Individuals with higher levels of the broad autism phenotype (BAP) have some symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Like individuals with ASD, people with higher-BAP may have fewer sexual experiences and may experience more same-sex attraction. This study measured BAP traits, sexual experiences, and sexual orientation in typically developing (TD) individuals to see if patterns of sexual behavior and sexual orientation in higher-BAP resemble those in ASD. Although BAP characteristics did not predict sexual experiences, one BAP measure significantly predicted sexual orientation, β = 0.22, t = 2.72, p = .007, controlling for demographic variables (R2 change = .04, F = 7.41, p = .007), showing individuals with higher-BAP also reported increased same-sex attraction. This finding supports the hypothesis that individuals with higher-BAP resemble ASD individuals in being more likely than TD individuals to experience same-sex attraction.
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This study was performed in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a Master’s Thesis for LRQ, who wishes to acknowledge the members of her committee. Data from this research was also presented as a poster at the International Meeting for Autism Research in San Francisco, CA on May 11th, 2017.
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Qualls, L.R., Hartmann, K. & Paulson, J.F. Broad Autism Phenotypic Traits and the Relationship to Sexual Orientation and Sexual Behavior. J Autism Dev Disord 48, 3974–3983 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-018-3556-3
- Broad autism phenotype
- Sexual behavior
- Sexual orientation
- Same-sex attraction