Brief report: Sexual attraction and relationships in adolescents with autism

Tamara May, Ken C. Pang, Katrina Williams

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23 Citations (Scopus)


Past research suggests more variation in sexual attraction in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) using clinical samples. This study utilised a population representative group of 14/15 year olds from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children. Ninety-four adolescents (73 males, 21 females) with ASD and 3454 (1685 males, 1675 females) without self-reported on sexual attraction and past sexual relationships. Females with ASD reported lower rates of heterosexual preference (adjusted odds ratio: 0.14, p <.001), higher rates of bisexuality (adjusted odds ratio: 6.05, p <.001) and uncertainty in attraction (adjusted odds ratio: 10.44, p <.001) compared with non-ASD females. ASD males reported fewer prior boyfriends/girlfriends. Findings confirm female adolescents with ASD have differences in sexual attraction compared with non-ASD females.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1910-1916
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescent health
  • Autism
  • Sexual attraction
  • Sexuality

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