Moving Forward: What analysis would YOU like to see?

Now that the first phase of data analysis for the 2014 Survey has been completed (the preliminary report for Asexual Awareness Week), it’s time to move on to the next phase, which consists of beginning to take a look at specific topics and variable interactions at a more detailed level. We’ll be posting periodic updates to the blog with snippets of this kind of analysis.

Of course, with the number of questions in this survey and the number of responses we got, there’s a whole lot of options for comparisons and correlations we can check – enough that we could probably spend months and months analyzing things from different perspectives (and probably will!). There’s so many interesting avenues of investigation that it can be hard to choose which ones to start on first – but that’s where you all come in:

What kind topics or comparisons would you most like to see analyzed?

Please make suggestions in the comments!

If you need a refresher of what kinds of things we asked about in the survey, you can see the survey text here.

Examples of possible suggestions for analysis could include:

  1. Breakdowns of one question based on responses to another question: e.g. “Were gender identity ratios different among people with different romantic orientations?”
  2. Analysis of questions not included in the preliminary report: e.g. “What were the race breakdowns for Canada?”
  3. Analysis of more specific subsets: e.g. “What about the average age for just people who post on AVEN?”
  4. Anything else you can think of!

While some results will take longer depending on the difficulty of analyzing them (for example, write-ins take a fair amount of time to backcode), knowing which things people are most interested in helps us figure out what to prioritize!

We do ask though that you keep requests limited to information we actually have from the 2014 survey, not suggestions for future surveys – for example, we can’t answer questions like “what are asexuals’ favorite colors” because we didn’t ask about favorite colors. We’ll make a call for future survey topics in the future, so save those ideas for then 🙂

It also helps when you have specific requests – for example, “analyze every question with splits by race and gender and orientation!” is something we’d love to do eventually, but “can you look at how answers to the question “do you feel welcome in LGBTQ and Queer communities” differs based on the respondents race?” is something we can actually answer in a reasonable amount of time.


22 thoughts on “Moving Forward: What analysis would YOU like to see?

  1. Personally, one of the things I’m really interested in is comparing the breakdowns for nationality and race to the data we have on how people participate in different communities. Things like, how is the international or racial diversity on tumblr as compared to say, AVEN or Reddit or Facebook?

    It’s one of the questions that takes a bit more work to analyze, because of the complex nature of how we asked about race/nationality and because of the need to decide on a method for sorting out communities (i.e., do we want to look at people who post on X community ever? or just frequent posters? what about people who read things but never post?).

    I think it’s really important information though, especially since it’s something we’ve never really been able to get much data on. Everyone has impressions of course – for example, it’s generally accepted that the asexual community seems to be disproportionately white, but other things are less sure: while many feel that tumblr is more racially diverse, and some people feel AVEN is more international, other people disagree with those impressions. But we’ve never had a way to see how these first impressions compare to the reality.

    Race is probably one of the most heated topics in the asexual community right now (at least in the places where I spend a lot of time), but most discussion so far has been based on personal anecdotes and personal impressions, which are understandably subjective and hard to generalize or verify sometimes. So having data that’s not just one person’s personal impression is something that I think will be really interesting, whether it confirms things we already suspected, casts doubt about other assumptions, or even just raises issues we never thought to look at before.


  2. 1) Does the distribution of sexual orientations (i.e., asexual, gray-A, demi) and romantic orientations vary at all by age? What about characteristics like repulsed, indifferent, and favorable, or sexually active or inactive? Do any of these characteristics vary by race? By gender? By nationality?

    2) Among people who identified as gray-(a)romantic or demiromantic, what is the breakdown of romantic orientation labels? Does this differ from the breakdown among those who do not ID as gray-aromantic or demiromantic? How many people are wtfromantic, don’t identify with a romantic orientation, or selected Other and also ID as gray-aromantic or demiromantic?

    3) What is the breakdown of romantic orientation for the different sexual orientation groups? Siggy posted about how the breakdowns did differ in the 2011 census. Does this pattern appear in the 2014 data as well?

    4) How does sex drive/libido vary by sexual orientation? Are asexuals more likely to have non-existent sex drive than the other groups? Breakdown of sexual activity, repulsed/indifferent/favorable status, and sex-positive sex-negative views by sexual orientation.

    5) How does identification as queer break down by romantic orientation? Are there significant differences between this and the breakdown for LGBTQ+ identification?

    6) Is the sample of Muslims large enough to provide a summary of their responses to the other parts of the survey? (This one is probably of interest only to me.)

    7) Are there questions where the breakdown of responses differs significantly from the 2011 census? For example, it seems like there are a lot more bi/panromantic aces than in the previous census.


    • With regard to (7), in the 2011 census the romantic orientation question is structured completely differently, not even based on self-identity, and thus not really comparable. Most notably, there were many (29%) who were placed in an “other” category because they did not indicate being attracted to men, or to women, nor did they identify as aromantic. It’s possible that in the new survey, these people are categorized more properly.


    • Expanding on (2) above, how many people identified as *any* of the following: aromantic, wtfromantic, don’t identify with a romantic orientation, Other, gray-(a)romantic OR demiromantic.

      How many people who identified as demiromantic also identified as gray-aromantic, or vice versa? How many people identified as demiromantic but NOT as gray-aromantic, or vice versa.


  3. Well, I can answer at least one of those questions right now: glancing at the data, it looks like we have just enough to do comparisons of muslims to non-muslims, or muslim aces to non-muslim aces, but we don’t have enough responses to really do much statistically significant analysis within that group (so we can’t really do more detailed things like “how do male-identified asexual muslims differ from female-identified asexual muslims”?) .

    Providing a breakdown of answers from just muslim respondents would definitely be possible, it would just take a while since the survey has a total of 80-something questions. Were there any specific questions you were particularly interested in with regards to that?


    • The responses I’m most interested in would be: sexual orientation, nationality and ethnicity, gender identity, romantic orientation (including gray-aromantic or demiromantic identification), sex drive/libido, identification as LGBTQ+ and/or queer, whether sexually active or inactive, sex repulsed/indifferent/favorable, and sex positive/negative. For this data, I’m mostly interested in the Muslim aces, but would also be interested in the sexual orientation, gender identity, and nationality and ethnicity of the Muslim non-aces.

      Part of my purpose in asking about this is just to get an overall feel for what the group of asexual Muslims are like. Since I write for this audience without really knowing who they are, any additional information I can glean would be helpful.

      I’m also curious if there are any significant differences between Muslims and other religious groups, particularly Christians (as the largest religious group), on the list of characteristics above. An example of this would be if Muslims were much more likely to be sexually inactive than other religious groups (or much more likely to be sexually active, for that matter). It might be that there are no significant differences, which would be a good thing to know too.

      As a side note, I think the use of national census categories in the survey was a really good thing to do, but the U.S. census itself does not handle groups like Arab Americans well. Legally, Arab Americans are classified as white, even if socially some Arab Americans would never been taken that way because they are brown-skinned. Thus a finding that X% of the Muslim sample selected “white” doesn’t mean they’re European-heritage white as I am. I’m not sure there’s anything we can do about this, but it’s something to keep in mind when considering the racial breakdown of the asexual community.


  4. I’m sure there’s a load of other stuff I’ll want, but my immediate response is that it would be nice to have a breakdown of who identifies as trans, by gender, if that’s possible?


  5. I want to know who had the less-positive responses to the “absolutely no problem with other people having sex” Likert scale question, and if it varies by sex-repulsion.


  6. I’m interested to see whether there’s any difference in relationship style preference between aces and non-aces. Based on personal observation, there seems to be a higher proportion of aces who are open to non-monogamy/polyamory, so I’d like to know if it’s true.

    I’m also curious to know how many romantics and aromantic sexuals have had non-romantic partners.


  7. What is the breakdown among the non-ace respondents for the following: romantic orientation (including identification as gray-aromantic or demiromantic), sex drive/libido, have had ace partner, sexual inactivity (how many have never had sex or are not currently sexually active), views on whether asexuality should be part of LGBTQ+ umbrella, sex repulsed/indifferent/favorable, sex-positive/negative.


  8. How sex-indifference, sex-repulsion, and sex-enjoyment interact with IDing as LGBT+ and Queer. For instance, are more sex-repulsed likely to ID as queer than sex-enjoying people (2.6% of “standard” asexuals isn’t a lot but is it enough measure different correlations?).


  9. I ended up with lots… What’s the ratio of sex-repulsed aces who have been sexually active vs. haven’t? What are the correlations between romantic orientation and sexual activity (e.g., are heteroromantic people are more likely to have engaged in sexual activity than aromantic people)? What about between romantic orientation and whether you ID as sex repulsed, indifferent, or favorable? Who is ID-ing as biromantic vs. panromantic (e.g., is there a significant difference by age/race/any other factor)? Are WTFromantic people more likely to ID as sex repulsed, indifferent, or favorable?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’d like to know the answers to all of those questions, alyshkalia, except the bi/pan one doesn’t concern me as much as those others. But really yeah, those are my probably biggest questions too!

      I’d also like to know how often sex-indifferent aces have sex, broken down into sex-indifferent asexuals vs. gray-a vs. demis… and how often sex-favorable aces have sex too.


  10. Pingback: Linkspam: November 7th, 2014 | The Asexual Agenda

  11. Are the asexual responses to opinions on sex (i.e. sections 5, 6, and 7) significantly different from non-asexual opinions on sex? In general, you could get quite interesting results by seeing which questions when divided between asexuals and allosexuals have significant differences, but those sections, particularly section 7, is probably the most conducive to seeing what inherent differences there are between aces and non-aces.


  12. If you could please provide the romantic orientation stats corresponding to the allosexuals who did the survey (anyone not ace, demi, or gray-a), that would be awesome!


    • Our policy is not to share any results short of publishing them. However, the answers to these questions can technically be derived from the preliminary results, so it’s okay to answer them immediately.

      Sexual orientations of aces: 64.3% asexual, 21.2% gray-A, and 14.5% demisexual
      Attitude towards oneself engaging in sex (among all ace respondents): 43.5% repulsed, 48% indifferent, 8.5% favorable


      • Thank you! Are the survey team planning to release the raw numbers at all? This would allow people to do the math themselves for some questions they are interested in and thus save the survey team some work, maybe.


        • I’m not sure to what extent we will report raw numbers vs percentages only. But since the total number of respondents are reported, you can derive the raw numbers from the percentages–plus or minus 10 people.


  13. I would like to know at what age aromantic/asensuals find out about thei asexuality vs. romantics/ sensuals asexuals, as I wonder if it is easier to find out for aromantic/asensuals than for the other asexuals, as sensual interest might be confusing and lead to a later selfdiscovery of asexuality.


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