Sexuality in adolescent boys with autism spectrum disorder

Self-reported behaviours and attitudes

J. Dewinter, R. Vermeiren, W.M.A. Vanwesenbeeck, J. Lobbestael, Ch. van Nieuwenhuizen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Differences in sexual functioning of adolescents with and without autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are understudied. In the current study, self-reported sexual behaviours, interests and attitudes of 50 adolescent boys, aged 15–18, with at least average intelligence and diagnosed with ASD, were compared with a matched general population control group of 90 boys. Results demonstrated substantial similarity between the groups in terms of sexual behaviours. The only significant difference was that boys with ASD reacted more tolerant towards homosexuality compared to the control group. Results reveal that sexuality is a normative part of adolescent development in high-functioning boys with ASD. Hence, attention should be given to this topic in education and mental health care.
Keywords: Autism, Asperger’s disorder, Sexuality, Sexual behaviour
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)731-741
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Volume45
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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Asperger Syndrome
Mental Health
Delivery of Health Care
Education
Autism Spectrum Disorder

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title = "Sexuality in adolescent boys with autism spectrum disorder: Self-reported behaviours and attitudes",
abstract = "Differences in sexual functioning of adolescents with and without autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are understudied. In the current study, self-reported sexual behaviours, interests and attitudes of 50 adolescent boys, aged 15–18, with at least average intelligence and diagnosed with ASD, were compared with a matched general population control group of 90 boys. Results demonstrated substantial similarity between the groups in terms of sexual behaviours. The only significant difference was that boys with ASD reacted more tolerant towards homosexuality compared to the control group. Results reveal that sexuality is a normative part of adolescent development in high-functioning boys with ASD. Hence, attention should be given to this topic in education and mental health care.Keywords: Autism, Asperger’s disorder, Sexuality, Sexual behaviour",
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Sexuality in adolescent boys with autism spectrum disorder : Self-reported behaviours and attitudes. / Dewinter, J.; Vermeiren, R.; Vanwesenbeeck, W.M.A.; Lobbestael, J.; van Nieuwenhuizen, Ch.

In: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, Vol. 45, No. 3, 2015, p. 731-741.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Sexuality in adolescent boys with autism spectrum disorder

T2 - Self-reported behaviours and attitudes

AU - Dewinter, J.

AU - Vermeiren, R.

AU - Vanwesenbeeck, W.M.A.

AU - Lobbestael, J.

AU - van Nieuwenhuizen, Ch.

PY - 2015

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AB - Differences in sexual functioning of adolescents with and without autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are understudied. In the current study, self-reported sexual behaviours, interests and attitudes of 50 adolescent boys, aged 15–18, with at least average intelligence and diagnosed with ASD, were compared with a matched general population control group of 90 boys. Results demonstrated substantial similarity between the groups in terms of sexual behaviours. The only significant difference was that boys with ASD reacted more tolerant towards homosexuality compared to the control group. Results reveal that sexuality is a normative part of adolescent development in high-functioning boys with ASD. Hence, attention should be given to this topic in education and mental health care.Keywords: Autism, Asperger’s disorder, Sexuality, Sexual behaviour

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