Saturday, May 13, 2017

IMFAR 2017: ASD & Sexuality Panel

IMFAR 2017: ASD & Sexuality Panel

IMFAR 2017: ASD & Sexuality Panel

This much-needed session demonstrated trends and countered many myths about autistic people and sexuality, emphasized the need for more sex ed (including safety) for people of all abilities, and demonstrated that autistic people are more likely to be (or come out as) LBTQ+ than non-autistics.
  1. The first speaker was L. A. Pecora on Sexuality in ASD: The Female Profile
  2. Now autism and sexuality. Autistic women at higher risk of sexual victimisation and sexual abuse. #IMFAR2017
  3. @YesWeJon Yes, absolutely. And liable to end up in emotionally and or physically abusive relationships. #IMFAR2017
  4. Talk on sexuality in women with ASD at #IMFAR2017 - can't wait to hear about findings as this is covered in my PhD.
  5. #autistic women have increased risk of sexual abuse, according to this study (??) #IMFAR2017
  6. I think #IMFAR2017 really missed an opportunity to title this session
    I think #IMFAR2017 really missed an opportunity to title this session "Autism After Dark". pic.twitter.com/4xVCccZJHE
  7. [image above: photo of IMFAR conference session sign reading, "Oral Session: ASD and Sexuality" with the session time and date.]
  8. Stokes: autistic females significantly more likely to report non-heterosexuality compared to non-autistic females #IMFAR2017
  9. Autistic woman two times more likely to be lesbians, three times more likely to be bi #IMFAR2017
  10. Dr. Pecora at #IMFAR2017: Autistic adolescent females are 5.5x more worried about puberty than peers.
  11. ASD women 5x more distressed by puberty than ASD men. Can think of a few possible reasons why that would be....#captainobvious #IMFAR2017
  12. Regardless of orientation, autistic women experience difficulties with sex education #IMFAR2017
  13. Dr. Pecora at #IMFAR2017: Autistic women are just as interested in see as peers.
  14. Review paper finds that ASD women more likely to exp sexual assault - same finding as my (to be published) research #IMFAR2017
  15. Autistic women have had 1.5 times as many unwanted sexual advances as neurotypical women #IMFAR2017
  16. #Autistic women had just as much sexual experience as non-autistic women, but more than #autistic men, & more unwanted advances. #IMFAR2017
  17. 3.6 more likely to experience unwanted sexually advances #IMFAR2017
  18. Dr. Pecora at #IMFAR2017: Autistic females are 3.6x more likely to experience unwanted sexual advances than autistic males.
  19. Dr. Pecora at #IMFAR2017: Autistic women are 2.6x more likely to have had sex than autistic males.
  20. ASD women have sim sexual exp to NT women but different to ASD men.Also more likely to exp unwanted sexual advances than NT women #IMFAR2017
  21. Dr. Pecora at #IMFAR2017: Autistic women are more likely to accept unwanted sexual advances than peers.
  22. #Autistic women had more distress about puberty than non-autistic women, also more likely to consent to non-desired sex advances. #IMFAR2017
  23. Stokes: autistic women experience more distress about puberty onset, something @robyn_steward is writing about #imfar2017
  24. Females with ASD 1.5 x more likely to have consented to unwanted sexual advances. Implications for education and legal systems #IMFAR2017
  25. ASD women more likely to 'consent to unwanted sexual exp' but followed w/'doesn't mean worst case'!! Unwanted is bad regardless! #IMFAR2017
  26. Stokes: autistic women more likely to engage in unwanted sexual experiences Also Stokes: might not be bad as you think Me: 🤔wtf? #imfar2017
  27. We need to figure out how best to support #autistic women to gain the skills to fend off unwanted sexual attention. #IMFAR2017
  28. Dr. Pecora at #IMFAR2017: Diagnosis in autistic women tends to come at a crisis point in life more than autistic males (diagnosed earlier).
  29. Autistic females experience less informative sex ed despite similar interest in sex as TDs+having more unwanted advances. Not ok #IMFAR2017
  30. #Autistic girls’ coping skills are lower during puberty because it is so stressful, so a tricky time for an #autism diagnosis. #IMFAR2017
  31. Now: Hancock: Romantic relationship experiences among #autistic people. #IMFAR2017
  32. The stereotype of all #autistic people being asexual=BS. Autistic people are just as likely to want relationships as anyone else. #IMFAR2017
  33. @thinkingautism Tho it's important to remember that asexuals often do want relationships, if not sexual ones.
  34. @thinkingautism (cont'd) ...Lack of sexual attraction =/= lack of interest in relationships.
  35. Research does establish facts that yes, #autistic women do want relationships #IMFAR2017
  36. Hancock at #IMFAR2017: Autistic individuals express desire for establishing romantic relationships but have difficulty establishing them.
  37. There is no gold standard tool to measure #autistic sexual/social factors. #IMFAR2017
  38. Kathrine Hartman: many studies looking at autism and romantic relationships don't include comparison groups #IMFAR2017
  39. 499, 13-59 yo, 135 women & 96 men (autistic) w 160 Nt women and 66 NT men in this study #IMFAR2017
  40. We need comp groups for studies of relationships in #autism -I think when we do,we find far fewer diffs than theory assumes! #IMFAR2017
  41. Dr. Hancock at #IMFAR2017: Social interaction w/ other peers impacts establishment of romantic relationships for ASD & non-ASD.
  42. Peer engagement mediates worry abt forming rels&actual rels formed.Makes sense-'peers' (friends) def helped me get a date before! #IMFAR2017
  43. Autistic ppl report greater anxiety during initial romantic interactions #IMFAR2017
  44. Hancock at #IMFAR2017 wonders if anxiety w/ peers limits social learning opportunities. Reducing anxiety with peers may improve connections.
  45. Females have more difficult rel exps. Opp to prev talk which said women have it easier!Diff btwn counting dates&asking if good #IMFAR2017
  46. Dr. Hartmann at #IMFAR2017: "The topic of sexuality is always difficult to talk about". Paging: @fakedansavage
  47. .@fakedansavage Great to see inclusion of transgender autistic individuals in Dr. Hartmann's #IMFAR2017 research on autistic sexuality.
  48. High proportion of ASD young people have sexual intercourse-parent report assumes numbers lower though.Need sex ed no matter who! #IMFAR2017
  49. 63% of ASD young people reported being sexually victimised in some way-sex ed should cover awareness&management, not just biology #IMFAR2017
  50. Hartmann on sexuality & autism, rightly noting that it is good that parents don't know every detail of their child's sex life #IMFAR2017
  51. Hartmann: future research should explore experiences of autistic ppl AND their partners. #IMFAR2017
  52. Glad that 'sex is not for the majority of autistic people' is dismissed as an outdated premise! #IMFAR2017
  53. Dr. Dewinter at #IMFAR2017 states he still has conversations with doctors who still think autistic people aren't sexual or fall in love. https://t.co/JWHIMwnHx3
    Dr. Dewinter at #IMFAR2017 states he still has conversations with doctors who still think autistic people aren't sexual or fall in love. pic.twitter.com/JWHIMwnHx3
  54. [image above: Slide from Dr. DeWinter's IMFAR autism & sex talk: white background with a line art drawing of a young white boy pulling open his boxers-style underwear and looking down at his crotch, next to quoted text reading, "'...sex is not for the majority of autistic people...' -Torisky & Torisky, 1985"]
  55. Dr. Dewinter at #IMFAR2017: Sexual experiences of autistic people are more similar to peers than dissimilar.
  56. Little bit sad that this talk on sexual experience is all about boys as last 2 highlighted need to understand & support girls #IMFAR2017
  57. DeWinter: Autistic boys self-report normal range of sexual experience at mid-teens but lesser range at older ages #IMFAR2017
  58. Autistic teenagers have broadly similar sexual experiences as neurotypical peers #IMFAR2017
  59. Dr. Dewinter at #IMFAR2017: High prevalence of gender fluidity and transgender persons among autistic individuals.
  60. Dr. Dewinter at #IMFAR2017: Higher diversity of sexual orientation among autistic men & woman than general population.
  61. DeWinter: increased diversity of sexual attraction in autistic adults, especially females, including asexuality #IMFAR2017
  62. ASD population have higher diversity of sexual orientations than NT (inc. asexuality), particularly in ASD women. #IMFAR2017
  63. Study found high rate of autistic women whose sexual orientation was "other/none" #IMFAR2017
  64. Jeroen Dewinter: Higher diversity of sexual attraction in autism #IMFAR2017
  65. DeWinter: about half of autistic men and women in large survey were in a relationship. High levels of satisfaction. #IMFAR2017
  66. 4% of autistic women reported a gender identity other than a binary #IMFAR2017
  67. Around 50% of ASD sample were in romantic relationships and were satisfied with them. Nice to hear positives too! #IMFAR2017
  68. DeWinter: pay attention to sexual diversity and gender diversity in clinical practice #IMFAR2017
  69. Dr. Dewinter at #IMFAR2017: Autistic Women: 6.1% gay, 22.4% bisexual. Non-Autistic women: 1.8% gay, 10.1% bisexual. https://t.co/1etUvuDKkG
    Dr. Dewinter at #IMFAR2017: Autistic Women: 6.1% gay, 22.4% bisexual. Non-Autistic women: 1.8% gay, 10.1% bisexual. pic.twitter.com/1etUvuDKkG
  70. [image above: slide with bar chart graph showing that Autistic Women: 6.1% gay, 22.4% bisexual. Non-Autistic women: 1.8% gay, 10.1% bisexual.]
  71. Dr. Dewinter at #IMFAR2017: Autistic men: 5% gay, 9% bisexual. Non-autistic men: 4% gay, 5% bisexual. https://t.co/8tK46WDHSu
    Dr. Dewinter at #IMFAR2017: Autistic men: 5% gay, 9% bisexual. Non-autistic men: 4% gay, 5% bisexual. pic.twitter.com/8tK46WDHSu
  72. [image above: slide with bar chart graph showing that Autistic Men: 5% gay, 9% bisexual. Non-Autistic men: 4% gay, 5% bisexual.]
  73. Jeroen Dewinter: clinical implications are to pay attention to sexual diversity when offering support #IMFAR2017
  74. Large numbers of people in autism and sexuality session, even right at end of #IMFAR2017 a testament to interest in real world issues.