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Aphobia warning: Discrimination of aces


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I know this is an aro forum, but since many of us are also aces or acespec, I decided to share this small bit about asexuality and discrimination I found on the Finnish wikipedia page.

Directly translated:

"According to an article in Psychology Today, asexuals were the most dehumanized (considered less than human) sexual minority.  According to the study, asexuals are dehumanized in two ways: they are considered either machine-like or animal-like."

I find this really, really weird and sad. Do people actually think aces are machines or animals? Any thoughts or experiences?

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I get for the machine one. It's quite common I say it for myself too. But animals ?? That doesn't make any sense. I would consider animals a lot more sexual than other things ! There're like actual expressions to relate animals to sex, so asexuals are just the contrary of that.

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machine one is common and definitely heard of for many acespec folks but animal like? dont animals instinctively reproduce which is nowhere near the bigots shallow interpretation of asexuality [simply not wanting sex or antisexual in general]? it seems a bit contradictory. could you send me the article where you found this info? i would love to see more elaboration regarding the animal like part but tbh i dont want to dwell on stuff abt discriminative acts for that long so ill probably forget to read it lol

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1 hour ago, roboticanary said:

Interesting. Did it give a link to the article? Would be interesting to see it as it sounds like ultimately some form of survey has been done on peoples attitudes

https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/without-prejudice/201209/prejudice-against-group-x-asexuals

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6 hours ago, Atypique said:

But animals ?? That doesn't make any sense. I would consider animals a lot more sexual than other things !

I assume that this one comes from the conflation of aromanticism and asexuality. Since people think only humans feel love (probably false), if they think asexual = aromantic, they think asexual people are like animals. It also may come from people who mostly see domesticated animals in media, and thus do not associate animals with sex.

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Quote

But, oddly enough, asexuals were also seen as “animal-like” (i.e., animalistically dehumanized). Yes, asexuals were seen as relatively cold and emotionless and unrestrained, impulsive, and less sophisticated.

Hmm, okay, so the study is using "animal-like" to describe being seen as uncontrolled/unsophisticated (animal-like = unrestrained, impulsive, less sophisticated). Basically saying we're seen specifically as subhuman, of which many people view animals to be lesser due to lack of sapience rather than just different but no less deserving of respect and compassion.

That is interesting. I've definitely heard the robot one before - been subject to these comments and attitudes personally. I agree with Neon that I suspect there has been some overlap/confusion between asexuality and aromanticism here. I'm aroace, but I suspect aroallos might more relate to be considered or treated as "animalistic" with the stereotype that they're sex obsessed players who just want to use people and don't respect anybody they may have sex with. The cited source was in 2012, and the two communities were definitely still more entangled together than they are today.

I would be interested in checking out the study they're referencing to see if they listed any examples, but unfortunately, as I'm no longer at a school, I don't have access to any accounts that would allow me to read the study in full. D:

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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 months later...

I just happen to see this conversation but wanted to add a thought… 

I doubt that people would consider aces & / or aros to be machines or animals if they’d meet anyone who identify as such. But I’m sure they might react that being without romantic or sexual attraction or relationships would be unthinkable and only possible within the animal kingdom or for a machine (in a sci fi story or something). So if an actual person said “Hey I don’t feel that way I’m aromantic” they could say: “That’s not real. It’s a basic human experience. A robot / machine could be without that but not you who are a human being.” 

So they’d be invalidated, not believed and ridiculed. And treated like a child like they didn’t know better. but that’s not very nice either 😌

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6 minutes ago, Elin W said:

I just happen to see this conversation but wanted to add a thought… 

I doubt that people would consider aces & / or aros to be machines or animals if they’d meet anyone who identify as such. But I’m sure they might react that being without romantic or sexual attraction or relationships would be unthinkable and only possible within the animal kingdom or for a machine (in a sci fi story or something). So if an actual person said “Hey I don’t feel that way I’m aromantic” they could say: “That’s not real. It’s a basic human experience. A robot / machine could be without that but not you who are a human being.” 

So they’d be invalidated, not believed and ridiculed. And treated like a child like they didn’t know better. but that’s not very nice either 😌

It’s weird how people say that it’s only possible in the animal kingdom and I’m just sitting here like: bro, we’re in the fricking animal kingdom, we’re just built different. XD

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6 minutes ago, HelloThere said:

It’s weird how people say that it’s only possible in the animal kingdom and I’m just sitting here like: bro, we’re in the fricking animal kingdom, we’re just built different. XD

Ha ha you’re right!! 🤣 

Actually, nobody has said that straight up to me. I’ve only been aware and out for a couple of years…. I was just speculating to what was written above. 😅 

 

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10 minutes ago, Elin W said:

Ha ha you’re right!! 🤣 

Actually, nobody has said that straight up to me. I’ve only been aware and out for a couple of years…. I was just speculating to what was written above. 😅 

 

It's a rather common thing for aphobes to say sometimes. It really doesn't make sense because believe me, if anyone knows me, they'll know I'm flamboyant to say the least, and I've ranted for hours about my likes and dislikes to prove it. XD

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9 minutes ago, HelloThere said:

It's a rather common thing for aphobes to say sometimes. It really doesn't make sense because believe me, if anyone knows me, they'll know I'm flamboyant to say the least, and I've ranted for hours about my likes and dislikes to prove it. XD

It’s very disrespectful to say 😦 

I haven’t experienced that myself. I’ve met more of belittling comments especially before I knew about aromanticism friends could say, when I tried to tell them that I lacked the capacity of falling in love, “Elin, you’re not that way” and even if they meant well it also meant that I didn’t feel like they believed me. And I was very insecure and not knowing about aromantic being an identity shared with many others I feel more confident. And happy 💚 and relieved. 

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29 minutes ago, Elin W said:

It’s very disrespectful to say 😦 

I haven’t experienced that myself. I’ve met more of belittling comments especially before I knew about aromanticism friends could say, when I tried to tell them that I lacked the capacity of falling in love, “Elin, you’re not that way” and even if they meant well it also meant that I didn’t feel like they believed me. And I was very insecure and not knowing about aromantic being an identity shared with many others I feel more confident. And happy 💚 and relieved. 

The moment i realized it there was no time at all before I accepted myself, in fact my future felt better when I realized I didn’t have to marry, that those feelings may not come at all. :D

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8 minutes ago, HelloThere said:

The moment i realized it there was no time at all before I accepted myself, in fact my future felt better when I realized I didn’t have to marry, that those feelings may not come at all. :D

Same for me. When I read the word I knew instantly and instantly felt relief :) 

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8 hours ago, Elin W said:

Ha ha you’re right!! 🤣 

Actually, nobody has said that straight up to me. I’ve only been aware and out for a couple of years…. I was just speculating to what was written above. 😅 

 

I think I've only had people say this to me online (well not the animal and machine things but the "it's not real and not normal" thing, yes"). I think people are just too coward to say it to your face, in particular  if they know you.

 

Edited by nonmerci
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  • 1 month later...
42 minutes ago, aRowanAce said:

That is just weird. Machines I don’t like but get. Animals that is just where does that come from

I mean seriously, animals don’t have to all have sex. 

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In the 1965 book Wild Heritage, Sally Carrigar noted that ethologists (biologists who study animal behavior) have long witnessed animals which show no interest in pair-bonding or mating. It's only a small percentage. Back then it was labeled a mental problem; hopefully those scientists have a better understanding now.

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I have never heard people call me a machine or smth like that but I have been called too young, anti-social (kinda true tho), a sociopath, a psychopath, a liar, a faker, inexperienced, naive, uneducated, unknowledgable, and others, that’s part of the reason why I don’t come out anymore, that’s only from 6 people btw

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