Human asexuality has been described as a lack of sexual attraction toward anyone or anything. One percent of the adult population is thought to be asexual, and research suggests that asexuality is best conceptualized as a sexual orientation. A serious limitation in past research on asexuality has been the complete lack of a validated tool to measure asexuality. Due to limitations in recruiting sufficiently powered local samples, most studies have relied on recruiting via online web-based asexual communities. This is problematic because it limits the sample to individuals who have been recruited through established asexuality networks/communities. The present study aimed to develop and validate a self-report questionnaire to assess asexuality. The questionnaire was intended to provide a valid measure independent of whether the individual self-identified as asexual and was developed in several stages, including: development and administration of open-ended questions (209 participants: 139 asexual and 70 sexual); administration and analysis of resulting 111 items (917 participants: 165 asexual and 752 sexual); administration and analysis of 37 retained items (1,242 participants: 316 asexual and 926 sexual); and validity analysis of the final items. The resulting Asexuality Identification Scale (AIS), a 12-item questionnaire, is a brief, valid, and reliable self-report instrument for assessing asexuality. It is psychometrically sound, easy to administer, and has demonstrated ability to discriminate between sexual and asexual individuals. It should prove useful to allow researchers to recruit more representative samples of the asexual population, permitting for an increased understanding of asexuality.
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