Asexuality in the media/pre-2000
This is a list of articles mentioning asexuality prior to the formation of the online asexual community.
- Kinsey’s “Sexual Behavior in the Human Male” categorizes 1.5% of the adult male population as "X" on the Kinsey scale, indicating they have "no socio-sexual contacts or reactions.”
- Kinsey’s "Sexual Behavior in the Human Female" categorizes 14-19%. unmarried females, 1-3% married females, 5-8% previously married females, 3-4% unmarried males, 0% married males, and 1-2% previously married males, as “X”, or as those who "do not respond erotically to either heterosexual or homosexual stimuli, and do not have overt physical encounter with individuals of either sex in which there is evidence of any response.”
- July 2, 1956 - In an article about trans people, "Men Who Would Be Women Victims Of Cruel Hoax", Dr. Walter Alvarez describes people as asexual with regards to their orientation or preference rather than their appearance, stating that he has "found others in the family who were homosexual or what I call asexual. They were persons who seemed uninterested in either men or women, and who usually never married."
- June 18, 1959 - "Impotence in Hubby Wife's Worry" is another mention of asexuality from Dr. Walter Alvarez.
- February 25, 1971' - The Village Voice publishes a satire "Asexuals have problems too!", under the name Harold Nederlander and the article motivates people to write in to the editor about asexuality in a seemingly non-satirical manner. The first letter that The Voice published, on March 4, 1971 was from a person in Manhattan who didn't know if they were asexual or not. On March 11, 1971, two more letters were published, and the editor acknowledged that the article was a satire written by Joe Flaherty.
- January 25, 1978 - There was another article in the Village Voice, titled "Asexual Chic: Everybody's Not Doing It" by Arthur Bell, a journalist and gay rights activist. The article largely discusses celibacy, and there is a comment from a psychiatrist named Dr. Stuart Berger who, when asked what asexuality was, said “asexuality means nonsexuality, and nonsexuality doesn’t exist. But why people don’t have sex is up for grabs.” The article was written after there had been some speculation about whether Ed Koch, the mayor of New York City at that time, was gay or asexual, and he is mentioned numerous times in the article. This article lead to a series of letters being published in the Letters to the Editor on February 6, 1978. One letter writer, Sarah Slote, make demands for more information on asexuality, saying the article "dealt more with declining promiscuity than with its professed subject". Another writer, Susanne Eliot, found the article offensive, expressing disatisfaction that "Bell missed a few points about asexuality that many of us are exploring", and wrote that asexuality was "matter of private choice". Bell and Dr. Berger went on the Phil Donahue show to discuss "asexuality" later that year.
- May 1, 1978 - An article entitled "A Lack of Sexual Desire Emerges as a Contemporary Condition" by Georgia Dullea is published in the New York Times. The discussion in the article primarily focuses on [temporary] abstinence, but it also mentions asexuality by name (as a popular but not scientifically supported concept): "People will go on TV and talk for hours about their homosexuality or their bisexuality, but who wants to talk about their asexuality? Asexuality is, of course, a term used by the public, not the professionals, who stress that no one is truly sexless. At the same time however, the professionals do acknowledge that the chief symptom of self- styled asexuals - a lack of interest in sexual intercourse - is being expressed with growing frequency at clinics around the country." The article was later republished in the Globe and Mail (Toronto) under the title "Those who are indifferent to sex are coming out of the closet, therapist finding" on May 4th , and in the Chicago Tribune as "The noncombatants in the sexual revolution"on May 11th.
- Michael Storms proposes the two dimensional Storms' model, which includes asexuality as an orientation, in a study published in Advances in the Study of Affect vol. 5.
- November 10, 1979 - In a satire by Art Hoppe, "Asexual Militancy", a fictional leader of the "Asexual Liberation Movement" is interviewed.
- April 17, 1979 - The Ask Ann Landers advice column advises a 26 year old man who has never had "the desire for a sexual relationship", does not masturbate, and is worried that he is a "freak" that he is probably asexual. Landers defines asexual as a "sex drive that is so low it is virtually nonexistent" and reassures the writer that he is not a freak.
- May 4, 1981 - In the Dear Abby advice column, a letter writer responds to Abby's statement that "no healthy normal man (or woman) is supposed to be 'happy' in abstinence", mentioning asexuals as a "forgotten minority".
- Study by Paula Nurius
- March 25, 1983 - A woman writes to Ask Ann Landers to ask if it is possible to "be asexual - to have no read interest in either male or female", to have "no feeling of attraction toward either sex" and if that is the case, if it is treatable.
- June 11, 1983 - A 26 year old man writes to the Ask Ann Landers advice column, saying that he is "definitely asexual" and needs advice dealing with his friends and relative who assume he is gay. The writer is "sure there are others like me" and wants his letter published so people will show more understanding.
- May 13, 1986 - A man writes to Ask Beth "to reassure the boy who wrote that he was "asexual"", saying that he felt the same way, but is now married and that "it just takes more time for some of us."
- December 26, 1986 – A letter writer explains to the Ask Beth column that they are "in the least common and least credible sexuality group - asexual".
- March 13, 1987 - An 18 year old woman writes to Ask Beth, feeling alone, different, and about to have a nervous breakdown because of her lack of “sexual attraction or feelings for boys.”
- December 21, 1992 - The Ask Ann Landers column claims that “Recent studies have shown that homosexuality, bisexuality, and asexuality are not the result of something that has gone wrong with the sex organs, but rather a biochemical-genetic alteration that no one has been able to explain.”
- A survey of 18,876 British residents found that 1% of the respondents “never felt sexually attracted to anyone at all”.
- February 28, 1995 - A 53 year old man from New Jersey, who has "no feelings for men or women", and no interest in dating or sex, writes to Dear Abby. Abby offers the asexual label and doesn't try to make his asexuality into a problem.
- May 30, 1997 - “My life as an amoeba” by Zoe O'Reilly is published by StarNet Dispatches. The comments section inspires the creation of AVEN.
- By, G. D. (1978, May 01). A lack of sexual desire emerges as a contemporary condition. New York Times (1923-Current File). Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/123735493?accountid=14496
- Those who are indifferent to sex are coming out of the closet, therapist finding. (1978, May 04). The Globe and Mail. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/387138096?accountid=14496
- Duller, G. (1978, May 11). Tempo. Chicago Tribune (1963-Current File). Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/171640988?accountid=14496