Experiences of minority stress and their impact on suicidality among asexual individuals

Randolph Chun Ho CHAN, Janice Sin Yu LEUNG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: While the asexual community has become increasingly visible, the pathologization and denial of asexuality remain strong, which may be linked to a higher prevalence of suicidality in this population. The present study examined experiences of minority stress and their relationship with suicidality among asexual individuals.
Methods: This study included a global sample of 12,449 individuals on the asexual spectrum. They completed an online survey assessing minority stress (including verbal aggression, victimization, and health care discrimination), impairment in different aspects of life, and suicidality.
Results: The results showed that 64.8 % of asexual individuals had experienced minority stress based on sexual and/or romantic orientation. Approximately 32.2 % reported suicidal ideation, 10.6 % had suicide plans, and 2.7 % had attempted suicide in the past 12 months. Suicidality was more prevalent among asexual men and non-binary individuals than among asexual women. Asexual individuals who were younger, identified as transgender, and lived in lower-income countries were more likely to report suicidality. Among the different dimensions of minority stress, victimization was most significantly associated with suicidal ideation, plans, and attempts. The positive association between minority stress and suicidality was mediated by impairment in health.
Limitations: The cross-sectional nature of the data might prevent causal inferences from being drawn. Validated measures of asexual-specific minority stress were not available.
Conclusion: The findings have implications for asexuality-affirming mental health practices supporting asexual individuals in coping with minority stress experiences. Public education efforts are needed to raise awareness of asexuality as a valid sexual orientation and to dispel misconceptions about asexuality. Copyright © 2023 Published by Elsevier B.V.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Early online date06 Jan 2023
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 06 Jan 2023

Citation

Chan, R. C. H., & Leung, J. S. Y. (2023). Experiences of minority stress and their impact on suicidality among asexual individuals. Journal of Affective Disorders. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2023.01.025

Keywords

  • Asexuality
  • Verbal aggression
  • Victimization
  • Health care discrimination
  • Suicidality
  • Intersectionality

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