McNair Scholars Research Journal


Discussions about emerging sexual identities are prevalent in today’s society. As our recognition of the diversity of sexual identities grows, so does our need to define these identities and to better understand how they represent the human experience. One such identity is asexuality, which is defined by the Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN) as a “person who experiences no sexual attraction” (“Overview” n.d.). In this research, I will analyze the debate over whether asexual individuals should be considered “queer.” This analysis will examine previous research that focuses on identity, discourse, and boundaries between identities. The goal of this research is to enrich our understanding of how people use language to make identity statements, and to negotiate and navigate boundaries between identities by answering the following questions: 1.) Why might boundaries exist between identities? 2.) How does discourse vary, based on a group’s status within a conversation? 3.) Why is the conversation surrounding asexual inclusion important?