Are Transgender & Gender Diverse People More Likely To Be Autistic
Earlier this month, I shared an article about the results from;THIS STUDY;that suggest that transgender and gender-diverse individuals had higher rates of autism diagnosis than cisgender individuals.
NeuroRebel here and this week, a lot of you have been asking about the recent study that came out, talking about how transgender people are six times more likely to also be autistic. So this week Im going to talk about that study a little bit and share some of my own thoughts and perspective.
So of course, turning to a recent study at Cambridges Autism Research Center, transgender and gender diverse individuals are three to six times more likely than cis-gender adults to also be diagnosed autistic.
Can I just say Im not even remotely surprised by this fact before we go any further? I think a lot of you out there may not be surprised by this either.
So, what do I think? Well, as a nonbinary, genderfluid, pansexual, autistic person yeah, at least in my case, I would say that this theory, this hypothesis, this data, this study is holding up, seems to be accurate. I cant argue against it.
What role does autism play in all of this gender, sexuality? All of it.
Uh, anyway guys, those are just some thoughts. If you found this video helpful. Be sure to subscribe and share and like, and do all the things I will talk to you guys next week. Bye.
What Can Teachers Do
Here are four practical strategies that teachers can use to support autistic LGTBQ+ students.;
1. Build awareness and challenge stereotypes
The first and most important step for teachers to take is to build their own awareness of autism and sexual and gender diversity so that they can challenge stereotypes and build supportive, inclusive classrooms. Just knowing that students with autism are less likely to conform to a heterosexual sexual orientation and cissexual gender identity is the first step. The next step is to include diverse representations of autistic people in curriculum materials. Education about the sexual and gender diversity of autistic individuals can help normalize and support their experiences.
2. Teach about consent and social cues
When Sex Ed is Overwhelming
3. Respect autistic students autonomy and capacity
When Pronouns Arent Respected
4. Respect autistic students confidentiality
Teachers must maintain confidentiality about autistic students sexual orientation and gender identity when interacting with family members or health professionals outside of the school. The decision to come out or disclose ones sexual orientation or gender identity belongs to the individual. LGBTQ2+ students who are out at school, may not be out in other contexts. Outing them, whether accidentally or intentionally, may put them at risk.
When Teachers Out Their Students
5. Identify students in need
Asd And Sexual Diversity
Sexual orientation and sexual identity are more varied or less rigid, on average, in persons with ASD compared with TD individuals . Rates of same-sex behaviors, homosexual orientation or non-exclusive sexual interests are consistently higher in adults with ASD compared with the general population . In adolescents with ASD, results are mixed. Although lower rates of exclusive heterosexuality are reported by parents or caregivers , there is no difference with TD peers according to self-reports . Still, adolescents with ASD seem to be more inclined to same-sex sexual interactions than their TD peers . These mixed results might reflect different proportions of girls included across studies as the effect is more pronounced among women than among men with ASD . Different levels of functioning might also be associated with different level of sexual orientation fluidity .
Significantly higher rates of opposite gender identification, non-binary gender, and gender dysphoria are also found in persons with ASD compared with TD individuals . Autistic traits are higher in transgender persons , and they are associated with gender variance in TD children .
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What Does Lgbtiqa+ Mean
LGBTIQA+ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Intersex, Queer, Asexual – and other sexual orientations and gender identities that are not straight and/or cisgender.;The Australian Department of Health estimates up to 11% of the population identify as LGBTIQ+,;and that doesn’t include people who are currently questioning their sexual orientation or gender.How many people are autistic and LGBTIQA+?
Studies are still limited, but emerging research shows that autistic people are actually more likely to identify as LGBTIQA+ than the general population.;One recent study showed that 70% of autistic people identified as non-heterosexual and;another study showed that 11.4% of autistic adults wished they were ‘the opposite sex’. This;was more than double the rate of the general population surveyed.
Autism And Gender Dysphoria
Gender dysphoria is a diagnosis given to transgender people who experience discomfort related to their gender identity. Autistic people are more likely to experience gender dysphoria. Around 20% of gender identity clinic-assessed individuals reported characteristics of autism spectrum disorder .
Other researchers have noted the prevalence of autistic traits among those who identify as non-binary or genderqueer. Two Warwick University researchers, utilizing data from 446 UK adult respondents, concluded in January 2016 that, based on their sample, genderqueer individuals were more likely to be autistic than any other group with gender dysphoria.New York University researchers, using a sample of 492 children, stated in February 2016 that autistic children were seven times more likely to experience gender variance as compared to those not on the spectrum. A 2014 study stated that of the over 1600 surveyed, those participants with autism were “7.59 times more likely to express gender variance”.
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How Do You Think Straight Autistic People Can Be Better Allies To Autistic People In The Lgbtq+ Community
Having an understanding that we all share similar paths could help. I think it can be hard for straight autistic people to be allies, as there is not that much information out there. Sharing stories and content from the perspective of LGBTQ+ autistic people and other intersectional identities could be really helpful.
Representation is really important for any minority group. A great example of this I saw recently was the addition of black and brown colours to the Pride flag, representing ethnic minorities within the LGBTQ+ community. More representation in the media is really important as well.
How Are You Coping With The Lockdown
Its been both positive and negative.
A positive aspect is that things have been much quieter. There are fewer people around, fewer cars on the road. Just walking outside has been less overwhelming than before, particularly in cities.
The downside, for me, is definitely the lack of routine. Planning out my day in advance has really helped, and trying to build in structure where possible.
Im doing the GDL course at the moment, so Im doing a lot of exams and coursework. The deadlines have allowed me to create some structure in my day. Without that, I think Id find the routine change quite challenging.
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Why So Many People With Autism Have Eating Disorders
That caused me to do many stupid things, but I explained myself so well that adults thought I was putting them on. Harmless as that was, it shows the disparity between emotional and logical development that can exist in a person with autism.
Thanks to this delay, some autistic people look at younger kids as peers. You may see a teen with more severe autism playing with young children for this reason. Its harmless and innocent in most cases, but sometimes puberty intervenes.
When a teen with autism sees 8-year-olds as peers, and he decides he wants a girlfriend, he may look to those younger girls. Not from any evil motivation, but because younger kids are the kids he identifies with. Developmentally, in his mind, they are like him. When this happens with a teen, its a matter for schools and parents, and we hope its dealt with properly. What happens when that situation plays out when the autistic person is 21 and the target of his affections is 13? You have potential for disaster.
Ive seen this all too often in real life.
But thats not the worst of itmore often, young men with more severe autism have no luck connecting with real-world girls at all. Consequently, some turn online. Thats where a new danger arises. A young man who identifies with younger people maywithout understanding risks, rights/wrongs, or consequencesfind his way to forbidden websites and thence to trouble.
Reason 2: Weak Theory of Mind can make it hard to know right from wrong.
Could You Tell Us A Bit About Your Experience Of Being An Autistic Member Of The Lgbtq+ Community
As a gay autistic man, its almost as if I have two identities. I have my LGBTQ+ identity and my autistic identity. Sometimes they both merge well together, and sometimes they dont.
An example of when they dont merge so well together is when Im in a work setting. Often, the company will have very inclusive rhetoric and an active network when it comes to their LGBTQ+ staff. However, the rhetoric around autism and other disabilities is often lacking, or perhaps less mature. You feel accepted for one side of your identity, but the autistic part of your identity is perhaps less recognised or understood.
“As a gay autistic man, its almost as if I have two identities.”
Being part of a community who understand what its like to be a minority, can be really positive. LGBTQ+ people may have a greater understanding of autism, as they already know what it is like to be seen by society as atypical. In some ways, being autistic and being LGBTQ+ are similar experiences. You may have to come out in both communities. Both groups experience what it is like to be in a minority and face some forms of discrimination.
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Protecting Autistic Teenagers From Sexual Abuse: Good Touch And Bad Touch
Autistic people can be vulnerable to sexual abuse because they dont always recognise when something isnt right. So you might need to explicitly teach your child the difference between good touch and bad touch.
For example,;good touch is something that friends and family might do to show they care for each other. These touches might include a handshake to say hello, a hug or a kiss. A;bad touch is something that feels wrong or uncomfortable, like a stranger asking for a kiss.
You might also need to explain that a touch might be a good touch for one person, but the same touch might be a bad touch for someone else. For example, one person might like to be tickled , whereas someone else might not enjoy being tickled . Or its OK to kiss a close friend or family member hello if you see them in the street, but its not OK to kiss a stranger hello.
Visual supports showing appropriate and inappropriate touching can help. Social stories might also be useful. Heres an example of a social story.
A social story about bad touchBad touch is something that makes me feel confused and uncomfortable.
Here are some examples of bad touch.
Someone touches me in my private areas when I dont want them to.
Someone hits me.
Sexual Strategies And Motivations
Significant differences between participants with ASD vs. TD participants were found concerning strategies they would use to have casual sex. Whereas significantly higher proportions of the former group would act as a function of the other person , more TD participants stated that they would tease them to get attention . These results held true for girls and partially for boys . A significantly higher proportion of girls with ASD compared to TD girls also stated that they would tell things about themselves that they think the other person would like in order to have casual sex .
Similarly, significantly fewer participants with than without ASD reported that they would have sex because it feels good or for fun . These results were confirmed for both boys and girls .
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Why Does It Seem Like Twice As Many Jews Proportionally Are Gay
I noticed in the porn industry that all sexual norms tended to break down, and that differences between straight and gay often got obliterated. It seemed like many of the straight guy porn stars also did gay stuff on the side.
For secular Jews, there are few sexual taboos, so it makes sense that they might be more likely to experiment with homosexuality.
While they accounted for only a tiny proportion of Jews, Jews have long dominated the pornography and prostitution industries. Jews have historically had more tolerant views than gentiles on the legality of prostitution and pornography. Jews also seem to have more tolerant attitudes towards gay sons. Theyre less likely to disown them.
The more sex you have, and the more partners you have, the more likely you are to lead a hedonistic life and to get jaded and your inhibitions break down and you indulge in drugs and you become willing to try homosexuality. This is a consequence of a sexually decadent society.
If there are a far higher percentage of gay Jews than gay gentiles, it gives a new explanation for the reason that big law, the msm, entertainment and academia have been so sympathetic to gay rights. Thats how secular Jews have imposed their own mores on the historic American nation .
For decades, we have been fed a steady diet of pro gay, pro gay marriage articles and images, and now I see that it might be related to the much higher percentage of Jews being gay.
Paul Conroy writes:
Views About Romantic Relationships
Much more similarities than differences were observed between the groups concerning their views about romantic relationships . The notable exception was the significantly greater importance given by participants with ASD to have exactly the same interests with the other person to make up a good romantic relationship compared with their TD peers .
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Sexuality On The Autism Spectrum
Autistic adults have, in general, differences in sexuality from the norm. Many more are asexual than in the average population. It is believed that there is a slightly higher pecentage of gays, lesbians, bisexual, and transgendered autistics than in the average population.
Bisexual or homosexual Aspies may find more potential for sex and/or relationships in the gay community where there is less emphasis on conformity. Girls and women who are autistic can have more chance at success in relationships, generally speaking, than men. This is due to differences in social requirements, where a man is often expected to ask a girl for a date, rather than vice versa.
Living in a society where long-time relationships and starting a family are the norm it can be very hard for socially inexperienced men with Asperger’s to find a partner and some stay away from dating for that reason.
Some of those on the autism spectrum are celibate by choice, feeling that they are asexual, or that there are more important things in life. Others have resigned themselves to celibacy due to the fact that romantic or sexual relationships can be much harder to find due to a misunderstanding of social skills and the difficulty of finding a suitable partner.
Paraphilic Fantasies And Behaviors
Altogether, paraphilic sexual fantasies and behaviors were reported more frequently in male patients with ASD than in male HCs. After correcting for multiple testing, significant differences were still present in the number of individuals reporting masochistic fantasies, sadistic fantasies, voyeuristic fantasies and behaviors, frotteuristic fantasies and behaviors, and pedophilic fantasies with female children . Female patients with ASD showed no differences in the frequency of paraphilic fantasies or behaviors in comparison with their HC counterparts, except in the frequency of masochistic behaviors, where more female HCs indicated masochistic behaviors than the female ASD patients.
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Why Do Many Autistic People Identify As Lgbtq
There is not currently any firm scientific evidence as to why people on the spectrum are more likely to identify as LGBTQ.
One possibility is that people with autism may be less attached to social expectations, said Cambridge researcher and doctoral scientist Elizabeth Weir, and feel more free to express their true identity.
The study is not the first to show LGBTQ is a big part of the autism community. An earlier study by the Univeristy of Cambridge Autism Research Centre also found transgender and gender-diverse adults are three to six times more likely as cisgender adults to be diagnosed as autistic.
Readers, what do you make of the topic? Do you have insight or comments to share with Autism Parenting Magazine? You can email
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What Can I Do If I Experience Discrimination At School Or Work
If you experience discrimination, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone and that you deserve to be able to go to school and work while feeling safe. If someone discriminates against you, you can talk to the person, but you might not feel safe doing so. If that’s the case, you have different options if you experience discrimination, including:
- calling a counselling service such as KidsHelpline, eHeadspace, Lifeline or QLife if you feel upset and need to talk
talking to and getting support from people you trust – this could be a family member, friend, teacher, manager or your human resource department
you can make a complaint to the Australian Human Rights Commission – particularly if your school or work are unwilling;to assist you
- if the situation feels unsafe, you can call the police. If it’s an emergency you can call 000; otherwise, you can call the Police Assistance Line on 131 444 for advice.
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