Sex, sexuality and gender identity in ASD study

Hi Everyone,


A year or so ago, I read a thread on an ASD forum lamenting the lack of hard data concerning sexuality and gender in Asperger's. Then, I heard Dr. Tony Attwood talk about a recent Dutch study, which found that a shockingly high proportion of the children in gender dysphoria clinics actually have an ASD. This concerned me. Why are our ASD kids so unhappy in their own bodies? Put this alongside the very very many (especially men) with ASD who have never been in a fulfilling relationship, and who remain reluctant virgins well into their 20s or 30s, and I felt I needed to find some answers. So, I started a PhD this year investigating sex, sexuality and gender identity in ASD.

Whether they are in relationships or not, many 'Aspies' (and their loved ones) have unanswered questions about themselves and most have experienced confusion and insecurity around sex, sexuality and gender. Do we get along better in relationships with fellow Aspies? How do our sensory issues affect our love-making and shows of affection? Could we go quite happily without ever having sex as some people with AS claim? Do feet really turn *us* on? I don't know about you, but I want the answers to these and many more questions!!

In all seriousness, as a fellow Aspergian, I find it neglectful at best that this area of our lives has been mostly glossed over by the scientific community and not paid the attention it deserves. I hope that this research can meaningfully address the lack of knowledge we currently have, but I need your help. In collaboration with Dr. Tony Attwood, and through the University of Queensland in Australia, I am running an anonymous, secure and untraceable online survey. You do NOT need to have a diagnosis of an ASD to take the questionnaire. I really am hoping for a diverse set of respondents, so everyone from every corner of the globe, whether NT, Aspie, straight, ***, male, female, or anything in-between is welcome to contribute. Due to the graphic nature of the content, however, you will need to be aged 18 or older to participate.

As a thank you for your time and effort, I am offering a prize draw of an iPad2, as well as numerous $20 iTunes and $20 Amazon.com vouchers. You will have the opportunity to enter for the chance to win on completion of the survey. I am also offering a full (approx 15-20 page) report of the findings to those who register their interest at the end of the survey.

Here is a direct link to the survey website: http://exp.psy.uq.edu.au/sexy

You may read more about the background to this research on Dr. Tony Attwood's website at the following link:
www.tonyattwood.com.au/index.php

There is now also a facebook page with more info about the survey. It's a place to discuss the study further and it will be where I post the report of the findings as soon as the analyses are finished:
www.facebook.com/.../177115072359187

Please take a look and consider doing the survey, which will be open for a week or so. It would also be really useful if you could share the link to the survey on other forums/websites/blogs/facebook groups/with friends etc. in the interests of getting a large sample (and more generalisable results!). Together, we can make this the neurodiverse version of Kinsey's seminal work and we can raise awareness of sex and gender issues in ASD to inform medical and clinical interventions.

Thanks for reading this and I look forward to sharing the results with you all in the very near future.

Cheers,
Kat
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