Bogaert (psychology, Brock Univ.) is known for his research on birth order and sexual orientation. Here, he examines another aspect of his research—asexuality. Bogaert sets out to carefully define and describe asexuality using a four-part approach to help categorize the processes of sexuality: A (attraction and arousal), B (behavior), C (cognition), and D (desire). Bogaert describes asexuality as a sexual orientation that is perhaps statistically as prevalent as homosexuality. Other chapters discuss asexuality in regard to masturbation (why would an asexual person masturbate?), gender (is asexuality more prevalent among females?), sexual identity (how is asexual identity different than homosexuality?), the “madness of sex” (how do asexuals view sexuality?), and more. VERDICT Bogaert successfully introduces asexuality as another sexual orientation that demands further research. He likewise demonstrates the importance of asexuality not only in its own right as an understudied subject but also in how it contrasts with other sexual orientations. (His chapter on art and food, showing how sex permeates human culture, is a good example of this.) Recommended for readers interested in human sexuality. (Library Journal)
Rather than tackle the overdone topic of sexuality, this book takes a fascinating look at asexuality. A professor of community health sciences and psychology, Bogaert writes about people with (gasp!) no interest in sex and no feelings of sexual attraction. (These folks may still be romantic, though, and they may still masturbate to relieve tension.) Taking a deeply historical perspective, he notes that although sex is the main form of reproduction for species on earth today, it was not for most of the nearly 4 billion years that life has existed here. Given to humorous asides, Bogaert writes of questions surrounding “the exact date of the emergency of sex––call it, ahem, the little bang theory,” and observes that coupling brings the advantages of genetic diversity. The author’s small-type notes are just as interesting as the main text, making this an unusually intriguing and enlightening inquiry. (Booklist)
People who aren't interested in sex can teach the rest of us who are a thing or two about it. Indeed, they help us sexual beings better understand why we do what we do, says sexologist Anthony Bogaert, professor of community health sciences and psychology at Brock University. More to the point, they help us understand what sex is, and what it is not, he says. In his newest book, Understanding Asexuality, he explores what he calls the fourth dimension of sexual orientation. In simple terms, a person who is asexual does not feel sexual attraction. At all. Never. It's not celibacy -- that's a choice. Instead, it's part of the person's very being, just like being straight or gay, he says. [Bogaert] hopes his book will teach asexuals a little more about themselves, and enlighten everyone else about their own sexual orientation. (St. Catherine's Review)
Understanding Asexuality helps people understand asexuality in a way that asexual websites cannot. (The Examiner)
It was refreshing to see the rare publication of a book that delves into the subject and attempts to shed more light onto it, even give it a voice and credibility which is still way too far in the margins.
On the whole, I have to say, I found this book interesting, even enjoyable. It is an excellent starting point for study and debate, a brilliant introduction to asexuality.
The work he has done is truly enlightening and important.
Bogaert made an excellent attempt at deconstructing a very complex issue, identifying and analysing components of romance, sexual desire, behaviour, attraction, sexual pleasure, cognition and identity, differentiating between them, trying to establish whether the absence or presence of each of these components signifies asexuality. He goes into the history as well as current societal representation and culture. (Waterstones)
[This] work is extremely well received. (Epoch Times)
Asexuality is a sexual orientation that is often overlooked; it has garnered little attention from the scientific community compared to other sexual orientations. Queer theorists especially would benefit from familiarizing themselves with asexuality because it challenges heteronormative norms and, like people of other minority sexual orientations, asexual people are faced with oppression and systematic erasure. It is of no small importance that Understanding Asexuality is the first academic book published on the topic. In this book, Anthony F. Bogaert, a professor of human sexuality, delivers an important theoretical introduction to asexuality for scholars and the general public, as well as asexuals themselves. There is an informal and conversational tone to the book that makes it accessible to all these audiences, while still being professional in its discussion of the extant, if sparse, research. . . .Understanding Asexuality is a solid theoretical introduction to asexuality that provides ample material on which to build future research. (QED: A Journal in GLBTQ Worldmaking)
Essential reading for anyone who wants to explore how asexuality is transforming our understanding of sex. (David Jay, founder of Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN))
Despite an adaptationist flavor, Understanding Asexuality is a thoughtful, nuanced, and even paradigm-changing book. (Maurine Neiman, Ph.D., assistant professor, Department of Biology, University of Iowa)