Asexuality in Media

Laurie MacQueen

Topic Explanation

Like many other marginalized identities, there is a fog of misconceptions surrounding asexuality. It is defined as feeling little to no sexual attraction to other people, and has a broad spectrum of complex sub-identities. In the media, though, asexuality is usually portrayed in subtext, or merely hinted at. Even when it is named explicitly onscreen, asexuality is often portrayed inaccurately, either as an identity held by people on the fringes of society, or as a result of immaturity. These inaccuracies are especially harmful because they outnumber the very few good representations of asexuality. They spread misinformation that stigmatizes asexuality, and makes it hard for aces to find media role models.

My project aims to bring attention to this obscure issue, educating viewers on some of the nuances of asexuality. It also starts clearing up some of the misconceptions to make way for better portrayals. This is done through showing recognizable examples of good and bad portrayals of asexuality, and suggesting visual symbols and tropes that media creators can begin to use to combat asexual stigmas in media.

Abbreviated explanation for marketing

In the media, asexuality is often portrayed as “inhuman” in some fundamental way, or as a result of immaturity. These representations are inaccurate, and harmful because they outnumber the very few good representations of asexuality.

Spreading misinformation that stigmatizes the identity.

Asexuality is defined as feeling little to no sexual attraction to other people. In the media, however, asexuality is often portrayed inaccurately, either as an identity held by people on the fringes of society, or as a result of immaturity. These inaccuracies are especially harmful because they outnumber the very few good representations of asexuality, spreading misinformation that stigmatizes asexuality.