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    Asexuality and the Potential of Young Adult Literature for Disrupting Allonormativity

    Kennon, Patricia (2021) Asexuality and the Potential of Young Adult Literature for Disrupting Allonormativity. The International Journal of Young Adult Literature, 2 (1). p. 1. ISSN 2634-5277

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    This article examines the representation of asexuality and norms around sex and sexual orientation in contemporary English-language UK and US YA literature. In its multiplicity and radical potential for transforming regimes of compulsory sexuality, asexuality challenges the pervasive allosexual regime of allonormativity (the assumption that all human beings ‘naturally’ experience sexual attraction to other people). In light of the pervasive histories of erasure of asexuality and the still relative scarcity of explicit representations of asexuals in entertainment media and literature, inclusive representation and the explicit naming and recognition of asexuality as a legitimate sexual orientation worthy of respect and recognition are crucial. While sexual attraction is pervasively assumed to be inherent to all humans, sex and sexual attraction have especially been regarded as inherent and necessary to adolescence. Allonormative traditions and conventions have predominantly underpinned Western YA literature, although this has been increasingly changing with the growing recognition and representation of ace (asexual) and acespec (people on the asexual spectrum) characters in recent YA fiction, especially in independent publishing and e-publishing. This article aims to contribute to the recognition and analysis of the representation and mediation of asexuality in contemporary YA literature, and to explore the liberatory and inclusive potential of YA fiction to expose, problematise, and disrupt allonormative norms and hegemonies around sex and sexual orientations.

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: Cite as: Kennon, P., 2021. Asexuality and the Potential of Young Adult Literature for Disrupting Allonormativity. International Journal of Young Adult Literature, 2(1), p.1-24.DOI:
    Keywords: Asexuality; Allonormativity; Allosexual; Compulsory Sexuality; Queer Representation; Tropes;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Froebel Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education
    Item ID: 17617
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Patricia Kennon
    Date Deposited: 28 Sep 2023 12:54
    Journal or Publication Title: The International Journal of Young Adult Literature
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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