hmmmmmmmmmm. good question!
I would say that the answer is yes, though that’s only my opinion and I’d also be interested to hear what anyone else thinks.
I think it’s definitely true that society has expectations of a person that can shape their behaviour and the way that they think. I mean, you look at how far mankind has developed - how sophisticated and rational we’ve become compared to where we started - and that’s mostly down to our structured society. as any apocalyptic drama proves, take away our civilisation and we fall apart. I don’t think the influence of living in a society can be doubted. it curbs our most primal instincts and channels them into different, more acceptable emotions.
can it affect our sexuality, though? I think so, you know. pretty much everywhere we go, we see romantic love being prized, and I’ve never seen it addressed that that kind of love might not lead to a sexual relationship. deep connection = romantic relationship = sexual relationship, right? well, wrong, but not according to the majority of the media we consume. having a strong friendship with someone outside of your family - most especially of the opposite gender - is often seen as a precursor, rather than a relationship in itself. that kind of expectation can really get into your head, I think.
I reckon that if you are born asexual, then you are asexual, and society can’t change that. what it can do is confuse the issue by expecting you to form romantic attachments and feel sexual attraction to people, which leads to you mimicking the behaviour of a romantic/sexual person and convincing yourself that the way you’re feeling is how everyone feels. this can make you pretty unhappy, which is why I think asexual representation is super important. society needs to acknowledge that some people aren’t into sex, and stop seeing it as something strange or “curable”. that way, asexual people will stop having to bend themselves all out of shape, just to feel accepted.
that’s my thoughts! it’s awesome that the fic got you thinking. thanks for asking, it’s a really interesting question!! :D