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Understanding Asexuality

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  242 ratings  ·  47 reviews
In a world where people often feel compelled to advertise their sexual inclinations and preferences, many people identify as asexual, lacking sexual attraction to either men or women. This book introduces the idea of asexuality as a fourth category of sexual orientation and reveals the historical, biological, and social aspects of asexuality.
ebook, 154 pages
Published August 9th 2012 by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (first published January 1st 2012)
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Average rating 3.43  · 
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 ·  242 ratings  ·  47 reviews


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lisa
Sep 24, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-books, 2012
i should point out that i have no background in sexology, academia, or science. everything i know about the topics in the book i learned the old-fashioned ways: life experience, talking to other people, and scouring the internet for more information.

with that said: i found this book to be rather bullshitty. i mean, this is the stance i take on anyone and anything that says dan savage has right opinions about asexuals, but that is not the only thing that was problematic. bogaert completely ignore
...more
Anna
Dec 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sexuality, nonfiction
‘Understanding Asexuality’ is the first book to be published on the subject of asexuality as a sexual orientation. This makes it important. When I wish to research something, I’ll settle for online sources and journal articles, but what I really want are books. A few years ago I searched the catalogues of my university library, a legal deposit library containing more than 8 million items, and found no books whatsoever on the subject of asexuality. That was very dispiriting. Then Antony Bogaert p ...more
Amy
To be honest I'm really disappointed by this book. It shouldn't be called Understanding Asexuality, but only Understanding Sexuality. The thing is that the author took such wide view that there was very little, to almost nothing about Asexuality.

Yes, he explained about the definition of Asexuality. Yes, he explained what the causes might be, and made no conclusions. He explained about masturbation and fantasizing. But some chapters were completely unnecessary. Like why do we need a chapter on th
...more
Charlotte
Mar 22, 2013 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Of COURSE I want to read this! You know, you can find ten million books about how girls should and need to have sex whenever they want, with nods to every sexuality imaginable (by the author), but you can't find a single footnote in the back index about girls who, I don't know, don't WANT to have sex? Don't have a sex drive? Find the idea repulsive, maybe even?
Boys, too. Although there are very few books about male sexual empowerment, I must say. It's probably considered a cliche. :x
People need
...more
Madison
It was very informative, if slightly more technical than it maybe should have been. There are things I disagreed with—a huge focus on biology, constant comparisons to homosexuality, some dated language—but overall, it was a good stab at explaining asexuality to non-asexual people
Carrie
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Review to come
Thraen
Oct 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My overall opinion is that the book is a great start to finally having some literature on asexuality. I very often felt Bogaert was entirely wrong—or at least failing to capture my experiences as an asexual person, and surely my experience is not the same as everyone's!—but the book is very clearly written with an understanding that this is only a beginning and ends with a call for further research. Great! Much, much more research still needs to be done on understanding the complexities of human ...more
Patricia
Apr 22, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, queer
Whoops, read this all in one go. I was very surprised to spot this in my university's library, and it was the only book there about asexuality. As an asexual person, I was kind of on edge the entire time reading it - waiting for the condemnation or ridicule I guess (probably why I read it all in one go in like four hours). But this book does give an accepting view of asexuality. The author clearly did his research and frequently quotes AVEN and asexual people, which is reassuring. The book also ...more
Katharina Barth
May 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very interesting read.
Dexter
A really good introduction and overview to research on asexuality. Dr. Bogaert touches on almost every major aspect, from defining asexuality to potential causes of asexuality to how asexuals navigate such a sexualized world. There are several things I wish he'd talked about that he didn't, but he still covered a lot of information and I would definitely recommend this book to anyone curious and/or confused about what asexuality is.
Justin Goodman
2.5

Bogaert has a biological determinism problem. While making small nods to socialization, he spends most of the book gesturing to prenatal causation. And when, talking about handedness being linked to genes, he adds parenthetically "and what isn't," it's hard not to see him reveal himself as very deep within a purely biological model of sexuality. Note, as Lisa points out in their 2012 review, it takes 10 chapters before Bogaert even mentions that asexuality is not a disorder - and even then D
...more
Sinistmer
2.5/5

The book has some scientific information that is both interesting and might be helpful in explaining asexuality to someone. There was not nearly enough information specifically about asexuals to truly satisfy me. I would not recommend this book to someone trying to figure themselves out-the language and tone are sterile (and a bit dull), and readers may feel uncomfortable. I know I was, from time to time.
Brianna
May 10, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Some interesting tidbits about asexuality buried in pages and pages on musings about sexuality as a whole. Interesting in that data is involved, perhaps more interesting to someone who isn't asexual who wants to understand us better. My goal had been to understand my identity a bit better and find some solidarity, but really I ended up feeling a bit like I was a specimen on display listening in on a nerdy tour guide make it about himself.
Literary Ames {Against GR Censorship}
Aug 20, 2012 marked it as wishlist  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Literary Ames {Against GR Censorship} by: Newspaper article
Asexuality as the fourth sexuality. Sounds interesting though the price is scarily high for 192-page hardcover.
Zane Carey
Oct 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbt
Very interesting and thrilling read. More complex and more interesting as I read.
SongoftheWolf
Apr 23, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbt
I did really enjoy this book, but do have some issues with the conclusions Bogaert draws, especially on the "causes" of asexuality. I admit that I do not have the background to really create a solid counterargument, but I felt that the majority of Bogaert's arguments relied on correlative evidence. Some of the things that were said, such as "it is more likely for asexual individuals to be left handed," feel like attention-grabbing facts that don't go into further detail. I felt as though this te ...more
Sophia
Nov 17, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, gender, 2018, sex
Understanding Asexuality was certainly the goal of picking up this book, but Canadian sexologist/psychologist Anthony Bogaert's 2012 book suggests not much is known about the topic at this time. From my reading, Bogaert's main points are that (1) asexuality is a sexual orientation defined by the lack of sexual attraction; (2) understanding asexuality can help us understand sexuality; and (3) asexuality is not a disorder. The paperback version has the weight and feel of an academic book, but the ...more
Marissa
Aug 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the (sadly) few traditionally published books I could find on asexuality. I have several ace/aroace friends and family and even if I didn't, would consider it a basic human responsibility to be informed on how the identifier is affected sociopolitically and within the LGBTQ+ community. Not enough comprehensive research on the ace experience out there still, but Bogaert draws on what he has. Would have liked more personal #ownvoices anecdotes and less philosophical waxing, and some fundame ...more
Steph
Oct 28, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating, highly readable insight into sexuality in all forms and asexuality in particular. I’d recommend it for anyone interested in developing their understanding of the nuances of sexual orientation and/or identity.
Kristin
Jul 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
One of the few researched books on the topic.
Emily Main Street Books
Important and interesting study, but I felt like the author's tone was frequently facetious, like he was trying too hard to make it sound like a casual lecture, and it doesn't work as a book.
Claire
Some useful insights and some less useful segments.
Tess
Feb 29, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting read. If not for the subtle transphobia, misogyny, racism, and obliviousness towards external socialization surrounding gender and sex, this would be a fantastic book!
Madisen
Jun 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very enlightening and so well written!
Julie
Sep 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: asexual
This book is probably 4 stars instead of 3 because there are few books on asexuality. So it's a worthwhile read because there's not much else out there. The book has, though, provided me with a number of ideas and facts that I've taken with me, but the density of those ideas to the total text is not large.

In the author's own words: "This book was intended for a broad audience: anyone interested in understanding asexuality, and anyone interested in taking a view of human sexuality through a new l
...more
The Center for Sexual Pleasure & Health
“Asexuality” is one of many sexual minorities that are moving to be seen, heard, and respected in mainstream culture, and asexuality in particular comes with a lot of questions, skepticism, and misconceptions. This thin but factually dense book is written as an introduction to the concept of asexuality for sexual people—it’s meant to help sexual people learn what being asexual means and what it entails. For instance, do asexual people masturbate or experience sexual pleasure of any kind? Do they ...more
Katherine
Fascinating read, though in some cases his scientific conclusions are a bit of a stretch. But since this is a fairly new field of study, mistakes will be made as new data comes to light.
Anna (RattleTheShelves)
I don't rate academic books, I don't feel qualified to do it, but this one deserves a review.

It's an important book, because it's the first and one of the very few books that talk about asexuality- a topic completely absent from our sex-crazed society. And people need to realize that not everything is about sex, at least not for everyone.

First off, you need to know that I didn't need to read this book. And it means everything, because I never read any full books (or even journal articles) for my
...more
Cass
Feb 09, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Researchers interested in studying asexuality
I'm not quite done with the book yet, but I think it's overall a very important book because there is so little research out there on asexuality. It's not totally accurate, but it's a very good book to have out there so that other researchers can use it as a springboard for their own research regarding asexuality or human sexuality in general. I think this book would be better if Bogaert talked more about asexual peoples' experiences rather than sexuality as a whole. Yes, it's important to talk ...more
Rebe
I have mixed feelings about this book.

On the one hand, how fantastic is it that there are books on asexuality that treat it respectfully and not like a mental illness, and that acknowledge that there is not just one way to be asexual.

On the other hand, even for me (a person very interested in the subject matter), most parts of this book were rather dull. It's pretty academic writing, and while I can understand it, I think it does come across as dry and lifeless. It also feels a bit weird that th
...more
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