WHY? Let me give you the quick and dirty of it.
1. The data set that this statistic comes from was collected in 1994. NINETEEN NINTY FOUR peoples. Even IF 1% of the population in 1994 was asexual (this stat was not even true then), would there STILL be only 1% in 2013?? No new asexually-identified people in almost 20 years? That is one stable statistic.
2. The guy that “counted” the number of asexuals from the data set (that he did not even personally collect) did NOT interview people. These “asexuals” did NOT self-identify as asexual.
3. The answer that meant a person in the data was an asexual (according to the author): “I have never felt sexually attracted to men nor women.”
IF you were choosing who you felt sexually attracted to (men or women) PRIOR to any understanding of what asexuality was, even hearing the term, PRIOR to self identifying as an asexual, what would you have put? I would personally have put “I have always been sexually attracted to men” back in the day BECAUSE I would have not distinguished between romantic and sexual attraction and because, growing up in a heteronormative society where it was assumed I would have crushes on boys and eventually get married and have sex (I also grew up Christian), I never really questioned I was heterosexual. SO, THEREFORE, I don’t think you can assume that everyone who was an asexual person in 1994 would choose this answer. Besides NEVER felt sexual attraction? This cuts out all the demi-sexuals, etc. Yeah.
4. IF you accept from this study that asexuals make up 1% of the population, you MUST ALSO accept the conclusions the author makes while looking at this 1% of the data. These are that “asexual people” have:
1. adverse health
2. later onset of menarche
3. short height
4. and low weight
DO you accept these conclusions? You can’t just pick and choose.
Q: How Many Asexual Peoples are there REALLY in the World?
A: Too fucking few. But growing every day!
(Sorry, I just had to edit this to be more direct. Bad research just makes me angry. Below, you will find the previous version of this post:)
I have read that “1% of the population is estimated to be asexual” pretty much everywhere people are interested in noting the prevalence. I’m not saying it isn’t true, but I think people should really know where this stat comes from.It comes from Mr. A. Bogaert’s 2004 article “Asexuality: Prevalence and Associated Factors in a National Probability Study.” Mr. B did not actually DO a study. Not his own, at least. He looked at data from ANOTHER survey collected in the UK in 1994 (10 years before he published his article). In this study, people were NOT asked if they were asexual, nor did they otherwise self-identify in anyway.Mr. B simply looked at those who answered “I have never felt sexually attracted to anyone at all” and called them asexual.About 1% of the respondents gave this response. Why is this problematic? Saying that an absolute, lifelong lack of sexual attraction is the definition of asexuality is kind of narrow and reductive. And you can’t really just call someone asexual. They really have to have the opportunity to identify themselves as such.Secondly, generally, people who do have a lack of sexual attraction and find this distressing and wish to be treated/changed, do not take on the asexual identity. Those who chose the answer they did might have chosen it for a number of reasons. Third, “sexual attraction” was the only choice and not clear. Some asexual people might have chosen their relational attraction based on the gender(s) they are attracted to sexually, romantically, platonically, etc. This was not a survey that had asexuality in mind. In 1994. So having a researcher make conclusions about the asexual population based on a study that did not look at asexual peoples is problematic.Some of the other conclusions Mr. B made from looking at the 1994 UK survey data? He said was a relationship found between “asexuality” and certain health/biological issues. So. . . . I figure not many people have read the article from which the 1% statistic came. This is it. So 1%? I personally don’t care what percentage of people are what. I just know there are too fucking few.(By the way, the author of this post has good health, her first period at 12 [yes, you needed to know], is average height, and well, I wouldn’t say low weight.)