Notes for the Instructor

[Sorry students, there’s no answers here and you can stop googling to try and find the crossword puzzle answers, this was made specifically for this semester and only I and your instructor have the answer keys.]

Curriculum Overview

Pre-Assignment Questions – Estimated Time to Complete: 10 minutes

Notes about Language – You may also want to cover this in class

Crossword Puzzle – Estimated Time to Complete: 60 minutes

Reading Material

Asexuality: A Mixed Methods Approach Excerpt [“Results and Discussion” & “Conclusions”] – 7 pages

5 Proposed Models & Definitions of Asexuality from AVEN Wiki – 2 pages

Storms’ Model Entry on AVEN Wiki – 1 Paragraph

Swank Ivy’s Asexuality Top 10 – 4 pages

Understanding Asexuality from the Outside – 4 pages

Post from A for Affort – 1 page

Being a Kinky Ace from “Verbs, Not Nouns”– 2 pages

How to Be an Asexual Ally (parts 1, 2, and 3) – 4 pages

Suggested Materials

Reflection Questions – Estimated Time to Complete: 10 – 20 minutes

Notes for the Instructor:

Remember, Asexuality is an orientation, like heterosexuality or homosexuality. It means nothing more than to what gender a person generally experiences sexual attraction (and that is not the only type of attraction possible). Other than this one quality asexuals are as heterogeneous as any other orientation group.

When answering questions from students about “do asexuals do/feel/think *this*” please remember to respond with the training you’ve received for answering other sexuality related questions – particularly the “for some, for others” wording. Examples: For some asexuals the idea of sex is repulsive (just as for some heterosexuals the idea of homosexual sex is repulsive, and vice versa), others are indifferent to the thought of sex, others are interested in sex- either studying it or engaging in it for various reasons (including, but not limited to curiosity, procreation, experimentation, pleasing their partner, peer pressure, and more). Likewise there are as many opinions and feelings about things on every subject as there are asexuals (just like with any other group). You can opt for language like “most” or “many” in some cases: “most asexuals are not sexually active with a partner” for example – but be careful that you don’t give students the impression that there are many universals in the ace community. If they meet someone who identifies as asexual they should feel like it wouldn’t be any safer to make assumptions about that person’s behavior or opinions than anyone else they might meet [IE they should not leave thinking “oh wow, so asexuals are all frigid virgins who don’t masturbate and have personality disorders, got it!”]

When discussing the research paper there are some points you may want to make:

Regarding theme 5: Overlap with Schizoid Personality

All of the participants in this study were found through an on-line message board and while many people who participate in message board communities also have the confidence, social skills, and desire to interact socially with other people in person, there is probably a higher percentage of introverts who make up the population of any message board membership than in the general population. As for statement that “7 of the 15 participants felt that they personally met criteria for Schizoid Personality disorder” – this is a highly questionable statistic to mention since people use the confirmation bias to make themselves believe they have whatever disorder you’re describing (it’s why everyone becomes a hypochondriac when they read WebMD). Unless Brotto actually had the subjects of Study II go see someone who could diagnose whether or not they actually qualify for Schizoid Personality Disorder (which she didn’t) she probably should have thought twice about introducing this in to the “discussion” section of the paper. On that note, there are people who are not nuero-typical, who have personality disorders, who have other problems in general who are asexual (just like there are some who are heterosexual, homosexual, and bisexual). We are not a community of perfect people- but none are (okay, unless you actually just created a community for perfect people… but then I’d bet you’d get a disproportionately high number of narcissists).

In my “notes on language” section I mention some of the problems with the Storms’ Model but if you have yet to cover non-binary genders with your students you may want to address the problems again in class.

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