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And now the question arises: how does asexuality fit into this picture.If this is a time period in which people were categorized based on who they’re attracted to, did they talk about people who weren’t (sexually) attracted to anyone? The exciting thing is, asexuality does pop up in scientific and mainstream discourse over the course of these 150 years.
A related topic worth exploring is the way asexuality is or was pathologized.In part one of this series, I discussed the 21st century, in which we saw the formation of asexual communities and the start of asexual activism.Once we go further back, the question arises whether there is any asexual history before the existence of the asexual community.Therefore, instead of trying to tell the story of ‘asexuality from the mid-19th century until the end of the 20th century’, I’ve organised the puzzle pieces and present them as possible entry points for researching this time period. When did people first started to use the word ‘asexual’ to refer to humans with a lack of sexual attraction or lack of sexual interest?Were there other words to refer to this group or a similar group, and if so, how were they defined?It is, in fact, a very recent development, and one that is particular to the Western world.
To (very quickly) explain what I mean, it is useful to look at the history of homosexuality.
Scholars generally put the origin of our modern understanding of sexuality and sexual orientations in the mid-19th century.
It would therefore be interesting to see how and if asexuality fits into this 150 years of sexual history leading up to the start of the asexual movement.
He uses the word ‘anaphrodite‘ to describe people who are “not suffused with adoration for any type of human” and who “shudder violently at the very thought of It would be interesting to further explore the usage of these words and how they relate to the modern concept of asexuality.
There are several models of human sexuality which incorporate asexuality.
I will first explain what I mean with the statement that the origins of our modern understanding of sexuality lay in the 19th century.