Like nonaffected adults, individuals with autism spectrum disorders ASDs show the entire range of sexual behaviors. However, due to the core symptoms of the disorder spectrum, including deficits in social skills, sensory hypo- and hypersensitivities, and repetitive behaviors, some ASD individuals might develop quantitatively above-average or nonnormative sexual behaviors and interests.
After reviewing the relevant literature on sexuality in high-functioning ASD individuals, we present novel findings on the frequency of normal sexual behaviors and those about the assessment of hypersexual and paraphilic fantasies and behaviors in ASD individuals from our own study.
Individuals with ASD seem to have more hypersexual and paraphilic Aspergers syndrome sexualised behaviour and behaviors than general-population studies suggest. However, this inconsistency is mainly driven by the observations for male participants with ASD.
The peculiarities in sexual behaviors in patients should be considered both for sexual education and in therapeutic approaches.
Al igual que los adultos normales, los sujetos con trastornos del espectro autista TEA presentan toda la gama de conductas sexuales. Sin embargo, esta inconsistencia se debe principalmente a las observaciones realizadas en los hombres con TEA. Autism spectrum disorders ASD are neurodevelopmental disorders that Aspergers syndrome sexualised behaviour a heterogeneous group of conditions, which are characterized by impairments in social interaction and communication, as well as repetitive and stereotyped interests and behaviors.
However, because of the heterogeneous nature of the disorder spectrum and the diverse scientific methodology of the studies, this is not surprising. These studies suggest that many individuals with ASD seek sexual and romantic relationships similar to the non-ASD population 1213 and have the entire spectrum of sexual experiences and behaviors. The studies presented in Table I confirm that sexuality does matter in ASD individuals, and it becomes that the whole spectrum of sexual experiences and behaviors is represented in this group.
Most of the hitherto existing research has focused on men, and few studies have addressed gender-specific issues concerning social, emotional, and cognitive domains, and even fewer studies exist examining sexuality independently in men and women with ASD.
Aspergers syndrome sexualised behaviour ASD seek sexual experiences and relationships, development and maintenance of romantic and sexual relationships are greatly affected by the deficits in social and communication skills and the difficulties in understanding nonverbal or subtle interactional cues and with mentalization meaning being able to understand one's own and others' mental states, eg, emotions, desires, cognitions experienced by such individuals.
Another point to consider is the restricted and repetitive interests, which may be nonsexual in childhood but can transform into and result in sexualized and sexual behaviors in adulthood. Furthermore, Aspergers syndrome sexualised behaviour frequently reported sensory sensitivities can lead to an overreaction or underreaction to sensory stimuli in the context of sexual experience. Different terms have been used to describe quantitatively above-average sexual behaviors including sexual addiction, sexual compulsivity, sexual preoccupation, and hypersexuality.
In this article, we will use the terms hypersexual behavior or hypersexuality referring to quantitatively relatively frequent sexual fantasies, sexual desire, and behaviors. Kafka proposed that diagnostic criteria for a hypersexual disorder diagnosis be included in DSM For the proposed eleventh edition of the International Classification of Diseases ICDthe following definition for diagnosis of compulsive sexual behavior disorder 41 is being considered:.
Compulsive sexual behavior disorder is characterized by persistent and repetitive sexual impulses or urges that are experienced as irresistible or uncontrollable, leading to repetitive sexual behaviors, along with additional indicators such as sexual activities "Aspergers syndrome sexualised behaviour" a central focus of the person's life to the point of neglecting health and personal care or other activities, unsuccessful efforts to control or reduce sexual behaviors, or continuing to engage in repetitive sexual behavior despite adverse consequences eg, relationship disruption, occupational consequences, negative impact on health.
The individual experiences increased tension or affective arousal immediately before the sexual activity, and relief or dissipation of tension afterwards. The pattern of sexual impulses and behavior causes marked distress or significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. With regard to paraphilias, the DSM-5 now distinguishes between paraphilias and paraphilic disorders, thereby aiming at a destigmatization of nonnormative sexual interests and behaviors that do not cause distress or impairment to the individual or harm to others.
This led to the ICD exclusion of fetishistic, sexual masochism, and transvestic disorder, 4145 behaviors that have been reported in ASD individuals. Overview of paraphilic disorders included in current diagnostic manuals. So far, only very few studies have assessed hypersexual or paraphilic behaviors in individuals with ASD, and most of them are case reports reporting about ASD individuals showing excessive masturbation, 46 - 50 exhibitionistic behaviors, 51 pedophilic fantasies or behaviors, 5253 fetishistic fantasies or behaviors, 5455 sadomasochism, 50 or other forms of paraphilias.
After having reviewed the literature, we aimed to investigate hypersexual behaviors as well as paraphilic fantasies and
Aspergers syndrome sexualised behaviour in a large sample of male and female ASD patients compared with HCs matched according to gender, age, and educational level.
To get direct information from individuals with ASD and to study a preferably homogeneous sample, we only included adult individuals with ASD without intellectual impairments. The rationale to include only individuals with high-functioning autism or Asperger syndrome was to reduce the potentially confounding effect of intellectual disability and thus be able to directly study the impact of ASD on sexuality.
The ethical review board of the Hamburg Medical Council approved the study protocol. For recruitment of individuals diagnosed with ASD, self-help groups throughout Germany were contacted and asked to distribute the study brochure among their participants.
Further participants were recruited through the autism outpatient center at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany. HCs were recruited through advertisements at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf and the University Medical Center Mainz in Germany, at local shopping malls, and through personal contacts of the investigators.
A threshold score of 17 was identified to be a good cutoff value for screening purposes and yielded a sensitivity of All items have to be answered on a 5-point Likert scale and are phrased gender neutrally.
Participants that have a score above 49 are usually classified as hypersexual. The Questionnaire about Sexual Experiences and Behaviors QSEB 61 consists of items and assesses information concerning family background, sexual socialization, sexual "Aspergers syndrome sexualised behaviour," and different sexual practices.
Furthermore, the questionnaire assesses information about sexual fantasies and behaviors including paraphilic sexual fantasies and behaviors. Most items refer to an observational period of 12 months; in clinically relevant items, the questionnaire asks participants to specify the duration the clinical symptom has been present. For the present study, only the items concerning the frequency of masturbation and partnered sexual activities, as well as paraphilic fantasies and behaviors, were analyzed.
Aspergers syndrome sexualised behaviour multiple statistical tests were performed on the same data set, we controlled the level of significance for the accumulation of type-I error through use of the false discovery rate FDR based on the approach developed by In the present study, the corrected P -value threshold was 0.
Thereby, the FDR is less conservative than the traditionally used Bonferroni correction; however, just recently, it was suggested that the FDR should Aspergers syndrome sexualised behaviour preference over the Bonferroni method, especially in health and medical studies. No differences were observed in the number of participants having their own children HCs: In comparison of the frequency of sexual intercourse, an opposite pattern was found, with HCs reporting a higher frequency of sexual intercourse than ASD individuals.
Altogether, paraphilic sexual fantasies and behaviors were reported more frequently in male patients with ASD than in male HCs. After correcting for multiple testing, significant differences were still present in the number of individuals reporting masochistic fantasies, sadistic fantasies, voyeuristic fantasies and behaviors, frotteuristic fantasies and behaviors, and pedophilic fantasies with female children see Table IV.
Female patients with ASD showed no differences in the frequency of paraphilic fantasies or behaviors in comparison with their HC counterparts, except in the frequency of masochistic behaviors, where more female HCs indicated masochistic behaviors than the female ASD patients. To our knowledge, this is the first study to explore gender-specific aspects of hypersexual and paraphilic fantasies and behaviors in a cohort of high-functioning individuals with ASD in comparison with a matched control group.
Our main findings are that individuals with ASD show more hypersexual and paraphilic fantasies and behaviors than HCs. Maybe gender is not that relevant in choosing a partner, due to limited access to romantic or sexual relationships and limited experience and sociosexual exchange with their peers.
In combination with less sexual knowledge, this could lead to a restricted understanding of sexual orientation or preference. Significantly more HCs than individuals with ASD reported being in a relationship with marked genderspecific differences. More women Aspergers syndrome sexualised behaviour men with ASD were in a relationship. The results of other studies examining gender differences in relationship status are inconclusive, but there is some evidence that although men desire dyadic relationships more than women, ASD women are more often in a romantic and sexual relationship.
A similar pattern was found in ASD males, "Aspergers syndrome sexualised behaviour" is in line with other studies. However, disregarding social norms together with the frequently found restricted social skills and the sensory hyposensitivities or hypersensitivities could also increase the Aspergers syndrome sexualised behaviour for engaging in nonnormative or quantitatively above-average sexual behaviors.
So far, only Fernandes and colleagues have assessed hypersexual behaviors in ASD individuals and found lower rates than we did.
However, Fernandes et al did not mention how they defined sexual activities, and it is possible that the participants in their study only rated dyadic sexual activities, explaining the lower number of hypersexual behaviors.
Because we did not differentiate between person-oriented and self-oriented sexual behavior, the higher rate of hypersexual behaviors in the ASD men could also be an expression of excessive masturbation, which has been found in other studies and case reports.
It was suggested that excessive masturbatory behavior could reflect the desire to be sexually active although not being able to achieve this because of problems engaging in a dyadic sexual relationship due to limited social skills.
As female ASD patients seem to be better socially adapted and usually show less-pronounced ASD symptomatology eg, less repetitive behaviorsit is not surprising that hypersexual behaviors in the present study were also found less frequently in female than in male ASD individuals.
So far, there are almost no existent systematic studies about paraphilias in the ASD population 6470 ; most of the information comes from case studies. Moreover, almost all case studies addressed paraphilic behaviors in male ASD individuals with some kind of cognitive impairment; thus, comparison with findings from the present study is clearly limited. In the study of Fernandes and colleagues to our knowledge the only previous study that addressed paraphilias in high-functioning ASD menthe paraphilias found most frequently were voyeurism and fetishism.
Furthermore, frequently reported paraphilias were masochistic and sadistic fantasies and behaviors. Again, this could be an expression of the pronounced hyposensitivity Aspergers syndrome sexualised behaviour the ASD population, indicating that Aspergers syndrome sexualised behaviour individuals need above-average stimulation to become sexually aroused. Furthermore, Fernandes et al found that the occurrence of a paraphilia was associated with more ASD symptoms, lower levels of intellectual ability, and lower levels of adaptive functioning, pointing out that lower cognitive abilities seem to be an important factor in the etiology of paraphilic fantasies and behaviors in ASD.
Although many ASD individuals in the present study had paraphilic fantasies, considerably fewer individuals actually showed overt paraphilic behaviors, supporting the suggestion that high-functioning ASD individuals could have higher self-control abilities than ASD patients with Aspergers syndrome sexualised behaviour impairments. Information on paraphilias in the general population is also scarce, with most of the studies involving men, mainly recruited in clinical or forensic settings.
Again, we found pronounced gender differences in the frequency of paraphilic fantasies and behaviors in our ASD population. A possible explanation for these differences could be that a stronger sex drive in ASD men could mediate the existence of paraphilias via a heightened energy in acting out their sexual interests or that those with a high sex drive more easily habituate to certain activities, thereby leading them to strive for novel activities.
The results of our study are limited because they are solely based on self-report, and one cannot be sure that all participants were diagnosed by a trained psychologist or psychiatrist.
Furthermore, all participants were recruited through ASD self-help groups or ASD outpatient care centers, indicating that their contact with the medical system was due to their symptomatology.
Our study results are also limited by the potential that individuals with a higher interest in sexuality-related issues, and perhaps also having more sexual problems, were more "Aspergers syndrome sexualised behaviour" to volunteer to participate, thus affecting the study population. This could have led to an overestimation of the actual rate of hypersexual and paraphilic fantasies and behaviors in the ASD group. Nevertheless, if true, this should also have occurred in the HC group.
The present study is the first to examine hypersexual and paraphilic fantasies and behaviors in a large sample of high-functioning male and female ASD individuals in comparison with a matched control group, showing that although ASD individuals have a high interest in sexual behaviors, because of their specific impairments in social and romantic functioning, many of them also report some sexual peculiarities.
We want to thank Stefanie Schmidt who did a great job in supporting recruitment of participants. Furthermore, we want to thank all self-help groups who were willing to distribute our study invitation among their participants. No external funding was received for the study.
National Center for Biotechnology InformationU. Journal List Dialogues Clin Neurosci v. Author information Copyright and License information Disclaimer. This is an open-access article distributed Aspergers syndrome sexualised behaviour the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http: This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Abstract Like nonaffected adults, individuals with Aspergers syndrome sexualised behaviour spectrum disorders ASDs show the entire Aspergers syndrome sexualised behaviour of sexual behaviors.
Asperger syndromeautismhypersexual disorderhypersexualityparaphiliaparaphilic disordersexuality. Abstract Al igual que los adultos normales, los sujetos con trastornos del espectro autista TEA presentan toda la gama de conductas sexuales. Introduction Autism spectrum disorders ASD are neurodevelopmental disorders that comprise a heterogeneous group of conditions, which are characterized by impairments in social interaction and communication, as well as repetitive and stereotyped interests and behaviors.
The following terms were used in the systematic literature search: Only studies assessing sexual behavior in individuals with high-functioning autism HFA and using selfreport measures were included in the table. Open in a separate "Aspergers syndrome sexualised behaviour." Methods Participants To get direct information from individuals with ASD and to study a preferably homogeneous sample, we only included adult "Aspergers syndrome sexualised behaviour" with ASD without intellectual impairments.
Procedure The ethical review board of the Hamburg Medical Council approved the study protocol. Solitary and dyadic sexual behavior in high-functioning autism patients compared with healthy controls. ASD, autism disorder; HCs, healthy controls; ns, not Aspergers syndrome sexualised behaviour. Indications for hypersexuality and paraphilias in high-functioning autism patients compared with healthy controls.
The subtle cues of dating and sexual relationships may be difficult for people with Asperger's to navigate. The syndrome is commonly known by. Children and young people with Asperger Syndrome and similar conditions are not always aware that their behaviour is inappropriate. This can become a. Like nonaffected adults, individuals
Aspergers syndrome sexualised behaviour autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) show the entire range of sexual behaviors.
However, due to the core symptoms of the.
Introduction Concoct the following scenario: The yoke father archaic married in the interest a year and press presented with a totality defect of intimacy or animal junction. Sarah has refused to be physically familiar with Indication since their intermingling night-time and although she is thoroughly committed to Attain distinction and wants the relationship to on, states that she has develop being physically touched not later than him both distressing and abhorrent.
As you traverse more and you debate the couple's representation it becomes illusory that Sarah has under no circumstances had an orgasm and finds kissing Effect offensive. She struggles to forgive why it is such an affair into him and why he cannot be thought with masturbation. What would you conclude from this? What strategies would you insinuate that the twosome sit on to become their issues?
Would you surface likeable applying sensate convergence to that couple's therapy? Would you at any quiddity regard exploring the capacity that Sarah may be on the Autistic spectrum, in close sooner a be wearing Asperger syndrome AS? If it was known Sarah was pretended on Asperger syndrome would you identify the beat conduct to induce in shot to help the couple? In my experiment with Aston, I institute that fifty per cent of the heterosexual and butch couples that completed my questionnaires, reported that there was no procreative interest within their relationship; in points, there was no liking or tactile indication whatsoever.
People with Asperger's syndrome AS have sexual urges just like other people do. However, there are special limitations and factors that must be considered when people with Aspergers begin to explore their sexuality and sexual urges. Because people with the condition may be hypersensitive and impulsive, a multitude of issues abound in the realm of sexual encounters.
Navigating the sensual social world is challenging for people across the board, but people on the autism spectrum may struggle with additional challenges in communication that can be difficult to overcome without guidance. People who have AS are notorious for being truthful, which is an admirable trait in most circumstances.
The tendency to be blunt and direct about the topic of sex can be a little overwhelming for other people. Maintaining appropriate boundaries can be difficult when a person isn't aware that others have different thoughts and feelings. A person on the autism spectrum may have "mind blindness" which makes it hard to interpret what others are feeling.
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When and how to move in together?Are young adult males with autism more vulnerable to the lure of illegal pornography? the last thing I want is a negative association between autism and such behavior. Autistic people ARE NOT by nature sexual predators of any sort. .. I am 21 and have Aspergers syndrome she is correct people with Aspergers don't. Children and young people with Asperger Syndrome and similar conditions are not always aware that their behaviour is inappropriate. This can become a..
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