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Aro-Spec Identities and Experiences of Stigmatization: Survey


Neir
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Hi everyone,

 

It's a survey! This post is a call for any and all aro-spec people to participate in a survey about their experiences of stigmatization. 

 

Much of the aro-spec community (including both aromantic folks and those who identify as somewhere on the spectrum) has been missing from LGBTQ+ research. The purpose of this survey is to begin to fill that gap and to understand the experiences of this under-researched population. Additionally, this research aims to gain a better understanding aro-spec individuals’ experiences of stigmatization, discrimination, and prejudice, compared internally between members of the a-spec community and also compared to members of LGBTQ+ communities. With new information, I hope to draw attention to community-specific issues we need to discuss more and to inter-community issues we can benefit from having common-ground conversations about.

 

If you are an aro-spec person and wish to participate in this survey, please follow this link: https://cuhealth.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_22WPzhbMSNjj0A5. All ages, orientations, genders, etc. are welcome. If you have not experienced stigmatization, you are also welcome to participate in this survey, as your responses are just as important to understanding the greater aro community.

 

The subject matter of this survey is serious and there is emotional risk associated with taking this survey, as well as minor social risk. Some of the questions asked in this survey will be on your negative experiences. You are not required to report anything you are not comfortable with in this survey, and I recommend seeking out counseling services in your area or your local crisis line if you do feel distressed at any time. An online resource for immediate and critical crises can be accessed here: https://www.imalive.org/.

 

It should also be mentioned that once you start the survey, you may stop at any point for any reason. You do not have to tell me that you are withdrawing, nor why. All information you supply during the research will be held in strict confidence. Only I (the lead researcher) will be able to see the raw data. Data will be collected and securely stored via Qualtrics’ servers and will be subject to United States data security laws. Your answers will be anonymized and I will not be able to see anything about you like your IP address or name or etc. I will only see what you submit as responses.

 

The survey will be open until January 1st, 2019. After this, I will analyze the responses and post the results for you to see.

 

If you have any questions regarding this research in general or about the study in particular, PM me here on Arocalypse, send me an ask on my research Tumblr - my username is aro-neir-o (this can be anonymous), or email me at mazur.talie@gmail.com.

 

Feel free to pass this survey around to your fellow aro-specs (or a-specs who do not use the SAM and identify with the aro-spec label). A rebloggable copy of this post is available on my research-focused Tumblr (aro-neir-o) and the above script/link in this post should also be able to be copy-pasted. I'd appreciate any and all responses, and don't worry if you're not interested in participating - your participating or not won't influence your relationship with me at all. I'm just reaching out on all relevant platforms I am a part of and can think of.

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  • 1 month later...

Update: The survey has closed (as of a couple of days ago) and I have received 530 responses! You are all amazing. I'm going to be analyzing the results this month and will update everyone about the findings as soon as I have everything organized. Thank you for your interest and participation. :)

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  • 1 month later...

My report of the results for the aro-spec identities and experiences of stigmatization survey is available on my Tumblr! I split it into three parts due to its length.
Part 1
Part 2

Part 3

 

There's also this TL;DR version you can read that is super short, in case you don't have the time to read the full report.

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Sadly I missed out on participating but it was a really interesting read. I sort of can't believe how large percentages of the participants were to white and cisfemale (I did kinda see the nonbinary/genderqueer and the youth overrepresentation coming though)

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No worries! (Look out for a followup survey later this year heheheh~)

 

I actually can believe the white and cis female percentages. I suspect that POC aren't given the same access to LGBTQ+ spaces, and moreover to aro spaces, even on the internet. They may be somewhere else, in spaces I'm not a part of (I'm white), and missing them is probably on me and my ignorance. As for cis women, I think the issue really lies on the side of men - I don't think they're socialized to be as accepting of queer identities for themselves. There's an almost toxic masculinity component that may be responsible for not many men even being aware that being aro is an option, never mind seeking out those communities on the internet. The youth I thought of as kind of similar to the situation with men - there's probably just a lack of education for older people (all people, really) on smaller LGBTQ+ identities.

 

I really got a lot out of this survey. It was nice to have a list of most popular and distressing harassment/microaggression situations, because I think now we can very easily say how common these things are to other people, with definitive support from quite a large community. We can also see what kinds of behaviours need to be prioritized for fighting against and what kinds of misconceptions others seem to have about aros.

Also, I'm both sad and happy about seeing stats for aros line up with those of other LGBTQ+ identities. Aros are discriminated against for their orientation and they can benefit from LGBTQ+ resources, so they belong in the wider community. (I mean, I believed that already but this is like... quite the body of support for that conclusion. It's validation from another perspective. There are so many voices represented here.) Take that, exclusionists.

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18 hours ago, running.tally said:

They may be somewhere else, in spaces I'm not a part of (I'm white), and missing them is probably on me and my ignorance.

Probably...but I can't help you out there I'm white cisfemale It just seems to me that on Arocalypse at least I seem to interact a lot with more males than females. I guess apart from the socialised lack of self-identification that you mention there could also be an aspect of the gender stereotype 'women are emotional and men are physical' that if they didn't experience revulsion to romance and just coasted through life neutral to it all they might think it is a part of their masculinity.....maybe. 

 

I was a bit conflicted at the stats lining up with other LGBT+ groups. I'm happy it is backed in data that underscores the legitimacy of our issues (yeah, in your face exclusionists!) buut it super sucks that it is happening.

The fact that being asked out was ranked as more distressing than being physically harassed totally fits with my own perceptions. I wonder what reasons other people have for putting them that way, that would make some interesting reading, but it would most likely have to be qualitative not quantitative. 

 

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It's something to look into, definitely.

 

And that qualitative stuff is a good idea! I'm wondering if I can put together the online equivalent of a focus group together, to talk about the results. Talking about the results with a bunch of aros would be incredibly useful for understanding our community.

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I was also quite interested in how under-represented we cis-males were in your survey @running.tally - it looked like about 1-2% only from your pie chart?

 

On 2/14/2019 at 5:21 PM, running.tally said:

As for cis women, I think the issue really lies on the side of men - I don't think they're socialized to be as accepting of queer identities for themselves. There's an almost toxic masculinity component that may be responsible for not many men even being aware that being aro is an option, never mind seeking out those communities on the internet.

Unfortunately, in cis-male hetero-normative culture, I think there's still a lot of resistance to association with anything whatsoever that might be seen as 'gay' - as is explored in this youtube video, for example. So, yeah, there would be both a) less awareness of those communities and b) reluctance towards any initial explorative  engagement with them. I think there's still somewhat of a perception amongst cis-males that one must be either 'all-in' or not engaged at all (100% 'straight' or 100% 'gay') but that any blurring of those categories is not really acceptable.

 

23 hours ago, Apathetic Echidna said:

I guess apart from the socialised lack of self-identification that you mention there could also be an aspect of the gender stereotype 'women are emotional and men are physical' that if they didn't experience revulsion to romance and just coasted through life neutral to it all they might think it is a part of their masculinity.....maybe. 

Yes, I also think this is a big factor. An aromantic man might just see themselves as 'normal, default man' as opposed to something unusual that might prompt them to seek out a distinct community and/or identity. Not sure if you've seen this thread yet @running.tally? You might find it interesting in terms of exploring some potential reasons for lack of cis-male participation in your survey.

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Yes @NullVector it was about 2%! 

I think the all or nothing narrative fits well with my assumptions of what is going on, yeah. There's something about cis-hetero male culture that doesn't seem conducive to more nuanced identities. I hope that with more visibility and conversation about LGBTQ+ and its relationship with traditional masculinity, men may be more comfortable exploring parts of themselves they have previously ignored or taken for granted.

 

Thanks for your input! :) I'm going to check out that thread.

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