Sexuality in the World of Autism and the Need for Specialized Education
Just like the neurotypical population of the world, autistic individuals feel the need for sexuality and relationships, though they may have a hard time expressing needs, communicating properly, or conforming to certain social ideals expected of a typical relationship. A disability does not normally hamper an individual's evolutionary needs for love, companionship and a healthy sexual lifestyle. Despite common belief, those with autism also have emotions that require these needs to be met.
Sex in itself is an act that evolution has deemed important for the survival of a race through the conception of offspring. It is, despite what religion and society have said for years, a healthy exercise which ensures more than just pregnancy and the continuation of the family name. According to Dr. Oz, sex might just increase a person's smarts, allowing the brain to light up in all areas when placed under an MRI scan. It can make you smarter and it can also cure headaches. According to one particular study with German researchers studying data compiled on 800 patients who had random migraines and 200 others who suffered cluster headaches, good sex can actually eliminate headaches of the day, which makes that common excuse women give to their partners void.
Autism is an interesting disorder that doesn't outrightly have any physical indicators, though preliminary and controversial studies have theorized that there are certain features most autistic Caucasian boys share. the thought makes sense, as the disorder is a genetic one which is made more severe through environmental factors along with diet choices. The dosorder, however, costs families an obscenely high amount of money, often which insurances and other governmental aides fail to help alleviate.
The Need for Sexual Education
A study comparing neurotypical and high functioning autistic individuals in terms of their sexuality and sexual edication found that the latter engaged in fewer social behaviours, had less sex education, and fewer sexual experiences. Furthermore, they had more pronounced concerns for the future, showed similar levels of privacy knowledge to the neurotypicals but had more public sexualised behaviour.
What all this means? These findings suggest that there is a real need for specialised sex education programs for autistic populations. It may not be easy, but teaching never really is. Furthermore, if schools are already tailoring instruction to meet the needs of all students, including the autistic children placed in mainstream classrooms, then all forms of education should be modified and accommodated to be able to best convey the information. The article suggests that since social behaviour is significantly lower for autistic individuals and future concerns are found to be higher, sex education programs must also incorporate information about social rules in order to enhance social communication and understanding among the population.
Worry About Sexual Experiences
Parents of autistic children are not exempt from worrying about the types of experiences their children will encounter. Females are generally more prone to inciting worry among all caregivers, whether their children are on the spectrum or not. When it comes to the autistic teenagers and young adults however, what worry parents most, regardless of gender, are:
- Sexual victimization
- Misperceptions related to the intent of their child’s behaviors
An article published of late in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders debunked myths many may have about autistic individuals. Some of the truths presented included:
- Participants reported positive sexual functioning
- Participants who did not have prior relationship experience were significantly younger and more likely to be male and identify as heterosexual
- Males without prior experience had significantly higher sexual anxiety, lower sexual arousability, lower dyadic desire, and fewer positive sexual cognitions
- The men reported better sexual function than did the women in multiple situations
All in all, autistic individuals are quite capable of sexual relations, but require proper education to be able to fight against the social inadequacies which hamper their ability to develop and keep relationships.