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Sexuality Among Females and Males with High-Functioning Autism Spectrum

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Autism in Adulthood

Part of the book series: Autism and Child Psychopathology Series ((ACPS))

Abstract

The desire for intimate relationship and sexual well-being in closely tied, and characterizes all human-beings. Intimate relationships, and healthy sexual life that come with it, can promote the life the individual, and create a “calling-card” to enter society. Nevertheless, social standards and norms that can help the establishment of romantic and sexually characterized relationships may make them challenging for people on the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This chapter opens with a description of the importance of sexuality as a central aspect of adult life in general, followed by an exploration of the link between sexuality and aspects of quality of life among people, especially females, with ASD, being a minority within a minority, through contemporary literature review. The differences in ASD symptomology between males and females directs to key issues regarding sexuality among females with ASD including: interest and attraction, behavior, and orientation, and the impacts each of these have on sexuality and sexual functioning in this population. Findings regarding greater diversity in the gender identity and greater flexibility in sexual attraction among people with ASD that is more pronounced among females than males, as well as higher vulnerability and risk of abuse, raise a concern regarding the link between sexuality and victimization among females with ASD. The chapter addresses some relevant recommendations for professional staff and therapists.

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Correspondence to Shiri Pearlman-Avnion .

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Pearlman-Avnion, S., Eldan, A., Cohen, N. (2019). Sexuality Among Females and Males with High-Functioning Autism Spectrum. In: Lowinger, S., Pearlman-Avnion, S. (eds) Autism in Adulthood. Autism and Child Psychopathology Series. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-28833-4_10

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