NR 502 Ana G Mendez University Etiology of Asexuality Research Paper

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Etiology of Asexuality
Brenelys Coro
Ana G. Méndez University
NR502: Proposal
March Session, 2021
Facilitator: Dr. Nancy Woelki

This paper is submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the
Master of Nursing Practice degree.

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Abstract

Asexuality is a complex issue associated with different social, economic, and health factors,
among others. A systematic review of the various issues identified in different studies about
asexuality helps comprehend the issue and provide a new approach to address the problem in
society.
Methodology: The research involved reviewing 30 qualitative and quantitative studies obtained
from credible medical journal publishers. All journals addressing asexuality provided a detailed
account of whether it was biological, psychological, sociological, or a combination of the three
factors. A cross-tabulation of the articles was conducted to compare the results of each study, the
research design, recommendations, and the level of evidence presented.
Findings: The findings of the study showed that asexuality is a combination of all three factors.
A statistically significant number of participants in the reviewed studies noted issues across the
three factors as the leading case of sexlessness. Divorce, income level, lack of interest, violence,
age, and sexual orientation emerged as the leading cause of asexuality among many respondents.
Racial factors also contributed to an individual’s asexuality status. Across all studies, whites
were found to have a higher chance of becoming asexual than blacks. Further, it was discovered
that many people did not disclose their asexuality challenges for fear of stigmatization.
Conclusion: More research into asexuality because the existing literature was not enough to
conclude whether the problem is a health issue that needs to be addressed. Most of the studies
were systematic analyses, qualitative and quantitative, which would not have provided a strong
foundation for medical solutions. Lastly, better policies need to be implemented to encourage
people to seek help when they experience asexual effects.

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Table of Contents
Abstract ........................................................................................................................................... 2
Introduction ..................................................................................................................................... 4
Significance of the Practice Problem .......................................................................................... 5
Research Question ...................................................................................................................... 6
Theoretical Framework ............................................................................................................... 7
Literature Review............................................................................................................................ 7
Practice Recommendations ....................................................................................................... 18
Recommendations ..................................................................................................................... 18
Project Description.................................................................................................................... 19
Project Evaluation Results ............................................................................................................ 20
Discussion and Implications for Nursing and Healthcare......................................................... 21
Plans for Dissemination. ........................................................................................................... 21
Summary and Conclusion ............................................................................................................. 22
Summary ................................................................................................................................... 22
Conclusion ................................................................................................................................ 23
References ..................................................................................................................................... 24
Appendix A ................................................................................................................................... 28
Appendix B ................................................................................................................................... 41

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Introduction

Asexuality is a complex phenomenon where individuals experience no sexual desire or
attraction, begging whether sexuality is enough in the expression and self-identification given
that some individuals do not experience the desire and interest in sexuality (Yule, Brotto, &
Gorzalka, 2017). Sexual health is as important as mental and physical well-being, and the latter
also plays a significant role in the development of major components of sexual health. Asexual
individuals often face depression and social pressure to identify with any form of sexual
expression as a social acceptance ticket into society. (Yule, Brotto, & Gorzalka, 2017) The
determination of the degree of prevalent factors in asexuality, identifying common
psychological, biological, and social factors, and examining the effect these factors have on the
lack of sexual expression are critical in understanding the concept and classifying accordingly.
One becomes sexually oriented from as early as middle school and early adolescence, and
several social, physical, and economic factors influence the orientation to a certain degree (Yan
Wang, 2019). Social factors may have a higher prevalence in asexuality than biological and
psychological factors. (Jackson, 2017) Biologically, humans, like any other mammal, are
reproductive creatures, which happens through sexual encounters, thus making sexuality an
essential part of a person. (Portillo & Paredes, 2019) Through scholarly articles and prior
research into asexuality, the study will identify common psychological, social, and biological
factors among asexual individuals. The psychological factors such as trauma from negative
sexual encounters, social factors like discrimination on a gender basis, and the biological,
neurodevelopmental markers associated with sexual orientation affect the lack of sexual
expression in various ways.

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Significance of the Practice Problem

“Motivational drives guide behaviors in animals of different species, including humans.”
(Portillo & Paredes, 2019) All of which lead us to pursue and engage in certain behaviors.
Several of these needs are primarily biological like hunger, thirst, and the need to reproduce.
Meeting these needs is a requirement for survival and hence for the preservation of the species.
“But there is at least another motivation that is also important for the survival of the species but
not for the survival of the individual.” (Portillo & Paredes, 2019 para.1).
Certainly, sexual desire is critical for humans to reproduce and thus support the theory of
evolution. However, it is noted that a minority of healthy individuals do not display sexual
behavior or desire. In humans this lack of sexual attraction is denominated asexuality. The
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing. (2012). Defines asexuality as a
condition characterized by lack of sex, lack of sexually functioning organs or having no sexual
orientation.
However, this definition differs considerably between disciplines and nonacademic
groups (Yule, Brotto, & Gorzalka, 2017) Asexuality can be described as the state of not having
any sexual attractions or desires. In some cases, asexual people experience low sexual desire,
while in extreme cases, the sexual urge is merely inexistent. Some literature defines it as a lack
of sexual desire and interest (Flanagan & Peters, 2020). It can be distinguished from abstinence
and celibacy. It can be of different categorization, just like being bisexual, heterosexual, and
homosexual. It involves the different types of the spectrum and how the people identify.
Celibacy and abstinence are not the same as asexuality. This condition also seems to differ from
having hypoactive sexual desire. Asexuality can pose many significances on the patient's health

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which are either positive or negative. The impacts may affect mental health, body health, and
relationships.
On several occasions, when asexuals disclose their identity in healthcare facilities, they
will likely attempt to change their sexual orientation (Bogaert, 2015). This is traumatic to most
of the patients. However, some studies suggest asexual people face the risk of wanting to change
their orientation and denying the possibilities of its existence. The prevalence of asexuality is
1.7% and women are more likely to be asexuals (UCLA). The prevalence can also be seen in the
LGBTQ society, which also comprises a more significant percentage.
Asexual people also can face trauma from society. They face distress and many other
mental health issues because of their lack of sexual desire. It is also a matter of concern to
sexologists because it broadens research studies on human nature and the human variability of
sexual and asexual people.
The issue of sexuality concerns rights, equality, and ethics, mainly regarding
developmental psychologically. Asexual face rejection that socially affects them. Healthcare
providers should also consider the sexual behavior of asexual and develop behavioral
interventions that would address the need for caring for asexual people (Flanagan & Peters,
2020). Because of these are significant conceptual differences, an in-depth study of the term is
needed for better approach of the described population and the individual.
Research Question
This research guiding question is: Is asexuality the result of biological, psychological, or
social factors, or perhaps, is it a combination of all three factors together? The Principal
Investigator's main objectives are: first, to determine which of these factors have a bigger
incidence in asexuality; second, to identify psychological, biological, and social factors common

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to asexual individuals; and third, and to examine how these factors affect lack of sexual
expression.
Theoretical Framework
Theories inform this research of nature-nurture and biological approach. The naturenurture theory proposes that an individual's behavior is affected by either "inherit" or "acquired"
influences (McLeod, Nature vs. Nurture in Psychology, 2021) this theory examines how the
internal (genetic traits) and external (environmental/learned traits) interact to alter behavior in
complex ways. Although presenting limitations, this principle offers a simple theoretical
framework to understand how sexual behaviors are affected by inner and outer forces.
The biological approach is somehow similar to the nature-nurture approach. This
approach assumes that our genetics and physiology cause human behavior, thoughts, and
feelings. (McLeod, Biological Approach, 2015) In the context of asexuality, the biological
perspective provides an understanding of how human brains function and how a change in that
function can affect human behavior.
Literature Review
Asexuality is a term rather new and confusing. Various disciplines have attempted to
define it, yet no clear definition exists. Asexuality is a complex term with various characteristics,
but mainly identified by a lack of sexual attraction and desire. Whether asexuality should be
interpreted as a disorder, pathology, or simply a sexual orientation would be discussed and
considered in this literature review.
Wang (2019) proposes that asexuality, just like sexuality, is affected by a "complex
interplay of diverse factors," including hormonal, genetic, maternal immune system, and
environmental factors. Their comparison is made based on the understanding of asexuality as a

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sexual orientation. From this perspective, it becomes easier to identify the modulation of sexual
orientation, behaviors, and omission of the same. They also emphasize the importance of further
and more detailed evaluation of epigenetic traits and sexual orientation of minorities to promote
understanding of the biological basis of human sexuality.
Jackson (2017) argues that asexuality is possibly caused by a combination of polygenic
traits and cultural perspective. Her work addresses asexuality's initial cause and persistence in
humans as a detrimental phenotype in the framework of evolution. Genetics, mental health, and
cultural influences are discussed and noted to correlate with the origin of asexuality.
Nonetheless, the author seeks to find possible causation of asexuality in humans and concludes
that additional studies are needed before a more significant conclusion can be reached.
Yule, Brotto and Gorzalka (2017) Claim asexuality is a normal deviation from the
experience of human sexuality. Their broad literature review focuses on the correlation of
asexuality with themes such as mental health, paraphilia, and sexual dysfunction. They argue,
that while lack of sexual attraction should not be pathologized, individuals presenting to a
physician with lack of sexual attraction should be mentally assessed for psychological difficulties
arising because of the condition. furthermore, they conclude the study by stressing the
importance of future research to expand understanding of sexuality in general.
Rothblum (2020) Carried a cohort study providing data on demographic, psychological
factors among asexual and bisexual individuals. They claim asexuality is a unique identity likely
to increase in occurrence as more minorities reach adulthood and become familiarized with the
concept. This work shows that asexual individuals have less sex and lower levels of sexual
attraction along with more felt stigma than non-asexual individuals. Nevertheless, they conclude
that their results ...


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