Recent years have witnessed a process of digitization of the processes of socialization and human interaction, creating new communicative spaces and new virtual contexts in which to trace friendships, relationships and potential affective and/or sexual partners. These digitized contexts have represented an important factor of emancipation for subcultures and specific communities, which in offline communication struggled to determine, identify and consolidate their own spheres and their own processes of identity self-determination. The LGBTQ community represents one of the main subcultures and communities that has benefited from the digitization of social contexts, identifying in this phenomenon the possibility of emancipation, aggregation and experimentation of their sexual identities (Bacio, Peruzzi, 2017; Masullo, Coppola, 2021). However, even within the LGBTQ community there are instances and non-normative sexual identities that struggle to find communicative spaces and social contexts in which they can initiate processes of socialization and identity self-determination. An example of this phenomenon is represented by asexual and aromantic people. Asexuality is defined as the sexual orientation that describes the condition in which the person presents an absence and/or a consistent reduction of sexual and erotic attraction towards another sex or gender, often associated (but not always) with the aromantic condition, which describes the condition of absence of affective and relational interest of a sentimental type towards other people (Valerio, Scandurra, Bocchicchio, 2017). In line with the theory of sexual markets of Laumann and Gagnon, (2004), the present research work, which is part of a strand of research conducted by the authors on socialization to sexuality and the web society initiated in 2018, aims to analyze the use of virtual contexts as social and relational spaces, and the psychological, emotional and imaginary aspects of asexual and aromantic people who use apps for dating. The research, conducted in mixed-methods mode, has analyzed the profiles of about 300 users registered to the fo dating app Cupid Asexual and then 40 asexual people aged between 18 and 35 years were interviewed, selected through a reasoned sampling through the main thematic groups on Facebook. The results show that asexuality is not always related to aromanticity, a condition that is experienced only in a residual percentage and that would represent the most deeply rooted and closed form of socialization and sexuality. The analysis of the data, moreover, showed that asexual people, unlike other non-normal sexual identities, are predisposed to show aspects of their bodies and their gender expressiveness, making explicit in a clear and consistent way their psychological and intellectual characteristics that would represent an erotic capital of reference to exhibit in the fo dating app. Gender expressivities, specifically, reflect the wide range of gender identities, from cisgender identities to binary and nonbinary transgender identities. However, the careful construction of sexual and erotic capital does not result in sexual and or sentimental seeking but in forms of socialization that are less intimate and involve low levels of emotional, psychological, and social involvement.

Commonalities and differences within the asexual community. A digital ethnographic study

MASULLO GIUSEPPE;ANGELA DELLI PAOLI;MARIANNA COPPOLA
2021

Abstract

Recent years have witnessed a process of digitization of the processes of socialization and human interaction, creating new communicative spaces and new virtual contexts in which to trace friendships, relationships and potential affective and/or sexual partners. These digitized contexts have represented an important factor of emancipation for subcultures and specific communities, which in offline communication struggled to determine, identify and consolidate their own spheres and their own processes of identity self-determination. The LGBTQ community represents one of the main subcultures and communities that has benefited from the digitization of social contexts, identifying in this phenomenon the possibility of emancipation, aggregation and experimentation of their sexual identities (Bacio, Peruzzi, 2017; Masullo, Coppola, 2021). However, even within the LGBTQ community there are instances and non-normative sexual identities that struggle to find communicative spaces and social contexts in which they can initiate processes of socialization and identity self-determination. An example of this phenomenon is represented by asexual and aromantic people. Asexuality is defined as the sexual orientation that describes the condition in which the person presents an absence and/or a consistent reduction of sexual and erotic attraction towards another sex or gender, often associated (but not always) with the aromantic condition, which describes the condition of absence of affective and relational interest of a sentimental type towards other people (Valerio, Scandurra, Bocchicchio, 2017). In line with the theory of sexual markets of Laumann and Gagnon, (2004), the present research work, which is part of a strand of research conducted by the authors on socialization to sexuality and the web society initiated in 2018, aims to analyze the use of virtual contexts as social and relational spaces, and the psychological, emotional and imaginary aspects of asexual and aromantic people who use apps for dating. The research, conducted in mixed-methods mode, has analyzed the profiles of about 300 users registered to the fo dating app Cupid Asexual and then 40 asexual people aged between 18 and 35 years were interviewed, selected through a reasoned sampling through the main thematic groups on Facebook. The results show that asexuality is not always related to aromanticity, a condition that is experienced only in a residual percentage and that would represent the most deeply rooted and closed form of socialization and sexuality. The analysis of the data, moreover, showed that asexual people, unlike other non-normal sexual identities, are predisposed to show aspects of their bodies and their gender expressiveness, making explicit in a clear and consistent way their psychological and intellectual characteristics that would represent an erotic capital of reference to exhibit in the fo dating app. Gender expressivities, specifically, reflect the wide range of gender identities, from cisgender identities to binary and nonbinary transgender identities. However, the careful construction of sexual and erotic capital does not result in sexual and or sentimental seeking but in forms of socialization that are less intimate and involve low levels of emotional, psychological, and social involvement.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11386/4773246
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