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Sexuality in Autism Spectrum Disorder

Sexuality is a broad construct that contains several components, including gender, sexual orientation, beliefs, and attitudes. In spite of a history of misunderstanding and lack of attention to the sexualities of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the sexualities of these individuals are diverse and multifaceted. According to the definition of sexuality put forth by the World Health Organization, people experience and express their sexualities in numerous ways, including through feelings, desires, fantasies, and behaviors. Contextual factors can also influence sexuality, including culture, religion, politics, and law. Sexuality is widely understood to be developmental in nature and an important aspect of human life, regardless of one’s age, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or disability status.

For decades, the sexualities of individuals with ASD were largely ignored and ...

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