Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2018

Access Restrictions

Access restricted until 07/03/2020

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Educational Policy and Leadership Studies

First Advisor

Linley, Jodi L

First Committee Member

Locke, Leslie

Second Committee Member

Watt, Sherry K

Third Committee Member

Bowman, Nick

Fourth Committee Member

Redington, Lyn


For many individuals, the college environment provides the context in which one develops sexual identity. To understand students’ sexual identity development, many theories exist including theories on heterosexuality, queer sexual identities, and those broadly covering all sexual identities. One commonality across these theories is the assumption that all people experience sexual attraction. For students who identify with the spectrum of asexual identities, existing theories do not account for their experiences. Moreover, in hyper-sexualized college environments entrenched in hookup culture, asexual students experience harassment and erasure. The purpose of this study is to develop a theory of asexual college students’ identity development considering the context of their collegiate environment. Having a theory of asexual students’ identity development will allow students to see their experiences represented in theory, provide a framework for student affairs professionals to develop services and resources to support asexual students, and provide theoretical contributions for further research about asexuality.

This study uses qualitative inquiry to learn from participants’ stories and experiences by employing constructivist grounded theory methods. Study participants include undergraduate and graduate students who self-identify within the spectrum of asexual identities. The study acknowledges students’ multiple identities including race, gender, ability status, and romantic attraction to create a theory where diverse individuals are depicted. Two questions guide this study: 1) What is the process of asexual college student identity development? and 2) How does the college context influence asexual college students’ identity development?


asexuality, college students, identity development, LGBQ


xiii, 270 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 234-254).


Copyright © 2018 Amanda Lyn Mollet