a raffle to win a more expensive item because they are being guaranteed a reward. Given that this survey may take slightly longer to complete than many others, most of the participants would have to be reasonably interested in the topic to participate because for many, time is a more precious asset than money.