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Demographics of ace and aro communities


jesus dario

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Demographic diversity amongst aces & aros.

Media depictions often portray ace and aro communities as homogenous groups; however, ace and aro people hold a variety of other identities that can significantly impact the issues they face and the ways they experience their orientation. Data from an annual ace community survey demonstrates the diversity of ace communities and highlights the need for a more complex understanding of ace and aro issues. We do not currently have enough statistics to accurately understand aro community demographics, though parallels can be drawn.

Romantic orientation.

Community survey data from recent years suggests that most aces identify with a non-hetero romantic orientation. Many respondents identify as biromantic, panromantic, or homoromantic, demonstrating significant overlap with other LGBTQ+ communities. Many others identify with romantic orientations on the aromantic spectrum.

Romantic-orientation-2.0.png.444f9fabfa27f89c6db0ff1a0f198f60.png

Many people discover ace identities through broader queer communities that they belong to because of a different LGBTQ+ identity, and this may contribute to the lower proportions of cisgender and heteroromantic people who identify as ace.

Gender identity.

 

Ace communities tend to be mostly made up of women. Non-binary people also make up a significant portion of the community, while men make up the smallest group.

Prevalance of certain gender identities in the ace community

More than one in ten people in the ace community are trans and three in ten are non-binary, which demonstrates significant overlap between the ace community and the trans and non-binary communities.

Because trans people are often connected to a queer community through their trans identity, they may be more likely to discover and come to terms with an ace identity than cisgender people are.

Identification as LGBTQ+

Most ace people identify as LGBTQ+. This can be because they view asexuality as an LGBTQ+ identity itself, because they have another identity that fits under the LGBTQ+ umbrella, or both.

Percentage of ace people who identify as LGBTQ+

Race and ethnicity

Respondents to community surveys are disproportionately white and non-Hispanic compared to the general US population. This is likely due to a combination of factors; for example, people of color:

  • may be less likely to discover asexuality as they may have less access to online ace resources,
  • may feel less validated in their identity because media representation typically depicts white ace people, and
  • might be less likely to participate in communities because they don’t feel included.

Race-distribution-2.1.png.320af66c157224d0b6cb17959bbff5a5.png

Mental health and disability

While mental health and disability statistics have not been publicly released by the annual ace survey, data from one local community survey suggest that rates of disability and mental illness are in line with or slightly higher than the general population.

Age

86% of respondents to the 2016 ace survey were 30 or younger. Because the ace community only began organizing around the year 2000 and most people discover asexuality through the internet, young people make up the majority in ace communities. Older ace people are significantly underrepresented because they did not have resources on asexuality when they were growing up and because they are less likely to discover asexuality on the internet.

Further reading and references

References

The graphs in this lesson are based on data from the 2016 Asexual Community Survey Summary Report and the 2015 Asexual Census Summary Report by the Ace Community Survey Team.

 

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