chapter  5
Stunted Growth: Asexual Politics and the Rhetoric of Sexual Liberation
Pages 19

The desire to assess sexual normalcy largely motivated the observation of physical signs and the taking of a family history, which often included cases of nervousness, dementia, imbecility and asociality that are supposed to be hereditarily connected. This chapter explores the sexological developments and subsequent medicalization contributes in part to the rise of a stigma of being labeled pathological that leads those in presumably non-disabled asexual positions to dissociate themselves from disorder, disease and disability. To build up to the queer/crip/feminist/asexual possibility, the chapter examines asexuality through the construction of historical categories in the sexology of Richard von Krafft-Ebing and Havelock Ellis and the criminal anthropology of Cesare Lombroso and Guglielmo Ferrero. The chapter then explains the medicalization of a low interest in sex and the emergence of feminist asexual consciousness in the US, as well as contemporary responses to medicalization and social invisibility of asexuality.